What could you expect of a Kasabian gig? I'd have said last week, lighters aloft singalongs, a sprinkling of girls at the barrier Serge-side and a Hell of a lot of testosterone.
I wasn't wrong. The crowd was extremely male, but I stayed out of the crowd of stags at the front anyway, at least when Kasabian came on. Supporting them were Reverend and the Makers, of 'Heavyweight Champion of the World' fame. I like the Rev, but he was full of male bravado and his keyboard player (and wife, I believe?) was gyrating and wiggling around in a roll-eyes-provoking manner. They were okay, but it was all a bit chauvinist and repetitive, despite the Reverend's nice opinions on war and politics (see Love Music Hate Racism and Instigate Debate).
Kasabian put on a proper show, even before they set foot on stage. On big screens either side of the stage, disturbing stories of lunatics (from album West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum) were played, and then a siren rang out, accompanied by a pulsating red light above the stage. All the roadies wore white coats reading 'SANE', so it was quite eerie when a man wearing a 'WEST RYDER' stamped coat wandered on, swinging an incense burner, before a countdown to the show. It was all very atmospheric.
From the back of the standing area, the music was the perfect volume to get under your skin, the bass sending sound vibrations through your feet, but no destruction of your eardrums (usually my favourite part of a gig, but it was nice to end without ringing ears for once.) The show was a real show, lighters aloft during The Doberman, a proper set behind the band, and massive confetti showers at the end. Never have I seen so many butch men dancing.
They played all the hits, though setlist.fm doesn't have the list of what they played yet. There was a while in the middle where they were playing 'bar songs', a little flood of bored people going to get beer, but that was possibly the only flat part of the evening, with everyone streaming out of the gig at the end singing the L.S.F. riff at full volume through Birmingham.
'COMFORT THE DISTURBED. DISTURB THE COMFORTED'