Gig going foodie who reads too much, watches too much film, likes gardening, cooking/baking, and sewing. Likes to go to the theatre and anything arty. Likes travel, likes planning travel....likes solar eclipses.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Kasabian - 08/06/2011 - great gig shame about the numpties!

Well not wanting to get too near the front and it's inevitable kick off, we positioned ourselves about halfway back - for those of you who know the Apollo that's roughly where the balcony begins - and towards the side to avoid the mele that is the central belt. Support band Modern Faces - okay but I don't know why singers insist on talking, you can't hear them - "Y'alright Manchester? Let's f*****g 'av it!". Perhaps it was an attempt to garner good will as they were boo'ed (yes! really!) when they came on and the inevitable football chant of "Manchester" started up. That should have indicated the mentality of the people in the place really....
Enter Kasabian with Mr Meighan strutting onto the stage like the illegitimate offspring of Liam Gallagher and a seventies Mick Jagger clad in a VERY white denim jacket and aviator sunglasses - "so rock star darling!" - to a halo of pinpoint lighting. The place erupted. First three songs were fantastic and that's basically all I saw properly apart from odd snatches of the band through people's heads.....I heard most of the others and the lighting rig looked great from where I was standing. I've been to a lot of gigs in my 30 years of concert going but I have NEVER been surrounding by so many arseholes (no, not even Spike Island) employing the "shove everyone out of the way so I can see" policy. You don't mind people enjoying themselves - indeed there was a group of girls at the side of us in full screech and jump mode but that was fine (anyone who can jump in heels gets my admiration) - but whole swaths of (tall of course) tanked up idiots pushing past you/you out of the way etc every five minutes is very annoying. There were a couple of lads near us who we also getting hacked off with this and when a gap opened up the taller of the lads actually pushed me infront of him so I could see over the shoulders of his mate (not that that lasted long as more drunks appeared). Perhaps the most "eh?" moment was a couple infront of us who could have saved themselves a fortune buying the tickets (£35 each + b/f) and just got a hotel room. Everyone was rolling eyes and if they actually looked at the stage more than a couple of times I will be very surprised. Those of you who have met Other Half will also be surprised to know that they nearly got into a couple of fights when they challenged people pushing past/over us and the people around us with full drinks. Can these people not manage a set without the need to go to and from the bar? A point a few people made.... Personally I think the bars should close during the performance but as that's where they make their money etc.... At one point I had to employ the "Paddington Hard Stare" which to be fair did garner an apology off the idiot's mate who then manouvred him out of the way..... TBQH it seemed to be an exercise in drinking as much as you could for a hell of a lot of people which ruined it for a lot more..... oh and we got the obligatory thrown drinks; I wish I'd not worn mascara and I had my elbows permanently out in "old lady at sales" mode just to remain upright during some songs. You'd have thought standing away from the mosh pit and it's fringes would have removed you from this behaviour....I had been close to tears on a number of occasions TBQH and at 10.15 demanded to know when they were finishing as I wanted to "go home NOW!" which a few people around us heard me say and in fact a couple of lads (not the same ones who tried to ensure I could see) did challenge one individual who kept pushing Other Half. It was the same on the way out whereupon I lost it when I was properly pushed by one bloke in a tartan shirt nearly falling over (it is a miracle that I didn't and I still have no idea how I remained upright).  Fortunately we were able to push our way out of that queue and head to another exit before the w****r totally flattened me.
Back to the music. They played what I think is going to be the new single "Switchblade Smiles" and TBQH it sounds like they've revereted to their first album with a harder bass sound - although why they now have a trumpeter permanently on stage with them contributing to songs - rather than the occasional one as previously - is a worrying thought (think on, we don't want this sort of input spreading to other albums ;-> )....Not my favourite but I'm not making the decisions and I should imagine this one will be another stadium/festival crowd pleaser.......It's really hard to single out a track that was "best" TBQH as all of them are rabble rousing crowd anthems with Sergio et al nodding like mad Churchill dogs and the drumer (a favourite of the screeching girls it seemed) a blur of sticks and cymbals, however the more surreal aspects included Sergio's rendition of "I Feel Love" by Donna Summer which when you remember the original being released just makes you depressed and, tagged onto the end of "Fast Fuse", the Pulp Fiction theme complete with Tom bouncing around the stage doing the V eyes a la Travolta (we can only be grateful he didn't break into "Summer Nights"......). I seemed to be the only person near me who cheered when they announced "Velociraptor" with the catching chorus "He's gonna find ya, he's gonna kill ya, he's gonna eat ya!" - well presumably only if he can't get hold of any "tasty chicken" McNuggets - off the new album so I'm not sure how many of the idiots around me knew their songs! Fortunately this was fairly early on so we managed to get footage of that although as I haven't seen it I don't know what it's like. It was basically a greatest hits package and when you hear them all together you're reminded of how far they've come since their first album and that very first time at the Apollo; "Empire" (a personal fave), "Vlad the Impaler" (always a crowd fave), "LSF", "Clubfoot" and Other Half's fave and which started the encore "Fire" although yet again no appearance of my fave from the first album, "Reason is Treason"....I'm really going to have to write a letter on this one LOL.
Lots of bouncer involvement with people crowd surfing being removed and ejected (as per the massive notices up). We also had a phalanx of the ususual rock girl groupie wannabees - you know the sort, tight jeans, vest top, long straight hair, lots of eyeliner and probably being given permanent neck damage by the number of ankhs/crosses/talismans worn - being hoisted onto shoulders which meant nobody behind them could see and then the bouncers trying to get them down. I don't understand that TBQH ...I mean, why? You can't stay up there as there's too much movement and all you do is spill your drink.
In short this band certainly know how to put on a show from their "give the public what they want" anthems, their lighting and their stage presence with an ability to "play" a crowd second to none I have seen. They could probably come on and play "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and get the same rapturous reception but I doubt I would go standing again TBQH. I don't think it's my age as I've been to more crammed gigs than that and those of who have seen me at gigs know I get "into" the event just as much as everyone else, but just the behaviour of the people attending.... which is a shame and I got the impression from overheard comments on the way to the car that I was not alone....
So overall score probably an 7 or 8/10. It would have been higher but when you're struggling to keep upright and constantly being punched it takes the shine off the least the band seemed to enjoy it .....correction, they kept telling us they were...As Mr Meighan kept saying "fookin' great"....somebody should really buy him a theasaurus....

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