Miles Kane endures the run of the mill treatment that goes along with being the opening act in a venue such as this, as people slowly meander through into the main arena complaining about having just paid £4.20 for a warm, watered down Carling, and those hunting frantically for their seats like late comers at the cinema, stepping over a dozen people before realizing they are in the wrong isle and generally making an oaf of themselves.
Regardless, Kane delivers a spirited performance with his brand of reverb soaked, noir surf pop, with tracks Telepathy and Come Closer off of this years Colour Of The Trap Album standing out among the others songs which, although sounding like they have all come straight from some 60’s vortex, are largely erratic and the set, like the album, lacks dynamics and fluidity, but remain entertaining as separate entities.
By the time Kane closes with Inhaler, the venue is mostly full, the audience has warmed to the support, and Kane and Co leave the stage looking relatively pleased with themselves.
Somewhere around 9pm, the black veil goes up revealing an impressive light show rig depicting some kind of rotating man-lizards eating their own tails, pretty trippy this I tell ya, and my thoughts started going for a wonder with David Icke before being pulled back into the world of semi normality by the ear piecing shriek of a young lady next me as Kasabian swagger out on stage “OHHHH ME GOD!!!! RITE TIDY DAT TALL ONE WI DE HAIR!!!!” Simultaneously, half a pint of larger goes down the back of my neck and some guy pukes on his mates shoes as Kasabian launch into Days Are Forgotten.
Half an hour in, and this is clearly a best of set rather than in direct support of Velociraptor, as they reel off Shoot The Runner, Underdog, I Hear Voices, and with a nod to the Doors, blending People Are Strange with Thick As Thieves.
One thing is for sure whether you love or hate Kasabian, and that is that they have mastered the craft of reshaping tried and tested hooks and pop formulas and merged it in a very slick manner with their own brand of neo-psychedelia in such a way that could be pivotal in encouraging people, that wouldn’t normally go out of the comfort zone of Radio 1, into searching for the pioneers of those that have influenced and paved the way for bands such as these guys from Leicestershire.
Take Aim see’s Sergio Pizzorno take over vocal duties and work the crowd up with undeniable charismatic charm in readiness for Club Foot which resonates throughout the building, whipping the audience into a seething sweaty Scouse frenzy.
Now, even in a venue of this magnitude, where the sound can boom around and generally sound quite awful, the production is heard with absolute clarity and Kasabian are impressively tight, sonically as well as performance wise. Such is the precision and high level of the orchestration here, that one cannot feel that this is hyper contrived and poses the question, does such a lack of spontaneity and unpredictability benefit a show of this nature?
Either way, no one seems to care, more than likely just a level of organization that is beyond my scope of comprehension, and besides, during Empire, Mr Lighting technician comes to the rescue, drops and enormous bollock, and plunges the entirety of Echo Arena into darkness, prompting Sergio to ask “Can you all please take your phones out so I can see what the fuck I’m doing up here.” Bringing about a spontaneous spectacle close to beauty as a few thousand twinkling mobiles light up the blackness like fireflies.
Fast Fuse, L.S.F, Vlad The Impaler, this is all heading to one place and probably the reason for at least 35% of the ticket sales this evening, Fire closes the night and needless to say, everyone goes apeshit and a time is had by all. The band disappear from the stage to a cacophony of applause, and that guy from before pukes on his girlfriend’s shoes.
For those of you who love Kasabian, I seriously doubt a better show could have been seen. For those of you who hate Kasabian, a portal for the philistines to be enlightened and come flooding through into your elitist underground. Where you gonna go then? That Stone Roses gig won’t save you!