GIG REVIEW: Kasabian, First Direct Arena, Leeds

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I get why some people like to see Michael Bublé or The Pogues or someone suitably festive around this time of year.

It’s a very Christmassy thing to do. But, still, whatever the season, often you just cannot beat some pure unadulterated rock.

Kasabian provided that by the bucketload at First Direct Arena. The nearest they got to anything resembling Christmas was at the start when lead singer Tom Meighan, in his white bubble jacket, ever so slightly had the look of someone out of East 17 on their Stay Another Day video.

But that was it. Oh, and it did snow on the way out.

In between, though, fans were treated to a classic Kasabian performance, full of energy with a great mix of past favourites and plenty from their number one album from earlier this year For Crying Out Loud.

With huge digital countdown clocks either side of the stage letting everyone know when the action was about to begin, the Leicester lads were right on cue and never let up.

Opening with current single Ill Ray (The King), Bumblebeee and Eez-Eh, they soon roared into the epic Underdog with Meighan declaring afterwards ‘Thank you Yorkshire. Ta!’

Shoot the Runner was, of course, another crowd pleaser, before a brilliant Days Are Forgotten from their 2011 album Velociraptor!

You're in Love With a Psycho may have only been released this year but here it showed it is already firmly established as a staple Kasabian singalong. Likewise, Wasted brought a great re-action and left Serge telling the crowd: “The reason you start a band is for nights like this!”

He then performed a solo acoustic version of British Legion before Meighan returned for the thunderous Club Foot.

Serge went walkabout with the crowd for Treat while Empire, Bless This Acid House and Stevie all followed before the anthemic L.S.F rounded things off, reaching a high of 113 decibels according to those digital displays as Kasabian attempted to take the roof off the arena.

They returned to finish off a superb set with a pared down Goodbye Kiss, plus Comeback Kid, Vlad the Impaler and - as riotous as ever - Fire.

PIC: Simon Hulme

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