Kasabian play to 50,000 fans at Leicester homecoming

Jordan Hughes of Kasabian

Jordan Hughes of Kasabian

 

 

Kasabian played to 50,000 fans at their giant Leicester homecoming show yesterday (Saturday).The gig, the weekend before their Glastonbury headlining performance, took place at the city’s Victoria Park, and featured at least three songs from each of their five albums.Before the band appeared on stage, a bright pink backdrop, the same colour as the artwork from new album ’48:13′, displayed a countdown clock. When 10 seconds remained, the crowd enthusiastically counted down before white sheets dropped all around the stage.

The band – Tom Meighan, Serge Pizzorno, Chris Edwards and Ian Matthews plus two backing singers and other assorted musicians – walked on stage and quickly began playing ’48:13′ opener ‘Bumblebee’, followed by ‘Shoot The Runner’ from their 2006’s second album ‘Empire’ and ‘Underdog’, from 2009’s third album ‘West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum’.

“How’s your day been?” asked Meighan in one of many chats about the crowd’s wellbeing. “Good? Glad to hear it. Now put your hands toward the sky.” The backdrop was ever-changing, with various slogans – ‘bumblebee’, ‘coal’ and ’20/20′ among them – and string and brass sections and backing singers joining in for numerous songs in the 20-track set.

 

As for the songs played, it was largely the same as those performed at their WarChild Shepherd’s Bush Empire gig earlier in the week, although the swapped ‘Where Did All The Love Go?’, criticised by some that night for its slow pace, for the far more upbeat ‘West Ryder…’ track ‘Fast Fuse’.’Processed Beats’ began with the intro from House Of Pain’s ‘Jump Around’, and finished with Pizzorno repeatedly singing “Don’t push me cos I’m close to the edge” from Grandmaster Flash classic ‘The Message’, while Meighan left the stage after a brief run through ‘The Doberman’, letting the guitarist take over on lead vocals for ‘West Ryder…’ track ‘Take Aim’.

Speaking to NME before the gig, Pizzorno said: “We’ve been planning to play Victoria Park for years. It’s amazing that we’re taking over a whole city, and then bringing everyone from all over the world to Leicester and showing them where we’re from.”

Chants of ‘Leicester’ rang out throughout the evening, with the band expressing love for their hometown at every opportunity. Pizzorno wore a t-shirt emblazoned with ‘Les-tah’. Before ‘Fire’, which closed the main set, Meighan once again thanked fans in the city, saying: “We started this band in 1997, me, Serge and Chris, and now we’re here and playing Glastonbury next week. Thank you.”

The encore was perhaps the most successful section, the band returning to the stage with ‘Switchblade Smiles’ from ‘Velociraptor!’ and ‘Vlad The Impaler’ from ‘West Ryder…’ before Meighan stopped to thank the crowd once again. “10 years ago we were playing shitholes,” he said, “and here we are now with you lot.”

As he spoke, the band struck up their cover of Fatboy Slim’s ‘Praise You’, which merged into huge closer ‘L.S.F’ after a couple of minutes. As the song finished, guitarist Pizzorno whipped off his shirt and dived into the crowd, Meighan carried on singing without the band and guitarist Chris Edwards came up to the front for a rare moment. He said: “I never get a chance on the mic. So thanks Leicester. You’ve made my fucking year.”

The event, to celebrate Kasabian’s 10th anniversary, was the largest staged in the park since BBC Radio 1’s One Big Sunday concerts in 2001 and 2003. Support came from DJ Zane Lowe and Beardy Man, Jagwar Ma and Rudimental, who DJed their way through hits from debut album ‘Home’.

Kasabian will headline Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage on Sunday June 29.

Kasabian played:
‘Bumblebee’
‘Shoot The Runner’
‘Underdog’
‘Fast Fuse’
‘Days Are Forgotten’
‘Eez-Eh’
‘Processed Beats’
‘Stevie’
‘ID’
‘The Doberman’
‘Take Aim’
‘Club Foot’
‘Re-wired’
‘Treat’
‘Empire’
‘Fire’
‘Switchblade Smiles’
‘Vlad The Impaler’
‘Praise You’
‘L.S.F’

First Listen – Jack White Returns With The Scorching ‘Lazaretto’

Jack White

Jack White

 

A ‘Lazaretto’ is a place where sailors were kept in quarantine, and the name can be traced back to Lazarus, celebrity leper and all time king of the comeback. It’s also the name of Jack White’s new album. We’ve taken a listen to find out whether he, like Lazarus, is back stronger than ever:‘Three Women’Ladies and gentlemen, I bring to you… Jack White the lothario! A caddish, love-’em-and-leave-’em type with a little black book filled with the names of old flames. An extended intro of rinky-dink piano and a guitar riff that comes on like the quainter, mild-mannered cousin of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Black Dog’, before Jack hollers: “I got three women, red blonde and brunette/ It took a digital photograph to pick which one I liked.”

Of course there’s three adoring paramours – longtime White scholars will know he’s had an obsession with the magic number since the early days of The White Stripes – but a digital photograph? Doesn’t sound like the kind of fancy-dan technology that Jack would take to – perhaps he couldn’t carry around oil paintings quite so easily? There’s a tongue-in-cheek sign-off, too, as he purrs: “I know what you’re thinking, what gives you the right/ Well, these women must be getting something because they come and see me every night.” As Spinal Tap would say: You’re a saucy one, Mister Jack.

‘Lazeretto’

The title track and, as of last month, officially the world’s fastest record ever made. And ‘Lazaretto’ benefits, too, from the fact it feels so fast and loose, an extended jam session that squeezed out a rough ‘n’ ready cut that’s pitched somewhere between the dark, menacing squelch of ‘Blue Orchid’ and The Dead Weathers’ fuzzy ‘I Cut Like A Buffalo’. One of the reasons I’ve never been able to get on board with the drudgery of The Raconteurs is that their rock-by-numbers approach seems to extinguish Jack’s phosphorous-like flashes of fun – it’s like watching Al Pacino wrestling with the script to Eastenders, or Diego Maradona forced to play football for Sam Allardyce and reduced to folornly gazing at the ball as it sails over his head yet again. It’s so much more satisfying when, like here, he’s able to bash out madcap, snarling blues-soul like a mad scientist.

‘Temporary Ground’

A sweet-toothed breather, here, reminiscent of the old ramshackle porch-stomp that’s always come so easily to Jack. It’s a woozy, Dixieland-like ditty which finds Jack joined by a female country siren, the kind of track you can imagine being strummed around some old Nashville campfire decades ago, or being sung in a dusty saloon while Jack sings: “The old explorers had it easy/ They discovered nothing new.”

‘High Ball Stepper’

One of the few teasers for the album that’s been made available so far, and it’s probably the record’s four strangest (and arguably strongest) minutes: a demented instrumental with a squealing guitar that mimics an hysterical shriek, and a devil’s brew of jazzy piano and huge, Hendrix-style wig-outs.

 

A ‘Lazaretto’ is a place where sailors were kept in quarantine, and the name can be traced back to Lazarus, celebrity leper and all time king of the comeback. It’s also the name of Jack White’s new album. We’ve taken a listen to find out whether he, like Lazarus, is back stronger than ever:

‘Three Women’

Ladies and gentlemen, I bring to you… Jack White the lothario! A caddish, love-’em-and-leave-’em type with a little black book filled with the names of old flames. An extended intro of rinky-dink piano and a guitar riff that comes on like the quainter, mild-mannered cousin of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Black Dog’, before Jack hollers: “I got three women, red blonde and brunette/ It took a digital photograph to pick which one I liked.”

Of course there’s three adoring paramours – longtime White scholars will know he’s had an obsession with the magic number since the early days of The White Stripes – but a digital photograph? Doesn’t sound like the kind of fancy-dan technology that Jack would take to – perhaps he couldn’t carry around oil paintings quite so easily? There’s a tongue-in-cheek sign-off, too, as he purrs: “I know what you’re thinking, what gives you the right/ Well, these women must be getting something because they come and see me every night.” As Spinal Tap would say: You’re a saucy one, Mister Jack.

‘Lazeretto’

The title track and, as of last month, officially the world’s fastest record ever made. And ‘Lazaretto’ benefits, too, from the fact it feels so fast and loose, an extended jam session that squeezed out a rough ‘n’ ready cut that’s pitched somewhere between the dark, menacing squelch of ‘Blue Orchid’ and The Dead Weathers’ fuzzy ‘I Cut Like A Buffalo’. One of the reasons I’ve never been able to get on board with the drudgery of The Raconteurs is that their rock-by-numbers approach seems to extinguish Jack’s phosphorous-like flashes of fun – it’s like watching Al Pacino wrestling with the script to Eastenders, or Diego Maradona forced to play football for Sam Allardyce and reduced to folornly gazing at the ball as it sails over his head yet again. It’s so much more satisfying when, like here, he’s able to bash out madcap, snarling blues-soul like a mad scientist.

‘Temporary Ground’

A sweet-toothed breather, here, reminiscent of the old ramshackle porch-stomp that’s always come so easily to Jack. It’s a woozy, Dixieland-like ditty which finds Jack joined by a female country siren, the kind of track you can imagine being strummed around some old Nashville campfire decades ago, or being sung in a dusty saloon while Jack sings: “The old explorers had it easy/ They discovered nothing new.”

‘High Ball Stepper’

One of the few teasers for the album that’s been made available so far, and it’s probably the record’s four strangest (and arguably strongest) minutes: a demented instrumental with a squealing guitar that mimics an hysterical shriek, and a devil’s brew of jazzy piano and huge, Hendrix-style wig-outs.

‘Would You Fight For My Love?’

In his review of Jack’s last album, ‘Blunderbuss’, NME’s Barry Nicolson hailed it as the singer’s most revealing and personal LP yet. And until this song, ‘Lazaretto’ feels like the antithesis of that record’s relative candidness. But even on its title alone, ‘Would You Fight For My Love?’ can’t help but forge links to White’s split and divorce from ex-wife Karen Elson. It starts with a rolling drum beat and piano before Jack moans: “It’s not enough that I love you, there’s always things I have to prove to you.”

And then he’s bemoaning his broken heart, too, with a metaphor that only Jack White could think of: “Well I’m afraid of being hurt, that’s true, but not afraid of any physical pain/ Just as I’m always scared of water but not afraid of being out in the rain.” The chorus, meanwhile, erupts like an organ-blessed, raucous blues-punk take on the Spaghetti-Western material from his ‘Rome’ project. Even stripping away all the real-life context, it feels like the most heart-on-sleeve song on the album up to this point.

‘Just One Drink’

A stompy, stressy little thing which initially threatens to transform into Bowie’s ‘Suffragette City’ or the Velvet Underground’s ‘Waiting For The Man’: it’s built around that same chugging, nagging and insistent riff, but ‘Just One Drink’ is really about the flouncy piano, which gives it an almost Honky Tonk-ish feel. As with the last track, Jack’s got unrequited affection on his mind again (“I love you, but honey why don’t you love me?”), and he’s fond of guzzling harder stuff than straight-up booze. “You drink water, I drink gasoline/ One of us is happy, one of us is mean.” Well, sipping Castrol GTX will have a habit of making you cranky, Jack…

‘Alone In My Home’

Sounds like a sweetly-tempered ‘The Denial Twist’, but without the sugary sentiment to match: here, Jack thinks that if misery loves company than happiness is true isolation, and dreams of building himself his own patch of ground where everyone will bugger off and leave him be. “I’m becoming a ghost, so nobody can know me,” he pouts over another track which, again, is built around twinkling, teasing piano notes rather than guitar…

‘Entitlement’

In fact, piano has arguably been the defining focus of ‘Lazaretto’ so far. And while you might think that a disappointment, given how gifted a guitar player Jack White is, it gives the whole album a dusty, country sheen: an earthiness that suits him very well, and feels perfect for the curmudgeonly snark of ‘Entitlement’, in which gentle ivory-tinkling and an acoustic strum gives him a platform to snipe at the 21st century’s ‘everyone wins a prize’ mentality. “Whenever I’m doing just as I please/ Someone cuts me down to my knees,” he grumbles, repeating the desire from ‘Alone In My Home’ to be left to get on with it, free from prying eyes and meddling hands. What could be more country than that, eh?

‘That Black Bat Liquorice’

The hands-down winner of the ‘Best Song Title On This Album’ award, and it’s suitably batshit-sounding, too: it starts with a weird, vibrating shudder and then lurches into a tight, catchy-as-fuck guitar riff. It’s sludgy blues-rock and it’s Jack sneering and swaggering, being naughty while some stern female voices warn him to “behave yourself”, embarking on flights of fancy and mangling weird lyrical phrases together. “She’s built for speed like a black castrum doloris/ Good for the needy like Nietzche, Freud and Horace.” What does that mean? I have no idea, but it really doesn’t matter.

‘I Think I Found The Culprit’

It starts sounding like it’s been lifted from a Tarantino revenge flick: a swooping, swooning piano score, a mournful acoustic strum, Western-style sound effects which should be soundtracking a doomed sojourn across an old dustbowl. But then Jack’s quirks peak through: an odd stop-start rhythm with shuffling percussion a la ‘My Doorbell’, and Jack being undone by his own uncertainty. “Two birds sitting there perfectly still/ One of them up to no good,” he declares, but by the time the higher-pitched chorus hits, he’s trying to convince himself he’s found the guilty party more than anyone else. “I think I found the culprit/ Looks like you, it must be you.”

‘Want And Able’

And it ends with a strange sort-of sermon, which Jack recites like an old fable – although most fables don’t begin with the odd cawing of a chorus of birds. At first, it feels like a damp squib to end on – gentle, slow, and a track that meanders rather than galloping along with momentum – but then, Jack White has often favoured weird, off-kilter codas for his albums: think ‘It’s True That We Love One Another’ from ‘Elephant’, for example. And ‘Want And Able’ feels like it’s sofly reinforcing a lot of the record’s themes, too: the lulling, gentle piano, the crackle of old Nashville, and teasing out the conflict between desire and duty, trying to bring some calm and clarity to the jumble of modern life. “One said it didn’t feel so good, to never be fulfilled,” he sings. “Forever stressed out and impatient.”

Arctic Monkeys play triumphant at Finsbury Park

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Arctic Monkeys closed their two-night run at Finsbury Park with another career-spanning set yesterday (May 24).

Following performances from support acts Royal Blood, Miles Kane and Tame Impala, the Sheffield band kicked off their own performance at 9pm with three songs from their most recent album ‘AM’: ‘Do I Wanna Know?’, ‘Snap Out Of It’ and ‘Arabella’. The latter track was interpolated with riffs from Black Sabbath’s 1970 classic ‘War Pigs’.

As with their show on the previous night, the first older track the band played was ‘Brianstorm’, the opening song from their second album, 2007’s ‘Favourite Worst Nightmare’. During the evening the band revisited tracks from each of their five records but heavily favoured songs from ‘AM’, which made up almost half the setlist.

They changed the order of a few tracks from their opening night, but the only major difference was the replacement of frontman Alex Turner’s acoustic version of ‘A Certain Romance’ with Last Shadow Puppets track ‘Standing Next To Me’. The band were joined onstage for the performance by Turner’s Last Shadow Puppets collaborator Miles Kane.

The band then closed the show with another trio of ‘AM’ tracks: ‘One For The Road’, ‘I Wanna Be Yours’ and ‘R U Mine?’ Despite storms in London earlier in the day, the weather stayed dry for the band’s hour-and-a-half-long set.

Arctic Monkeys played:

‘Do I Wanna Know?’
‘Snap Out of It’
‘Arabella’
‘Brianstorm’
‘Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair’
‘Dancing Shoes’
‘Library Pictures’
‘Crying Lightning’
‘I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor’
‘She’s Thunderstorms’
‘No. 1 Party Anthem’
‘Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?’
‘Fireside’
‘Cornerstone’
‘Knee Socks’
‘Fluorescent Adolescent’
‘505’
‘Standing Next To Me’
‘One For The Road’
‘I Wanna Be Yours’
‘R U Mine?’

Jake Bugg to play London’s Alexandra Palace

Jake Bugg

Jake Bugg

 
Jake Bugg is to play five UK dates in October, including a major show at London’s Alexandra Palace – O2 Priority Tickets for that concert will be available from 9am on Wednesday May 14.

The shows are some of the largest Bugg has ever played. Following the UK run, the singer-songwriter will be supporting The Black Keys on their October/November tour of arenas in Canada and the USA.

A former US tourmate of Bugg’s, Albert Hammond Jr, recently predicted that Bugg will be a festival headliner one day. “What people see in him is just that he’s a talented guy with a great voice and as he figures himself out, I think that he’ll be able to headline,” said Hammond Jr. “He’s doing great and I don’t even need to say anything.”

Bugg is set to release a new four-track EP titled ‘Messed Up Kids’ on May 12.

Jake Bugg will play:

Cardiff Arena (October 5)
Wolverhampton Civic Hall (October 7)
Liverpool Echo 2 (October 18)
Bridlington Spa (October 20)
London Alexandra Palace (October 21)

Neil Young and Jack White to perform together on ‘The Tonight Show’ next week

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Jack White will perform together on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon next week.

The pair will chat to Fallon and perform a song from Young’s new covers album ‘A Letter Home’ on Monday (May 12). Comedian Louis CK will also appear on the episode.

Earlier this year Young released ‘A Letter Home’ on Jack White’s Third Man Records. It features covers of tracks Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, The Everly Brothers and more. Young recorded the album in a refurbished 1947 Voice-o-Graph vinyl recording booth at the Third Man shop in Nashville, Tennessee.

A statement on Young’s website describes the record as: “an unheard collection of rediscovered songs from the past recorded on ancient electro-mechanical technology captures and unleashes the essence of something that could have been gone forever”.

The ‘A Letter Home’ tracklisting is as follows:

‘Changes’ (Phil Ochs)
‘Girl From The North Country’ (Bob Dylan)
‘Needle of Death’ (Bert Jansch)
‘Early Morning Rain’ (Gordon Lightfoot)
‘Crazy’ (Willie Nelson)
‘Reason To Believe’ (Tim Hardin)
‘On The Road Again’ (Willie Nelson)
‘If You Could Read My Mind’ (Gordon Lightfoot)
‘Since I Met You Baby’ (Ivory Joe Hunter)
‘My Hometown’ (Bruce Springsteen)
‘I Wonder If I Care As Much’ (Everly Brothers)

Former Lostprophets members start new band together

2014GeoffRickly_Thursday_Getty139941650300414

Photo: Getty / NME

 
Former members of Lostprophets have started a new band together following the conviction of frontman Ian Watkins on child sex charges.

The remaining members of the band – Lee Gaze, Mike Lewis, Stuart Richardson, Jamie Oliver and Luke Johnson – are working on a new project with former Thursday frontman Jeff Rickly (pictured above).

Speaking to Rickley said that Watkins’ former bandmates “deserve a second chance” and compared the new music they have made to The Cure and New Order.

Speaking about how Watkins’ arrest and subsequent imprisonment affected his bandmates, Rickly continued: “I think if ever there was a group of people that needed a second chance, it’s those guys – and they’re going to take full advantage of it. People don’t really think of what happens to the other members. That took away their life. What happened is just devastating for them.”

Though not clear if Rickly will join the band in a musical capacity, he is working with them through his label, Collect Records. “It’s been my honour to work with them on their new band from a label perspective,” said Rickly. “People are not going to know what hit them when the new band comes out. It’s like everything I grew up on: a little bit of New Order, a little bit of Joy Division, little bit of The Cure. It’s just so forward-thinking.”

It was recently reported that Ian Watkins has applied for permission to appeal against the length of his jail term for child sex offences, which include the attempted rape of a baby.

The singer was given a 29-year jail sentence at the end of last year (December 18) and will spend a further six years on license after pleading guilty to 13 sexual offences.

This guy is totally sick!

The Killers to play Glasgow Summer Sessions

The Killers

The Killers

 
The band will play Bellahouston Park on August 19, with support from The Courteeners and Miles Kane. Tickets for the event go sale at 9am on April 25. The band are the first to be announced for the series of concerts set to take place in the city this summer. Last year saw shows from the likes of Eminem, Tinie Tempah, Avicci and Kings Of Leon.

 
Speaking about the show, Geoff Ellis, CEO of DF Concerts & Events has commented: “The Killers’ performance at T in the Park last year was incredible. We’re thrilled to welcome them back to Scotland as part of Glasgow Summer Sessions, especially with such brilliant special guests in Courteeners and Miles Kane. We have some more big acts and dates to announce over the next few months so once again Glasgow Summer Sessions will be one of the hottest tickets of the summer”.

Meanwhile, The Killers will also headline Tennent’s Vital 2014 on August 21 at Boucher Road Playing Fields in Belfast as well as V Festival over the weekend of August 16-17 in Hylands Park, Chelmsford and Weston Park, Staffordshire.