Review – Kasabian Live! (Film) – Odeon, Edinburgh (30/5/12) (The Edinburgh Reporter)

Everyone seems to be at it. After the success of The Chemical Brothers ‘Don’t Think’ cinema release, more and more bands seem to want a bit of a red carpet moment to launch their concert DVDs.

Kasabian, a band with countless gongs for their live shows, have followed suit. Filmed at the O2 on the last night of their 2011 Velociraptor! tour, it showcases exactly what the band are about – exhilarating vocals, napalm guitars and drums that they can hear in Valhalla.

In cinemas for one night only (their sound systems can breathe a sigh of relief) it follows the traditional concert film template. No interviews, no build-up, just straight to business. Lesser bands would struggle to hold the audience’s attention in this format but Kasabian’s visceral playing and outstanding back catalogue leaves the cinema captivated.

Anybody that’s been to one of their gigs knows the mayhem that ensues when they take the stage. This film gives you an insight into the whole picture of the performance, some of which you might have missed whilst jumping around like a madman.

The main thing the audience will take away from this birds-eye viewing will be the enjoyment the band clearly have in playing. Serge jumps about like a madman. Tom is forever playing the air guitar just like thousands in the crowd do. In fact, the front man even throws in a costume change (well, his jacket anyway) to keep the more observant of fans happy. Who says boys from Leicester don’t know what showbiz is ?

Naturally the tunes are fantastic. They are played, and come across, as exquisitely as one now expects from Kasabian. ‘Days Are Forgotten’ gets the riot started, ‘Velociraptor’ sounds as nuts as it does on record before ‘I.D’ brings a sense of serene calm to the eye of the storm.

It does not last. ‘Club Foot’ and ‘Re-Wired’ kick like a mid-set shot of adrenalin. Things take on an emotional angle when Tom starts a mass sing-a-long of ‘Happy Birthday’ to celebrate Serge’s birthday. ‘La Fee Verte’ continues this touching thread before ‘Fast Fuse’ goes off like a keg of dynamite.

After a cheeky rendition of ‘Jingle Bells’ it’s the touching ‘Goodbye Kiss’ and then the colossal ‘L.S.F’. Any band that has the bottle to play this mammoth sing-a-long before the encore are clearly at the height of their powers.

Obligatory stage departure taken, it’s the dark and brooding ‘Switchblade Smiles’ and ‘Vlad The Impaler’ to warm the crowd up for the supernova that is ‘Fire’. If there’s a song that has enshrined itself into the British public more this century I’d like to hear it. From the beginnings of the rumbling bass to the final drum beat, the band have the audience in the palm of their hand. Tom even manages to get the whole of the O2 to sit down in preparation for the final surge of the chorus.

This film will make you want to go and see them live. It expertly transfers the brilliance of the band and energy of the crowd to the audience and leaves you wanting more. It won’t win any Oscars but it will definitely show you a good time.

Mark McKinlay

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