Live Review: Kasabian supported by Cabbage at Newport Centre, 15th April 2017.

Kasabian Mix IT All UpOn hearing that Kasabian were off to Wales and how their Cardiff gig back in 2014 was definitely one of my favourite gigs of all time, I had to get tickets to their Newport gig, despite the £50 price-tag. Kasabian have always been worth the money in my opinion and I considered this to be a one off, seeing as it was an album warm-up and all, I was intrigued to hear the new tracks live after having been sceptical so far.

My first thoughts on Cabbage (ignoring all recent allegations)? Poor man’s Fat White Family. Their music was alright, the lyrics were completely and utterly off-putting. But not in a loudmouth, cock-sure way, a vile way and they’re not exactly anything new either. It’s a shame, because I did actually like two of their songs, they were just a let down live.

Kasabian Mix IT All UpThankfully, Kasabian came on soon enough. One thing that I did miss this time around, was the count down clock which was a staple across all of their 48:13 shows and increased the suspense before hand. I guess that’s a thing of the past, despite the fact that it’s appeared on most of their e-mails regarding the ‘For Crying Out Loud’ album so far.

The band opened with first single ‘You’re In Love With a Psycho’ taken from their upcoming album. Despite my reservations about the track, it actually went down far better live than I would have expected! This was the same across half of the new tracks they played, with ‘Bless This Acid House’ making far more sense live. The live debut of ‘Put Your Life On It’ wasn’t exactly thrilling either.

Kasabian Mix IT All UpA recently revived ‘La Fee Verte’ saw Tom leave Serge to it for the entirety of the track. It was a breath of fresh air against the otherwise predictable setlist crammed full of just their hits among new tracks. A smaller setlist of just 17 tracks, but enough to prove that Kasabian can write a banger and a hugely dynamic live track when needed, ‘Underdog’, ‘Eez-Eh’, ‘Vlad The Impaler’ and ‘Empire’ just to name a few. It was a less energetic set throughout with less of Serge jumping around, but at least Tom’s charismatic, swagger-filled performance was still pretty much on point.

Another thing I missed from Kasabian’s live set was their four-piece orchestra/choir’s that they had across their last tour. I thought this was a classy addition which gave a unique edge to their live performances and brought tracks with string sections to life. Quite a few fell flat without it, but there was an impressive effort to replicate it in ‘Stevie’.

Also, does Fire really work as a closing track? Personally, I didn’t think so, even if people were still singing LSF down the street afterwards… While I’m also thinking about LSF though, it took me a minute or two to recognise it without the intro cover of Praise You on the beginning!

Kasabian Mix IT All UpOne last thing that I should mention though…We all heard about the paperless ticketing issues at Birmingham o2 which was the last Kasabian gig before Newport, right? Newport were completely on it and their service was actually commendable. Despite some ticket confusion, the venue and Ticketmaster worked incredibly efficiently together.

As good as it was to see Kasabian live again, it was average at best for them and if anything the least impressive out of the five times I’ve seen them. For a band of their calibre, for the price of the ticket, I was (maybe wrongly) expecting more from them! I’d be intrigued to see them again following the album release, but everything I’ve seen so far isn’t exactly extraordinary.

Have you seen Kasabian over the past two weeks or are you set to see them soon? What do you think?

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