The Stage Went Dark, and the Packed Victoria Warehouse Erupted
Tonight it was the brilliant Victoria Warehouse for the Leicester Indie kings Kasabian, but before we got to the main event, the night was to be kicked off by the hugely vibed, London 4 piece The Skinner Brothers and ‘Cards on the table’ like many I was there for Kasabian, The Skinner Brothers weren’t on my radar. Murmings on the way into the gig suggested my head must of been in the clouds for these lot to have escaped me for so long.
A brief encounter before the gig with Alfie Clayton (the bands drummer) set the tone. Half an hour before opening for Kasabian in front of a packed out venue and he had just nipped to the coop for a meal deal…I liked his style, I was gonna enjoy these guys!
Cut to and after a nicely put together DJ set the Skinner Brothers bounced on to the stage, The band Oozed with coolness, Zachary Charles Skinner (the bands lead singer) has a resemblance of ACDC’s Angus Young but with more of a peaky blinders flavour, and the rest of the brothers skinner carried a Mod type vibe. They looked excited but relaxed and delighted to be banging the tunes out with their mates.
From the opening bars the set had a feel good buzz, a Friday night feeling. A group of mates having fun signing about normal stuff, drinking, fighting, football and i even think fifa also got a mention. These were my type of lads. They reminded me a little of the ordinary boys, which was a welcome blast from the past.
A lovely Punchy bass line carried along the melody’s and set the foundations for Viola Beach/Artic Monkeyish tinkling on the lead guitar. The clever and provocative lyrics delivered by Zachary completed the package. His gravely voice is welcomingly different and has a slight resemblance of punk of old, like if Tim Armstrong of Rancid drank a load of full fat cream and sang indie tunes with a London accent.
A personal favourite from the well crafted set was the anthem type tune ‘Away days’ you could clearly see the band enjoyed smashing this out as much as the quickly forming crowd enjoyed the visual images evoked by Zachary’s lyrics. We quickly learnt the shouty bits and took great pleasure in bawling them back at the stage.
‘Iconic’ was another gem, again a collective of smart lyrics with the sing along bits wedged into place just where you want them to be. All sat on the shoulders of a big dirty base riff.
Impressively the mob culture aura The Skinner Brother’s set had conjured , got the crowd (myself included) feeling a real sense of belonging, us against them, part of the gang, one of the lads!
Now head as been most definitely removed from the clouds, i cannot wait to once again be teaming up with my new found brotherhood for an ‘Away Day ‘to watch the Skinner Brothers at one of their own headline gigs.
So now it was time for the acid test (or the acid house test if you like), Kasabian’s guitarist, songwriter, and producer Serge Pizzorno was about to take centre stage and take up the microphone and singing duties from former frontman Tom Meighan, a man who was integral to what made Kasabian Kasabian.
What would Kasabian be without Tom? Worse? Better? The same but different? Well, the next hour was going to answer those questions and maybe even raise a few more.
The stage went dark, and the packed Victoria Warehouse erupted, and it was time. Striding on stage with the confidence and an air of destiny fulfilled, dressed in full camouflage gear, Serge picked up the microphone and the band launched into the opening bars of “Clubfoot”. The roar from the crowd was deafening.
Serge was like a man possessed. He knows that at every show on this tour he will be judged and compared to the iconic frontman that went before him. He knows. He prowled and bounced across the stage like a man who had done nothing but drink Red Bull all day and Kasabian has never sounded better.
For all intents and purposes, this was very much a greatest hits show. Every song a banger and to be honest I’m not sure the band needed a frontman at all, as the crowd seemed to sing every word to pretty much every song; sometimes it was even hard to hear Serge’s vocals at all. What a beautiful thing to behold!
As the band rolled out all the hits the packed-out crowd wanted to hear, “Underdog”, “You’re in Love with A Psycho”, “Empire”, “LSF”, “Vlad The Impaler”, “Switchblade Smiles”, there was nothing about Kasabian’s performance that wasn’t confident to the core, and one point the newly crowned king for a day Serge commanded the crowd to get down low, and they willingly obliged.
And as the evening hit full throttle, the whole venue had this amazing festival feeling of joy and love, people on shoulders, dancing at the back, mosh pit at the front and this is exactly what Kasabian do time after time after time.
There is not much that can be said about Kasabian that hasn’t been said before. They are iconic and firmly carved into British music history and folk law and with nights and performances like tonight that is exactly where they will stay.
So final word on the matter that started this review, was Tom missed? Yes in my eyes he was, for all his failings he was still a very important part of the legacy that Kasabian have built. Did it make a difference? NO, it didn’t, Kasabian ripped the roof off the Victoria Warehouse and Serge showed us, as far as front men go, he is right up there with the best of them. Nice one!!!
1/ Club Foot
2/ Ill Ray (The King)
4/ You’re in Love with a Psycho
6/ Shoot The Runner
9/ Pinch Roller
10/ Treat (Included a snippet of Sweet Dreams by Eurythmics)
12/ Switchblade Smiles
13/ Vlad the Impaler
14/ Bless This Acid House
16/ L. S.F. (Lost Souls Forever)
The Skinner Brothers review by Matty Bez and Kasabian Review by Desh Kapur
All Photos Desh Kapur Photography
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