Who are these Kasabian guys, anyway?

By Crystal Gleeson

We’ve all done it. We’ve all played Rock Band at a party with just a little too much swag, picking up that shiny toy guitar with the coloured frets and imagining ourselves shredding under iridescent stage lights for a moshing crowd. Despite the fact that you knew you were just playing a game, you still felt like a badass.

That surge of excitement is what thrills four-piece English rock group Kasabian about touring North America for the first time in five years, complete with a stop in Calgary.

Although the band is very popular in Europe, they have yet to reach the same level of success in North America. Rather than take this as a blow to their rocker egos, the members of Kasabian are embracing this opportunity.

“You become successful doing well, but there is a part that will always miss those innocent buildings and going to a venue where you can’t move on stage.”

“It’s pure chaos, and you do miss that, and we get that back,” frontman Tim Meighan explains.

Touring in our neck of the woods far away from their massive European fan base takes Kasabian back to a time when they were cheeky, foul-mouthed youngsters clad in leather and ripped jeans.

Meighan admits, “I miss being some dirty little kid in a band.”

The North American tour is to promote the band’s fourth and latest album, Velociraptor!. Instead of building on their previously established sound, the album takes the band in an entirely new direction.

Velociraptor! is an eclectic mix of gritty rock and electronic dance, with a pinch of ’60s groove. Songs like “Days Are Forgotten” and “Let’s Roll Just Like We Used To” are pumped full of catchy vocals and take-charge instrumentals.

The obvious disparities between the fundamental sounds of their albums push Kasabian’s raw image up a few notches, while showing their innately rebellious nature.

Creating music is what the members of Kasabian live for, and this is most clearly evident at their live shows. They have been making music as a band since 1997, yet their charismatic stage presence and genuine enthusiasm has refused to dull.

Meighan maintains that gigs will always be an incredible experience. “The world’s a fucking mental place. It’s fucked up in so many ways, but just for that hour and a half you can go into a room and get lost in the music and that’s such an amazing thing.”

Now the boys of Kasabian are looking forward to transporting Canadian fans from the cold, harsh realities of the real world to a state of musical delirium. The band finds Canadian concertgoers’ lack of qualms and inhibitions reminiscent of their British followers.

What better way to forget about the stresses of looming exams than to get lost in the music of Kasabian? One would be hard-pressed to think of a more enriching escape.

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