Music review: Kasabian, Hydro, Glasgow

Tracks from new album The Alchemist’s Euphoria were well received, but Kasabian’s back catalogue big hitters nearly brought the house down, writes Malcolm Jack

Kasabian, The Hydro, Glasgow ****

Lairy electro-rockers Kasabian on Bonfire Night in Glasgow – what could possibly go wrong? Four songs in, as the Leicester band’s guitarist and newly-promoted lead vocalist Sergio “Serge” Pizzorno sounded the grizzled fuzztone riff of Underdog, an eerie red glow illuminated the Hydro as a concert-goer lit a flare, somehow snuck in past tight security, before lobbing it into the heart of the crowd.

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Someone could easily have been badly hurt. Instead, another brazen fan picked the flare up and brandished it triumphantly aloft, as if he had just invented fire, to the worshipful roar of his peers.

Kasabian PIC: Neil Bedford
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Firmly back from the brink, following the sharp and comprehensive exit of frontman Tom Meighan in 2020, the day before he pleaded guilty in court to assaulting his former fiancée, Kasabian have returned to business as usual – inciting bedlam in the biggest rooms in the land.

Their swift revival has been helped no end by the fact that an obvious replacement for Meighan was so close at hand in Pizzorno – the band’s leader, songwriter and sometimes vocalist.

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Rising to the occasion both sartorially (comically oversized quilted coat; giraffe-like yellow-and-black tracksuit), and in terms of his frenetic performance style – throwing his wiry 6ft 4in frame around the stage, whipping up the crowd into ever wilder states of abandon – his ascendancy to frontman has an air of destiny about it.

Kasabian wore their influences on their sleeves, whether that was mega-mixing Daft Punk’s One More Time into the outro of You’re In Love With A Psycho or blending a stripped back Processed Beats with the riff from the Stone Roses’ Waterfall.

Tracks from new album The Alchemist’s Euphoria were well received, but the back catalogue big hitters nearly brought the house down. The melody of LSF (Lost Souls Forever) was bellowed wordlessly by the crowd long after the song had ended, before the final pyrotechnic assault – purely figurative this time, thankfully – of the anthemic Fire.