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Live Review: Kasabian, August 12 @ Eatons Hill Hotel

Words by Scenewave Australia - Published on August 13, 2014

Since the release of their eponymous debut album in 2004, Kasabian have become a defining band of our generation, and their stomping, distinctly British brand of rock has seen them win international acclaim. 48:13, Kasabian’s fifth album, sees the band delve into slightly new territory, incorporating more layered electronic elements into their music, while maintaining a unique, often futuristic sound which wouldn’t be out of place blasting from stadium speakers. Last night was the final show of their Australian tour and, supported by Melbourne’s The Delta Riggs, they put on one of the finest live performances I’ve ever had the pleasure of witnessing.

Many would argue that The Delta Riggs are very much an average Australian rock band. But there’s something about their inherent rock ‘n’ roll sensibility and genuine enthusiasm for music that makes them so appealing. Their set was comprised of songs from 2013’s Hex.Lover.Killer as well as new material from their sophomore LP, slated for release in September. Since seeing The Delta Riggs at BIGSOUND last year – where frontman Elliott Hammond chose to pour his beer across his keyboard in an unrivalled display of apathy – the band’s presence has grown substantially. They now manage to expertly balance great poise and musicianship with Hammond stumbling around, swinging his microphone and trying on various hats. Highlights included America, Rah Rah Radio and their superb new single, The Record’s Flawed.

Half an hour later, and a low, insistent buzzing sound fills the room, soon accompanied by a sort of wavering electronic warble. This is (shiva), the opening track of Kasabian’s latest album, 48:13. Tom Meighan, sporting a set of white-framed, oversized sunglasses and a tartan blazer, strides onto the stage behind his band-mates, waves briefly to the crowd, and grabs his microphone. (shiva) reaches its apex. Then all hell breaks loose. bumblebeee.

Without skipping a beat, Kasabian launch into Shoot the Runner, immediately setting the precedent for their entire set. ‘How the fook are ya, Brisbane?’ Meighan yells to his eager fans. He and Noel Fielding Sergio Pizzorno are just as dynamic live as you would expect. They draw energy from one another; Meighan leads the crowd in karaoke-like sing-alongs, while Pizzorno, the band’s main songwriter, moves between guitar, synth and keys, never failing to provide a well-timed ‘Oof!’ in Club Foot or some choice dance moves in the instrumental breakdown of treat.

Kasabian’s set flowed beautifully; it never lulled, peaked at all the right moments and reflected a band that has truly mastered its craft. All five albums were given a nod throughout the night, with highlights including Underdog, Empire and eez-eh. In a touching moment late in the set, Meighan offered an emotional dedication to the late Robin Williams, before launching into a cover of Fatboy Slim’s Praise You (‘I need to celebrate you, Robin’). This flowed seamlessly into L.S.F., which, predictably, the crowd lapped up.

After 80 minutes of deafening , high-energy tunes, the band left the stage. They returned moments later to the pounding electro opening of Switchblade Smiles, with Meighan wearing a different set of party glasses and a black denim jacket with ‘The Delta Riggs’ emblazoned across the back. Next came Vlad the Impaler and perhaps the best song of the night, Fire, for which the lads from The Delta Riggs were pulled up on stage to sing along. It was the perfect end to a flawless set, one that I cannot rate highly enough.

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