Live Review: Kasabian & The Maccabees at Leeds Arena

Kasabian and The Maccabees
First Direct Arena, Leeds
21st November 2014

The Maccabees played a great set after nearly year off the road spent in a studio making their next album. Playing a set made up of a good selection of their 3 albums to date with the likes of ‘Feel To Follow’, ‘First Love’ and ‘Wall Of Arms’ all being played. The band placed a few new songs in the set, all of which went down very well with the decent sized crowd that had turned up to see them. One track in particular, ‘Spit It Out’, builds up from ambient and haunting beautiful beginnings with just echoey noise and Orlando Weeks vocals taking the fore before crashing into a grungy, post punk style track which saw Garbage mixed with My Bloody Valentine, it’s a great track that will captivate you entirely dragging you into their brilliant sound. If these are all the basis of their new album then it will be a good one indeed. Finishing up on one of their biggest tracks ‘Pelican’ saw the crowd singing along and dancing to the upbeat melodies and faster tempo well and truly getting them warmed up for Kasabian and seeing the South London boys leave the stage to plenty of cheers.

Kasabian entered the stage in a manner reminiscent of their killer Glastonbury set this summer with the timer counting down to their entrance and as soon as the lights went down the cheers started. Walking on they were straight into ‘Bumblebee’ taken from their new album which pleased many in the audience. Moving on to their back catalogue instantly by playing ‘Shoot The Runner’, ‘Underdog’ and ‘Where Did All The Love Go?’ in quick succession, bringing in the older fans and giving them their time to shine. With so many big songs played within their first four tracks it shows just how many big singles this British band have in their armoury. The setlist was a strong mix of old classics from big single releases and anthemic album tracks set against the newer, more dance fuelled songs; a sound that has clearly won the band many new fans with plenty of people going more mad for those new songs than the older ones. Kasabian’s sound may have changed over the past few years but fundamentally they are still a great rock band that knows how to put on a brilliant live show, completely owning any stage they end up on, and whether you like their new sound or not you can’t take that away from them. ‘Switchblade Smiles’, ‘Empire’ and brilliant live track ‘Fire’ finish off the main set as the band leave the stage triumphantly before returning without lead singer Tom Meighan, instead letting guitarist Serge take centre stage with the track ‘Stevie’, which was by far the best track played from the new album tonight, with its great vocals, calmer atmosphere and the wonderful vibe it created in the arena. Tom returned to the stage for the final hurrah which included the wonderfully huge ‘Vlad the Impaler’ and a great cover of Fatboy Slim’s ‘Praise You’ which lead into final track of the night ‘L.S.F. (Lost Souls Forever)’. A track whose massive anthemic nature ended the night perfectly with the crowd going suitably mad one last time with a jumping floor and big sing along’s that rang all around the huge space. With that the band were gone after a great set that has seen them yet again cement their place as one of the best rock bands in the UK right now.


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