Are Kasabian Britain's biggest rock 'n' roll band?
What’s On has a Kasabian profile ahead of Blended Dubai 2015. See pictures and videos ahead of the music festival in Dubai Media City.
When English rock band Kasabian were snubbed at this year’s Brit Awards in favour of pop acts such as X Factor finalists One Direction, they sent a few strong words the boy band’s way.
“They’re five no-ones who won the lottery,” sniped lead vocalist Tom Meighan. “They’re massive, but they’re a product, we’re not. They’re like shampoo. You buy it to put it in your hair and wash it out, like the Spice Girls.”
To be fair, Kasabian do have the credentials to take a swing at One Direction. Their latest album, the electro-rock 48:13, is their fourth consecutive UK number one album and they also headlined one of the biggest music festivals in the world in Glastonbury.
Formed in 1997 as Britpop-obsessed teens, Leicester lads Tom Meighan, guitarist/vocalist Sergio Pizzorno, guitarist Christopher Karloff and bassist Chris Edwards originally called their fledgling foursome Saracuse before changing it to their current moniker, inspired by Linda Kasabian, a member of the 1960s Charles Manson cult. “Christopher just thought the word was cool,” explains Edwards.
They were signed six years later, but it was their 2004 single, Club Foot, that put Kasabian on the rock radar, going viral via a combination of movie trailers, television themes and video game soundtracks such as Tony Hawk’s Project 8.
During the recording of their second album, 2005’s Empire, they parted ways with Christopher Karloff because, according to Tom, Christopher’s life on the road clashed with his commitments to his fiancée. He was quickly replaced by drummer Ian Matthews. The title track from that album, Empire stayed in the top ten for four weeks.
Arguably Kasabian’s biggest year was 2009. Their third effort, West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum, included their smash hit Fire, the dark call-to-arms Underdog and the manic funk track Vlad The Impaler, all of which contributed to Kasabian’s Mercury Prize nomination and their win for Best Group at the 2010 Brit Awards (luckily for them, One Direction didn’t exist yet).
Today, Kasabian have a massive following around the world and are chased by fashion labels and car companies to endorse their products. Although they’ve earned a reputation as one of the best live bands of a generation, they’re still coming to terms with success. “I still have dreams none of this happened,’ smiles Tom. “It’s weird.”
April 30 to May 1
Blended Festival, Media City Amphitheatre, Dubai Media City, Dhs395. Metro: Nakheel. blended.ae