Friday night’s concert at Dubai’s 7he Sevens was a rare one – and not because there are no gigs at the venue (coming up next: Duran Duran and The Eagles).
It was unusual for a concert in the UAE because a) Kasabian are not hip-hop artists but a guitar-led indie band; and b) they are not regular chart toppers.
That is a good thing among many music loving folk, for whom chart success isn’t necessarily an indication of quality.
Kasabian haven’t got a new top ten hit every week? Great! Leave it to Katy Perry. No flames shooting off the stage? All yours, Metallica. What they did have was their psychedelic-electronica-indie rock sound, conversation-worthy hair (more on that later) and a few thousand fans wrapped around their little finger.
That’s not to say that Kasabian are not successful in their own field – their last album, Velociraptor! [punctuation correct] went straight to No1 in the UK, their home territory.
“We’re from Leicester,” lead singer Tom Meighan reminded the crowd. “And we do have Walkers crisps backstage.” (The English city is the home of the potato crisp brand. How’s that for backstage demands?) They played the title track from that album, their fourth, as the third song on their Dubai setlist.
By that time, the notoriously reticent Dubai crowd had warmed up, much to Meighan’s relief, and began to enjoy themselves as much as the band clearly were (rarely have we seen a more joyful live drummer than the super-smiley Ian Matthews).
In between crowd favourites Club Foot (one of their earliest successes) and the shout-along “Hit me! Hit me!”chorus of Re-Wired, crowd debate (well, among the female contingent at least) touched on whether lead guitarist and songwriter Serge Pizzoro’s hair was actually hair, or a hat, and whether Meighan looks better without the long hair (let’s put an end to that debate, and say, no). One sign bobbing among the water-lobbing crowd said “Serge you rock my socks off”. Coming back to encore with Vlad The Impaler and Fire, we’d say they all did.
Here’s hoping the success of this show convinces promoters, including Done Events, who brought Kasabian to Dubai after their performances last week in Australia and Singapore, to do more of the same.