Hi everybody. It’s been a while since I last wrote, and having just stumbled across a couple of pictures on my laptop, I felt compelled to tell you about an event that happened a year and a half ago. This was an event that would change my life. I’ve always loved music; I love indie and alternative rock. Bands who make their own music and put a bit of effort in, rather than using a computer to make a repetitive and annoying sound. However, until September 2007, I’d never been to a proper concert. A few weeks before though, I’d ensured that this would change.
News filtered through to me that Kasabian, my favourite band, would be playing at Grimsby Auditorium, just down the road. A fairly small and intimate venue; this could be the perfect way to break me into the music gig scene.
I hammered the keys on my keyboard, and pulled up a ticket dealing website, and typed in the band’s name. Up it came. I booked the maximum 4 tickets, and up came the payment page. ‘Please enter your card details…’ I had five minutes to input my details, or my tickets would be given to somebody else. I lunged at my bedside table and tugged it open. Disaster. No card. I’d still not been sent my replacement after losing mine on holiday just weeks before! What was I to do?
I grabbed my mobile phone, and bashed at the keypad, my heart beating. Would my dream date with my idols be snatched away from me in the cruellest fashion. My mate answered his phone, and was confronted with a whirlwind explanation from me that he had to help me out. He was a fan too, and said he’d get on it right away. Moments later came a text from said mate: ‘Got them.’ That was it. We were going to see Kasabian.
We’ll now skip to the night. 15th September 2007. The excitement surged inside of me. I was the designated driver, and we all crammed into my ageing Ford Fiesta, and begun our journey. We arrived in good time, and made it inside the auditorium in time for the support act. We were right in the thick of it; front row. The band that opened were not bad, but nothing really stands in the memory apart from their inebriated singer falling off an amp during his set.
As they went off, anticipation built. My heroes would be out on the stage soon.
Suddenly, the lights went out. A spotlight hit the stage. Several softer lights came on. And out walked Ian Matthews, Kasabian’s drummer. A roar of appreciation went up, and he was soon joined by Jason Mehler, a guitarist for live shows, and bassist Chris Edwards. Three of the five were there. They begun playing a psychedelic instrumental called ‘Stay Away From The Brown Acid’. The buzzing atmosphere was then doubled as another figure made his way onto the stage and begun playing his scarlet red Rickenbacker guitar. Sergio Pizzorno. Dressed in black trousers, a red and white thinly hooped top, and a trilby hat, he was the epitome of cool. He was my hero.
The excitement of all in attendance was tangible, and soon the place went ballistic. The lead singer, Tom Meighan emerged from the backstage, sunglasses on, and stood before his adoring followers with both hands in the air.
‘Come on!’, he shouted, as the band’s instantly recognisable hit ‘Shoot The Runner’ blared into life. We were thrown forward at force as the fans jumped around like crazed lunatics. An incredible opening to the show. The band played up to the crowd, and put on an incredible show, performing most of their hits and leaving the stage to a spine-tingling ovation. I’d thoroughly enjoyed it, yet perhaps my mood was a little dejected. They’d left out a couple of their songs; ones that I really had been looking forward to seeing.
And then my mood was lifted once more. The band re-emerged for a stunning encore. They played a couple more album tracks, and then the stunning ‘Club Foot’, before ending with a hair-raising version of ‘L.S.F.’ which had the whole crowd singing along.
2 hours of brilliance, from a truly mesmerising live band. As they left the stage for the final time, this time I felt complete. My taxi duty had restricted my alcohol intake, yet I felt as though I’d had ten pints. I was soaked in mine and other people’s sweat, my legs ached, and I’d lost my voice. Yet I couldn’t care less, because at that moment in time, all I could think about was the stunning display of musical artistry I’d just witnessed.
As I drove home, and for the days and weeks after, I was thirsting for more concert action. Would I ever witness anything like it again?
I’ve been to plenty more since, all of them fantastic in their own special way. But there was something about that night in Grimsby that made me fall in love with Kasabian that little bit more. I’ll see them again in June, along with The Enemy as they support Oasis on their stadium tour. What a day that promises to be…