Return of the King: New-look Kasabian ignite O2 Academy Leeds

It is rare to see the mighty Kasabian in such an intimate atmosphere, as they have belonged at the summit of festival bills and sold out huge arena tours in the past. Yet, three years on from their last tour, their first offering without ex-frontman Tom Meighan proved to be nothing short of spectacular.

As has been heavily rumoured amidst the band’s social media silence this past year, guitarist Sergio Pizzorno has assumed frontman duties for the foreseeable future, and if there were any doubters – they have been instantly silenced. 

Opening with the timeless ‘Club Foot’, Serge darted around the stage with an energy even the crowd struggled to match at times throughout the night. That roaring bassline that rumbled through O2 Academy Leeds epitomises the Kasabian live show of old – magnificent, bold and wild. 

‘He’s one of your own’ affirms Serge as he introduces Leeds veteran Rob Harvey, as the frontman of The Music now accompanies Kasabian as part of their touring lineup. The additional layers ensured no volume or wow factor was lost from their live show, and the band pressed on with hit after hit. ‘Underdog’ and ‘Empire’ caused absolute pandemonium in the pit whilst Serge’s voice offered a breath of fresh air on items such as ‘Pinch Roller’ and ‘God Bless This Acid House’.

Whilst any new material was kept unseen, the band’s cryptic polka dot staging and instrument design teased signs of an imminent new project that is perhaps in the works. A more concrete conclusion from the night, however, is that Kasabian have propelled into their new era with absolute certainty that they will remain at the pinnacle of UK live music for decades to come.