Forbidden Fruit is barely days away, and the range of bands point towards a great weekend of live music.
But what every festival needs is an epic band to unite and rock the crowd from the front to the back and, in Kasabian, the organisers have certainly hit that mark by booking the Leicester groove rockers to close out Saturday night.
Their blend of indie power pop has put them firmly on every festival’s wishlist since 2004, their swagger allowing them to take the throne that Oasis had tenuously clung to since Morning Glory, particularly on their last two albums, West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum and 2011’s Velociraptor.
But the live arena is where Kasabian come to vivid life, and talking to Gazette Music last week, lead singer Tom Meighan was thrilled at the prospect of returning to the stage, despite having meant to have been on hiatus.
“We are only doing so many gigs this year, as we are meant to be taking time out.
“But we got the offer of these gigs, and they are too good to pass up, as we want to stay oiled. We don’t want to stay away forever. Some bands take a two or three year break, and I don’t like that idea. Even a year out frightens me a little bit, but we got the offer, and we took it.”
Tom said that he sees the shows as a process of charging the band’s batteries ahead of a return to the studio.
“That’s the whole point of doing these gigs. It’s keeping people interested, and we have a new guitarist in the band now, and the future is looking good.”
Guitarist Jay Maher departed from the good ship Kasabian for a spot with Liam Gallagher’s Beady Eye, something that Tom sees as a positive and understandable thing.
“Jay just loves playing his guitar and being on the road, and we only have eight shows this year. He wants to be out there, and Liam asked him to join, and we were totally supportive of that. He’s one of our brothers and he’s gone to a great band. We know all that lot, and it’s cool. Two months off is too much for him, and I’m kind of the same.”
The process of coming up with new music is something that is never far away from the band’s minds, according to Tom.
“Serge always has ideas, and he’s always writing. He never stops getting ideas, which is great, and he has a studio at his house, so we can always work on new music and record on our terms.
“He just shows us on guitar these new ideas, or gives us a CD, and that’s how we work.
“With new songs, we are always trying to change our ideas and not do what we did before. I’ve heard the songs, but I can’t really describe how they sound. It’s too early to say at the moment, and I don’t want to give anything away.
“We are going to be recording a new album this year, this summer for sure, and going to have something ready to come out next year, we’ll be on fire again.”
And coming back to Ireland to play is always a joy for the band.
“I like the passion and the people, I love the way that the crowds react. The crowds in Ireland are the best in the world, that’s just the way they are.”
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