Kasabian – Radio 1’s Hackney Weekend 2012 review


“Point your hands to the sky, and pray it doesn’t rain!” – While Tom Meighan might have plenty of Liam-esque swagger, he’s obviously still not arrogant enough to think he can control the weather.

Or maybe he can, as an opening ‘Switchblade Smile’ suits the gathering dark clouds perfectly, with sinister synths doing battle with brutal bass. What follows is a perfectly chosen quick-fire Greatest Hits set, with an urgent ‘Days Are Forgotten’ followed by a crunching ‘Club Foot’. Well, if there was ever an event to play all your radio hits, it would be today, right?

The Tom ‘N’ Serge show rolls on, with a delightfully stupid ‘Velociraptor’ – “He’s gonna kill ya, he gonna eat ya!” chorus and all – and a stomping ‘Empire’ snaring not just their own fans down at the front, but the punters hanging around a bit further from them waiting for Jay-Z.

It’s testament to the strength of the Hackney Weekend’s line-up that a string of acts waiting to headline huge events in their own right later on in the year – Leicester’s finest joining the likes of Florence, deadmau5 and Swedish House Mafia in the that category – are on a bit earlier than usual, but Kasabian have got it right here today, using their shorter-than-normal time on stage to simply just play the ones everyone knows.

‘L.S.F.’ and a celebratory ‘Fire’ are the picks of a latter half of a successful stint, this set laying the foundation for one that will surely slay Reading & Leeds when they top the bill there in August. Not only that, new converts are won, with more than a few “good, aren’t they?”-style comments from those making their way to the front to get the best view of Jay, and those heading off the other way to watch Jack White or Swedish House Mafia. Job done, then.