Every year for Kasabian just seems to bring more success. The band’s recent album ‘For Crying Out Loud’ was a huge fan favourite, surging up the charts and sparking a lengthy period of international touring.
Playing just about every continent on the planet, frontman Tom Meighan is now looking forward to a good wholesome family Christmas.
“Our touring schedule has been grueling,” he tells Clash. “It's been unbelievable but it's stopped now, so we're home for Christmas.”
‘To be honest with you, we really stepped up a gear,” Tom continues. “It’s on another level. Just playing, the reaction from the crowd and everything. It's never been better to be honest.”
A band with a dogged following, each Kasabian live show feels like an event, creating an energy that transfers from the crowd to the band themselves. “I can't name you one rock band that has the fucking energy and a crowd like that, I can guarantee you,” he insists. “There's not one out there that touches on that.”
“By the end of the gig, I think everyone had goes crazy. They lose their mind. We hypnotise them. Do you understand what I mean? It's weird, but by the end of the show, everyone is just crazy.”
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Prolonged periods on the road produce their own rituals, with Kasabian build a pre-show routine to help them relax and find focus. It’s served them well, recently finishing year another mammoth UK bout at London’s epic O2 Arena.
“We say a little prayer,” he reveals. “Have a little hug, have a chat, put some music on. Get into the vibe and on we go. That's literally it, what we do.”
The concentration required by touring means that Kasabian tend to shut away the outside world, forming their own little universe. That said, Tom has had time to check out Slaves – “My favourite band ever!” – and albums by both sides of the Gallagher divide.
“We did the Alan Carr Show with Noel the other day, so that's quite funny,” he explains. “I've seen Liam, wished him well and patted him on the back. I've seen him in Japan, so he's doing his thing and I'm happy for him you know. So, it’s all good.”
That said Tom refuses to name his album of the year. “Um, ours!” he responds, before breaking out into uncontrollable laughter. “There you go, you can't say more than that can you? I'm not going to fucking vote for anyone else.”
“If it wasn't ours then I was going to say Sergeant Peppers’ 50th Anniversary edition. I'm cheating but I don't give a shit - we've rediscovered that album and it's amazing so!”
The highlights of 2017 for the frontman have all been personal – it’s about love, and reconnecting with family. “Personally for me the highlights of this year, if I'd say anything, I'd just say finding love and being happy. Just being happy again and being in love. That's the best thing that's happened to me this year.”
“I've got on with my life, and I'm so happy, so it's amazing. I think the key is finding love and I've found it and it's lovely. That's my highlight of this year. It's been incredible.”
It all sounds positive, Clash exclaims. “Yes, and I've just got engaged so there you go!” he responds. “A lot has happened this year… trust me, man, fucking hell!”
Right now, though, Tom is simply looking forward to a family Christmas. “It's all happening, fucking hell!” he laughs. “We've got turkey, we've got bloody beef. My mum's coming over with a pavlova… It's going to be mayhem. It's going to be mayhem at the Meighan's!”
Not that the gig schedule has slackened, of course. Kasabian recently announced a very special show at London’s Royal Albert Hall, to raise both funds and awareness of the Teenage Cancer Trust. Long time advocates of the charity – Tom previously opened a hospital wing in the trust’s name, for example – they’re eager to continue their support.
“It can be absolutely heartbreaking,” Tom admits, “but if it goes to that cause then of course it opens your eyes a bit.”
“I think we're just going to play the show and actually do most off the new album and some of the old ones. But it's an event as well because it's the Albert Hall and everything that comes with it”.
As for the future, Kasabian want to start work on new material soon. “Serge wants to do another album within a few years,” Tom explains. “We'll go off and do our own stuff and be family men and find some projects probably, I imagine, but in the meantime we're happy where we are.”
“The thing is we've been together twenty years now. Me and Serge and the boys. It's pretty incredible really.”
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Catch Kasabian at the Royal Albert Hall, London for Teenage Cancer Trust on March 24th - ticket link.
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