After starting the season at 5000/1 underdogs, football club Leicester City F.C. are just one win away from pulling off one of the greatest sporting shocks of the last century and winning the Premier League title. And there are no bigger Leicester fans than hometown heroes Kasabian, who have just announced a massive gig at the team’s King Power Stadium on May 28 to celebrate the incredible season, whether the team win the title or not. We spoke to guitarist Serge Pizzorno, currently the most excited man in the world.
When did you decide to do the show in Leicester?
“We were all booked in, set to do it next year. We’ve been buzzing off that plan, and after the gig we did in 2014 in Leicester’s Victoria Park, we were looking for the next step up. But as the season’s gone on, there’s a feeling around the city that’s really special and we thought we should move Heaven and Earth to move the gigs forward a year. It’s in the last two days that we’ve finally got the go ahead to do it. I think everyone in Leicester is in a great mood.”
Does the new situation changes the set list?
“Yes. We’re in the studio at the moment, experimenting and all that, so it changes things in that regard. It’s going to be a proper greatest hits set with tunes from all five records.”
It felt like half of Leicester came to the Victoria Park gigs you did. Will the other half come to this?
“This is a party for everybody, whether you’re from Leicester or not. It’s a party for all. There was such an amazing feeling in the air in 2014 in Victoria Park, and this is going to be even better because there’s such a wicked buzz in the air in the city. It doesn’t matter where you’re from or who you support, it’ll be a special time to be around Leicester and Leicester City’s ground.”
Will there be new songs?
“Maybe – you never know. It’s very early days for the new record. We’re vibing, I’m at home in my studio, The Sergery, working on things. It’s very early days.”
Where are you watching the game on Sunday?
“I’m going to Old Trafford. If we win, we win the league, if we draw, Spurs need to win. To clinch the title at Old Trafford would be what dreams are made of, but my heart says that the way this season’s gone, I think we’ll draw, but Spurs won’t beat Chelsea. I think we might get the league on Monday night, not Sunday. I don’t want to go into the Everton game needing win.”
When did you get a feeling the title was on?
“I think it was over Christmas, when we played Chelsea, Man City and Liverpool, and we were still top when we came out of it. I remember saying that if we kept our players fit, we’d win the league. I mean the starting 11 here, Mahrez, Kante, Vardy and the like. I knew we’d do it if they stayed fit. But then the West Ham game came, when they made it 2-1… I felt it in the whole crowd. That we might have gone as far as we were going to go, that we could get that close to the title but that it wasn’t going our way. We’d won so many games, but then that was like a realisation that things can change.”
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You timed this pretty well – if you’d have released a record in the last year you’d have been touring the world
“This is the thing. For the last 12 years, we’ve missed whole seasons because we’ve either been in the studio constantly or we’ve on tour all over the world. The amount of games Tom and I have watched in hotel rooms at 8.30 in the morning because of the time difference. We can’t actually believe this, we’ve been so lucky to see all this and go to a lot of games. We’d be in Australia or somewhere, trying to watch games in the middle of the night, missing out on the atmosphere.”
Do you feel like Leicester are popular with even non-Leicester fans?
“Yes, it seems that way. I get in a cab in London and talk comes round to football, they hear Leicester are my team and unless the driver is a Spurs fan, they’ll say ‘Brilliant, I hope you do it’. It breaks up that domination of the top four or five, and no team has ever won the Premier League without spending millions and millions, everyone has bought it before. Leicester winning would give Palace, Watford, West Ham and all those teams the belief that they could do it too if they just got the right players together and kept them fit.”
A Champions League place is assured. Have you thought ahead to playing an Italian team? How would you cope with a night in Milan watch Leicester?
“I just don’t know, it’s beyond exciting. I’ve already planned a party round at mine for the night of the Champs League draw. All my mates are coming over that night, pencil that in during August and then after the draw we can start booking flights to get to these games. It’d be wonderful, just to see us compete on that level and show what we can do.”
Do you have a good relationship with the club? [Club manager Claudio] Ranieri plays your song ‘Fire’ before the games
“That’s it… The season started when we were in Bulgaria playing a show. I got all these text about Match of the Day and Ranieri giving an interview where he said that he’d told the boys to play Kasabian. Of all the awards, and amazing things that have ever happened to the band, the new manager to say that in his team talk was the best thing. It was insane, we couldn’t get over it. That’s all part of the reason we moved these shows forward. And it could all end where it began, back at Leicester City with everyone listening to Kasabian.”