Picture the scene: it’s dusk on Sunday evening at Glastonbury. You’ve had the weekend of your life and have the scars to prove it – bloodshot eyes from lack of sleep, clothes caked in mud, booze and rain. Every muscle aches from bouncing to bands for 72 hours and your voice is so hoarse it sounds like someone revving a rusty broken lawnmower. The greatest festival on earth is drawing to a close for another year but – good news! – there’s time for one last hurrah. Do you want to see out the weekend courteously applauding a clever indie band as they experiment with Appalachian riffs and gamelan wonkery they learnt on holiday to Haiti? Or do you want to go out in feral fashion at the command of a pair of hairy delinquents blasting liquid nitrogen-fuelled rock ‘n’ roll at breakneck speeds and buffalo-combusting volume – a dance-rock collision so explosive, it leaves a crater in Worthy Farm?
I know what I’d pick. Much will be made of Kasabian’s headline Glastonbury slot in the months running up to June 27. Are they big enough? Is their brash, muscular, swaggering sound really a good fit for Michael Eavis’ festival, which is supposed to a sacred refuge from the lager lout culture tracks like ‘Club Foot’ have come to represent? Then again, questions have loomed over the very best Glastonbury headliners from the last decade – how many people said Jay Z couldn’t pull that slot off? My prediction is that the Leicester duo will be a total triumph closing the festival. The perfect counter to Arcade Fire’s Friday headline slot. Kasabian’s primal adrenaline-shot rock is just what the festival needs after Mumford and Sons’ slightly sleepy Sunday night finale in 2013.
It helps that Serge Pizzorno and Tom Meighan have practically written an entire album specifically for the occasion. When NME met the pair in their studio at the start of the year to hear tracks from their upcoming fifth album, Serge spoke passionately about “the science of drops”, claiming to have spent hours studying the moments classic tracks by the likes of the Prodigy and Rage Against The Machine go haywire. “It’s a dangerous, dangerous, dangerous, dangerous drug we’ve created,” Meighan said of their new material. It became quickly apparent to our man on the scene that whatever they’ve veeb concocting in the studio since 2011’s ‘Velociraptor’, it’s tailor-made for big venues and huge occasions.
Having topped the bill at Reading and Leeds, T In The Park and V, the band are seasoned veterans of the festival headline slot, and know exactly the spectacle the slot demands. Better yet, they’re a British rock band who, over 10 years together, have undisputedly earned their Glastonbury headliner status. During last years festival season, Two Door Cinema Club complained that “there are no new festival headliners” – a sentiment echoed by NME readers and other rising British bands. Kasabian aren’t a heritage act resting on the laurels of hits they wrote 40 years ago. Kasabian are still gunning for glory. Kasabian want their Worthy Farm appearance to be remembered as the day they transformed into genuine world-beaters. But don’t take our word for it – here’s an exclusive video chat with the pair – their first interview since confirming the slot – about why their Worthy Farm appearance will be one for the history books. See you down the front.
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