KINGS OF PAIN!

Mass hysteria for the band even though drummer is nearly hospitalised…

Kings Of Leon kicked off their biggest UK tour ever last night (December 8) in MANCHESTER amidst scenes of mass crowd hysteria – and drummer NATHAN FOLLOWILL almost being hospitalised.

The gig marked the band’s first full UK dates since the release of their second album ’Aha Shake Heartbreak’. Performing to a sell-out crowd at Manchester’s Apollo theatre, the band were in exceptional form despite the ill health of drummer Nathan Followill who has been suffering from a serious and prevailing kidney infection. During the course of the gig, a car was on standby in-case he needed taking to the hospital.

Singer Caleb Followill exclusively told NME.COM : “He’s doing OK. It’s a real bad kidney infection that he’s had for the past week….he’s been in real pain. But the minute he walked on stage, he felt a lot better. The adrenaline of the show got him through it. Our guitar tech has been on stand-by in case Nathan’s too ill to finish the tour. Hopefully Nathan will be well enough to finish these British dates.”

The band played a 90-minute set for a fanatical audience which comprised material from their two albums, including hits such as ‘California Waiting’, ‘Molly’s Chambers’ and recent single ‘The Bucket’.

The gig saw a marked improvement since the band’s underwhelming festival slots earlier this year, with scenes of crowd surfing and fans singing along to every song. Caleb was particularly humbled by the audience reaction.

He said: “It’s unbelievable. The British crowds are so humbling. They sing back every word so it doesn’t matter if I get the words wrong! The crowds are so happy to be here. We feel we had a bit to prove because we didn’t do Glastonbury much justice when we played there this year.”

Caleb also revealed that the band have already been writing songs for their third album during soundchecks.

He revealed: “We really enjoy writing on the road. We always come up with ideas on the road. In a soundcheck the other day, we came up with something that’s quite groundbreaking, that’d be ideal for the third album. It’s quite ska-sounding.”

Nathan is due for a doctor’s check-up today (December 9), and provided he gets the all-clear, the Kings Of Leon will finish the rest of their UK dates, resuming tomorrow in Poole Lighthouse (December 10).

Last night’s set-list ran:

‘Happy Alone’

‘Red Morning Light’

‘Wasted Time’

‘Taper Jean Girl’

‘Pistol Of Fire’

‘Bucket’

‘Joe’s Head’

‘Molly’s Chambers’

‘Milk’

‘Soft’

‘4 Kicks’

‘Razz’

‘California Waiting’

‘Slow Nights, So Long’

‘Trani’

‘King Of The Rodeo’

‘Head To Toes’

‘Spiral Staircase’

To check ticket availability for the Kings Of Leon tour [url=]click here or call the NME Ticketline on 0870 1 663 663.