The Kent punk band's audience led a chant of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's name the tune of 'Seven Nation Army' by the White Stripes', suggesting even Zagreb is not impervious to his charms.
Kasabian finished the final night of INmusic festival in Zagreb, Croatia, with a heartfelt set that included a dedication to victims of the recent terrors attacks the UK’s major cities. After chanting the words “We’ll live to fight again,” a refrain from ‘Stevie’, taken from the band’s album 48.13, frontman Tom Meighan said, “Love for London and Manchester.”
It was a huge Main Stage show that emphasised just how many massive hits the Leciester band have amassed over the years. Tom, guitarist Serge Pizzorno and co. opened with ‘King For A Day’, a cut from recent album For Crying Out Loud, before following up with an endless array of bangers that included the boisterous ‘Bumblebee’, the defiant ‘Underdog’ and the singalong ‘You’re In Love With A Pyscho,’, which was accompanied by a red light arranged in the shape of a heart at the back of the stage. At one point in this generous and warm performance, there were was a moment where Tom and lead songwriter Serge subtly fist-bumped before ploughing into ‘Switchblade Smiles’. Kasabian have been tight-knit unit for more than a decade, so it was no surprise that, at various points in the night, Tom led a chant of “Sergiooo” in tribute to Pizzorno.
Earlier in the evening, the Afro-Cuban collective Orchestra Baobab, who have been performing since the 1970s, delivered a joyous show on the OTP World Stage, combining sax, percussion, guitar and multiple vocals to create a gorgeously sunny performance. The weather shitted it down in the afternoon – rain bounced from the pavements in central Zagreb – but it would have been no surprise if this set had teased a few rays from the clouds.
Sunshine Madness, a Croatian four-piece that played over on the Hidden Stage, offered anything but sunny escapism. Sounding like a dark web Weezer, they delivered a track that recalled ‘The Sweater Song’, had it been recorded as a slab of doomy, brooding guitar rock.
Irish-American Celtic punks Flogging Molly brought endearing enthusiasm to the Main Stage, with frontman Dave King seeming absolutely delighted to be in Zagreb. He donned an unseasonal Santa hat, made much of violinist and vocalist Bridget Regan’s Croatian heritage (she and King are married) and said that the rollicking ‘Float’ was “about being positive because [Croatia] and [Zagreb] are so positive. It’s about being together and sticking together”. Audience interaction was at a maximum for ‘If I Ever Leave This World Alive’, with the crowd providing back-up vocals for the chorus, before King admitted that he’d accidentally swallowed a mosquito, which he vowed to wash “down with some Guinness”.
Kent punks Slaves gave an equally playful performance on the OTP World Stage, entering to the booming sounds of ‘We Like To Party (The Vengabus)’ by late-‘90s cheese-pop legends the Venga Boys. Drummer and vocalist Isaac Holmes took to reciting lyrics from the likes of ‘Cheer Up London’, ‘Where’s Your Car Debbie?’ and ‘Spit It Out’ as though they were poetry, before guitarist Laurie Vincent would slide in with an insidious riff.
Somewhat unexpectedly, the audience punctuated the show by bellowing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s name to the sound of The White Stripes’ ‘Seven Nation Army’, a phenomenon that has become something of a real-life meme in the UK, causing Laurie to comment: “That show’s that man’s power. We’re in Croatia and you understand. We hate our Prime Minister And we love Europe. Can we stay?”
Kasabian embraced togetherness, too, when they segued from the ridiculously buoyant good-time anthem ‘Eez-eh’ into a sample of ‘Around The World’ by Daft Punk. In the aftermath of a relentless three-song encore (‘Comeback Kid’, ‘Vlad the Impaler’, ‘Fire’), Tom stuck around alone onstage to lead another enormous ‘Sergiooo’ chant, capping off the festival with a touching sense of unity.
Ill Ray (The King)
Shoot the Runner
You’re in Love With a Psycho
Bless This Acid House
Vlad the Impaler