There are many unpleasant and confusing things (Nigel Farage, anyone?) omnipresent in this oh-so cruel world we all habituate in, but nothing to me is as utterly perplexing as the undisputed global admiration that surrounds a four-piece from Leicester that go by the name of Kasabian. Now, I’ve heard their music and I propose the humblest of questions: why the hell do people not only like, but worship these bozos?
The first thing people say when they learn of my distaste for Kasabian is “but… Sergio?”. In case you aren’t familiar with his name, then this “Sergio” fellow is in fact guitarist Serge Pizzorno, a man that NME recently branded as “ridiculously cultish”. First of all, how can a member of a band so commercially overground be referred to as cultish? All you have to do is to turn on Soccer AM or look at the front cover of Q magazine to find his mug forced unexpectedly down your throat like an opportunistic fly.
The only person I think worse of than Pizzorno is the Bart to his Milhouse, lead singer and tambourine player (?) Tom Meighan. He’s a man’s man, a lad, and a moron. He’s like a bloated Liam Gallagher with half as much quip and twice as much meaninglessness.
I’m not sure who’s responsible for their lyrics, but if it isn’t either Pizzorno or Meighan (or worse, a combination of both), then the only viable candidate would be a chip with a typewriter – these lyrics aren’t just completely meaningless and beige but they are, to quote Howard Moon, the ‘scribblings of a retard’. Let’s just look at a few lines from recent single Eez-Eh for conclusive proof: ‘I ain’t easy and I make you mad, least I ain’t sleazy’, ‘You got problems, well so have I and I got the feeling that I’m gonna keep you up all night’ and perhaps the worst (and generically sexist) attempt at an anti-establishment statement ever ‘The wrong men have power, it’s turning my milk sour’. Unfortunately, what these guys lack in lyrical ability and originality, they make up for in album sales.
I could lay into the date-rap anthem that is Eez-Eh for hours on end, but instead I’ll simply relay a decisive moment that took place when I was waiting for the Libertines to arrive on stage at Hyde Park in July. There was no music coming from the sound system as we anxiously waited for our heros to return once more, when a small group of tanned and stacked hunks with buzzcuts and Topman vests spontaneously broke into a repetitive chant of ‘Eez-Eh, Eez-Eh’ that was uncalled for and unwanted. I looked at my friends and said – nothing. I didn’t need to.
Due to their unprecedented commercial success, it’s hard to pigeonhole the average Kasabian fan. It goes without saying that they obviously aren’t the ‘cool’ crowd, but at the same time they aren’t the Lady Gaga and One Direction crowd either. Predominantly, they’re lads – they’re the type of person that goes on a ‘lad holiday’ to Malia and calls their mates ‘son’ and their dad ‘mate’.
There’s also a demographic for the popular kids who leave school and realise that popularity was their only shtick, so they search for solace and relevance with a new-found edge. The first place they turn to fuel this edge is bands like Kasabian. In a way they’re foolish, because Kasabian aren’t edgy at all, but it’s also a perfect match – Kasabian are also the popular kids trying (and failing) to find an ‘edge’.
It seems to me that the arena-sized radio belters that Kasabian churn out every few years seem to propel them to a new level, but not a good level – they’re the Tinder generation’s U2. They’re essential music that walks the tightrope between lad music and dad music – they are the soundtrack to a Match of the Day montage, and they’re seemingly the musical equivalent of Dapper Laughs with their obscene laddish bravado.
They’ve just headlined Glastonbury and seem to be commercially adored, and I still can’t comprehend why. They’re cocksure chancers riding an endless wave of success for them, and frustration for everyone else. I’m not quite sure what Andrew Savage was referencing in Parquet Courts’ Donuts Only when he sang ‘Celebrated? Yes, but rubbish’, but he sure as hell should have been talking about Kasabian.