Kasabian interview: how to rock a festival

Serge Pizzorno and Tom Meighan give their headliners’ advice on how to steal the show (and fans’ knickers)

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© Dean Chalkley

1. Feel the rush

Serge (pictured right): ‘The moment before you step on stage the adrenaline kick is intense. I’ve never boxed, but I imagine it’s a similar kind of feeling to stepping into the ring.’

Tom (pictured left): ‘It’s like taking the biggest dose of the best drug ever. You just feel 100 fucking feet tall!’

2. But keep it together

Serge: ‘As soon as I hit the first chord I’m away. I’m in another state of consciousness.’

Tom: ‘If I’ve been jumping around too much, the whole world starts moving really slowly, and I feel like I’m going to collapse. That used to happen a lot in my younger days, when I was more of a lunatic on stage.’

3. Remember, you’re a star

Tom: ‘As soon as we come on: euphoria. It’s not just a gig, it’s a great rock ’n’ roll show. People have got love for other bands, but we’re off the scale. Completely off the fucking scale mate.

‘Why do girls take their tops off at our gigs? Maybe they’re in love with us. It’s not a bad thing.’

Serge: ‘You’ve got to be pretty off your nut to get your tits out at a gig. We get loads of knickers and bras thrown at us. It’s just bizarre – I feel like Rod Stewart. Knocking out this really heavy, psychedelic rock, and there are all these knickers on stage. I imagine the roadies take them away and hoard them.’

4. Watch out for trouble

Tom: ‘I’ve seen some violence in the crowd before. There are people getting hurt, people crying. One tip for crowd surfers: just keep hold of your fucking trainers.’

5. Save the best until last

Serge: ‘Our encore is ridiculous. It goes “Switchblade”, “Vlad the Impaler”, “Fire”. It doesn’t matter where we are in the world, what time of day it is, or even if anyone’s heard of us before, we end with those three songs and the crowd is destroyed. God forbid you have to go on after it, though there aren’t many people who have to do that anymore. It’s like being in the ring with Mike Tyson. Before you know it you’re on the floor.’


Watch Kasabian perform on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury 2009

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V Festival, Chelmsford

Calvin Harris, Kasabian, Stereophonics, Sam Smith, The Script, Olly Murs, Ellie Goulding, Hozier, Courteeners, Paloma Faith + more. This mainstream-friendly dual-venue festival always draws a truly staggering array of the most popular names in rock and pop, thanks to a budget that appears to be bottomless. There's also the Glee Club Comedy Tent for laffs. No, it's not the most boutique of events out there this summer, but if you're after big acts and a party atmosphere then it's hard to do much better.

  1. Hylands Park Old London Road, Chelmsford, CM2 8WQ
  2. Sat Aug 22 - Sun Aug 23
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See Kasabian live

V Festival, Chelmsford

Calvin Harris, Kasabian, Stereophonics, Sam Smith, The Script, Olly Murs, Ellie Goulding, Hozier,

  1. Hylands Park Old London Road, Chelmsford, CM2 8WQ
  2. Sat Aug 22 - Sun Aug 23
Buy tickets

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