The Custom House Square slowly filled from 6pm when the gates opened and people of all sizes, ages, hues, styles and outlooks milled lazily in for one hell of a gig. Drink was drunk and food was eaten in the slow sunny evening in the middle of Belfast.
This was a sold out concert and no wonder. None other than Kasabian were playing tonight and in support were the fantastic Aussies, DMA’s.
And on they came. Technically, they are a three piece band but whilst on tour there are six of them. And that just added to the spectacle they provided the Belfast crowd. With a laid back sauntering attitude and sound they were up there with The Las, Blur, Inspiral Carpets, The Happy Mondays, and the Charlatans. These guys were from Sydney, but the sound and look was pure British indie/brit pop from Manchester. There was quite a faithful crowd of fans that swayed, jumped and sang along to such well delivered songs like “Do I need You Now?”, “Dawning”, “Time and Money” just exemplified this tight group as proponents of pure indie brit pop music that just transports you back to the 90s.
The crowd were transfixed by DMA’s and so they should be. This band have an infectious easy laid back groove that just keeps you listening and looking for more after each song ended. What a great start to the evening and they should have plenty more new fans after their stirling performance.
Then came the crowning glory of the evening. Kasabian. And they weren’t going to start slowly. They came strutting onto stage to a loud and uplifting roar from the now very packed Custom House Square and immediately set the tone of the evening with “Clubfoot”. And in answer the crowd raised their hands and hollered as loud as they could every oh, ah, and la that they could. The band were visibly enjoying themselves from the get go and band and crowd of ardent fans fed off each other throughout the gig. Then came “Ill Ray” “Underdog “ and “Shoot The Runner”. Absolute classics that had the place heaving with bodies just letting go as if having a religious experience. Then came the trumpet and the initial rendition of the heckle raising “Ecstasy Of Gold” to lead into “Days Are Forgotten”
The interaction between Thomas and Sergio and the mass of bodies in front of them was perfectly balanced and on point. Thomas, as an absolute doppelganger for John Simm, you half expected to start drumming THAT beat, but instead did something much closer to home and launched the jam-packed place into chanting “Easy” and so came “Eez-eh”. On they went with “You’re In Love With A Psycho”, and “Wasted” By this time the rain had started pouring down but instead of dampening the enthusiasm of everyone there, it only seemed to encourage the high voltage hand raising and singing.
At this point Sergio was hungry enough to scrounge a packet of crisps from one of the Square’s residents as they stood on their balcony taking in the incredible gig. He dedicated the next song to the kind gentleman and Kasabian delivered the fantastic “Treat”. Sergio was over the moon to find it was a packet of Pickled Onion Space Invaders. Somehow, it just seemed the perfect packet of crisps to give Kasabian.
On into “Empire”, the mindbendingly catchy “Bless This Acid House”, “ Stevie” and then “Stuntman”. Each and every song was offered up to the audience with energetic verve and the crowd lapped it all up, hungry for more. By this time the rain had been going non-stop and yet no one cared as everyone was having such a great time.
The last song of the set was L.S.F. (Lost Souls Forever) and the crowd was going mental as they heaved and bounced backward and forward.
But that was not all. Kasabian came back on and landed the final body blows of the evening to a pretty hoarse crowd now by upping the ante with “Comeback Kid”, “Vlad the Impaler” and finishing the entire evening with “Fire”.
Overall, DMA’s produced a great set that had quite a few attendees singing along and they were the perfect antidote to a Monday. Kasabian packed it, nailed it, stamped it and knocked it right out of the Square with their happy, animated, mesmeric and infectious energic set. They were on point in every way and even after they had left the stage for the final time and the gates opened to let everyone go home there continued to be sporadic mass crowd singing of “Fire”. It was a truly spiritual journey of a performance that Kasabian led every attendee on and everyone left jubilant and on top form.
Review by Ivor Whitten, Happy Metal Geek
Photography by Darren McVeigh, Metal Planet Music