Rising to the challenge
You can always rely on a festival to present you with real headliner dilemmas. For many, including me, this was a tough one to call, Radiohead on the Main Stage vs Kasabian on the Channel 4 Stage. I succeeded in catching some of both, and with my spies on the case can follow the Radiohead review with one for Kasabian.
I hate to think what kind of crowd Fatboy Slim and Sandi Thom drew as the Channel 4 Stage was every inch as rammed as for Radiohead in their corner of the field. From the back the atmosphere for this set wasn't as electric as one year previously when Kasabian headlined the Radio 1 Tent at Reading. That night it seemed only a matter of time before the tent would be lifted from the ground, the lack of cover did allow for some of the atmosphere to be lost and so not seem as intense. My own position might be partially to blame as well, but the fault may also lie in that for much of the crowd, they were hearing new Kasabian tracks for the first time. 'Empire' is out at the end of August and is certainly shaping up well on this evidence, however the real excitement came for the five hit singles the band have in their armory right now.
New track 'Shoot The Runner' opened the set, with 'Sunrise', 'Me Plus One' and 'The Last Trip' all featuring in this seventy-five minute show. 'Cutt Off' and 'Empire' provided early anthemic crowd pleaser moments, with their other three hits appearing towards the end of the night.
The last five tracks alternated the old and the new. 'Processed Beats', 'The Doberman', 'Club Foot' and 'Stuntman' all built up to the traditional full-on sing-along of 'L.S.F.'. It's not uncommon for fans to chant football style the words to the set closer for up to half an hour after the band has left the stage, however this time the masses thinned out pretty quickly, the lucky ones caught the collectors item of 'Creep' from the Main Stage.
Kasabian more than held their own in this heavyweight contest of Saturday night headliners. Tom could do with finding a few extra things to shout at the crowd as it seemed he was saying "Thank You V 2006!" as every track came to it's close. If you had to consider this a battle boxing style then Radiohead shaded this on points, but the Leicester band were a long way from being knocked out of the ring.