(Photo by Mark Pilkington)
This has been a weekend of live music on the telly for me, at least from last night. Some of it has been good (Pearl Jam nailing Alive at the Reading Festival). Some of it has been curious (Sway redefining the concept of an acoustic set; Tom Araya sporting literally a full head and face full of hair in front of Dave Lombardo's awesome drumming with Slayer). Some of it has been downright awful (whoever thought the Kooks were a good idea in the first place needs serious work in the brainal area, let alone whoever thought an acoustic version would be worth it. The Kooks are seriously the worst band to lay claim to indie status that I've seen (or heard) in ages and ages, and their weedy, fake romantic songs sounded even worse in that setting).
One of the low points had to be a live version of Kasabian's new single, Empire. For a band who plundered some dubious musical reference points almost to the point of plagiarism on their first album, Kasabian haven't stepped up their game any. This time though, instead of quoting Gallagher and Brown, they've attempted to get in on Mark E Smith's game, with the lead vocals heading towards a bark, and the elctro-punk backing trying to groove. But The Fall will be no-one's fools - their version of Theme From Sparta FC at Reading showed just how far the young pretenders have to come, and they put these upstarts to shame on every front. While I usually roll my eyes at disaffected, sneering kind of postures, Smith has unarguable presence that makes it OK for him, but for no-one else. So Kasabian: back off, leave it to the masters.
The Fall - The Man Whose Head Expanded
Tags: The Fall; live music; Reading; Kasabian; The Kooks