Kasabian are a BRIT award winning band which formed in 1999 and hail from Leicestershire. The quartet are described as indie rock, and have released three studio albums, selling millions worldwide and touring all over the UK, the US and beyond. In 2010,they headlined the prestigious V Festival alongside and in June 2011 they'll close the Isle of Wight Festival.
The Early Years
Kasabian are an indie rock band which comprises of lead singer Tom Meighan, backing singer and guitarist Sergio Pizzorno, bassist Chris Edwards and Ian Matthews on drums. They've been together since 1999 and came up with the name thanks to former guitarist Chris Karloff who thought it would be perfect after reading up on the Charles Manson cult. Linda Kasabian was the killer's getaway driver and Chris apparently thought it would be the ideal name for their band. He was one of the their main songwriters but left during the recording of their second album Empire in 2006 because of 'artistic differences,' but it's also claimed he left for his own personal reasons.
Kasabian's self-titled debut album was a huge success when it was released in 2004, peaking at number four in the UK and spawning four singles including 'Club Foot' which reached number 90 in Absolute Radio's Song of the Decade chart. It has become one of Kasabian's best loved tracks and has featured on several computer games and in a couple of movies including football film 'Goal!' Their debut album received mostly positive reviews and a year later, the band performed at Glastonbury.
Kasabian's success continued and their star began to rise after second album Empire topped the UK charts following its release in the summer of 2006. Debut single 'Empire' made it to number 9 in the UK and stayed in the top 10 for a month. 'Shoot the Runner,' described as the band's battle cry, was also a big hit, making the top 20.
2007 was a good year for Kasabian, who picked up their first major award after nearly a decade together. They were named Best Live Act at the NME Awards and said, in a somewhat colourful way, that it was about time they received some recognition!
They were kept very busy that year, performing at various festivals including Isle of Wight, Glastonbury and Live Earth in London, as well as headlining NME's stage at T in the Park in Scotland. That's where former Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher joined them on stage to play his instrument for the last few songs of their set.
West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum
West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum is Kasabian's third album and second UK number one record. After two weeks at the top spot, it was knocked off its perch by Michael Jackson's Number Ones following his sudden death on June 25 2009. Kasabian's third offering was co-produced by band member Sergio and Dan The Automater, a U.S hip-hop producer who's probably best known for his collaboration with Daman Alban's band Gorillaz on their self titled debut album. The first single to be released was the mighty 'Fire,' a number three entry in the UK charts which became the second single to feature on Absolute Radio's Song of the Decade chart, reaching number 63.
Sergio came up with the name for their latest album after watching a TV documentary on a group of mental institutions called the West Riding Pauper Lunatic Asylum erected in West Yorkshire in the late 19th Century, becoming fascinated by the story. The album is arguably Kasabian's most ambitious yet and its success didn't stop with record sales. It was nominated for a prestigious Mercury Prize in September 2009, but missed out to newcomer Speech Debelle. The rapper only sold around 3000 copies of her album before the glitzy ceremony in London. However, the next month, Kasabian scooped the Best Album prize at the Q Awards, and in 2010, they won in the same category at the NME Awards and picked up Best Album Artwork too. It features the group in various old fashioned costumes, checking themselves out in a mirror, as they prepare to party 'at the asylum.'
2010 was another good year for Kasabian. They won numerous awards, including Best British Band at the BRIT Awards in February, and announced they would be headlining several major festivals including T in the Park and V Festival at Chelmsford and Staffordshire. Towards the end of the year, they began working on their fourth album and Serge penned the score for Brit-flick London Boulevard, a crime thriller starring Keira Knightley, Colin Farrell and Ray Winstone.
In March 2011, it was confirmed Kasabian were returning to the Isle of Wight Festival in June. They will close the show after the likes of Kings of Leon, Foo Fighters and Pulp take to the stage.