I don’t know about you, but over the past few days my social media feeds have been dominated by a series of moans about 1, Glastonbury in general and 2, Kasabian in particular.
Here’s a sample
‘They’re just a cocky, indie-dance-pub-glam-rock band with a ludicrous sense of self-importance, dodgy fashion sense & poor tunes…’
Ouch! Obviously Kasabian have their fans, and millions of them, but it does seem that recently they have generated a level of hatred that very few other bands can rival. Why then? Here are a few theories
1 It is the traditional Glasto backlash – Obviously anyone who gets to headline at Glastonbury is pretty much asking for it. Last year The Rolling Stones split social media opinion down the middle, while the year before U2 were subjected to a stream of bile even before they had finished their first song. For Kasabian Glasto is a huge gig which has once again propelled them back into the spotlight and of course, given a platform for the haters
2 They were great once abut have sold out – ‘Club Foot – one of their early singles – was, in my view, a good record, with nods to Primal Scream (circa Vanishing Point/ Xtmrntr), New Order & Ennio Morricone’s Spaghetti Western soundtracks. Sadly, it all went downhill from there,’ argues one rather snobby Facebooker.
Another Fbooker argrees ‘the problem that they showed a lot of flair and promise early on and then very quickly lost their way, ditched the whole “group” ethos and got sucked into the corporate machine? I thought they were ok when they sounded like SF Sorrow a bit!’
While a slightly more generous soul thinks it might be a tad more complex and that the band have, egged on by their record label, sold out a little. ‘Feels like Kings of Leon and Kasabian, who both started off with a compelling rawness and intensity, have developed along marketing grounds, according to templates that will get them to the next level of sales and reach. Bands don’t seem to be left alone to grow musically.’
3 Snobby more, coughs, mature music fans hate them – Alan McGee has a theory that it’s middle class people who hate them. I am not sure about the class thing but they seem to be disliked by a group of snobs who never got over the debuts from The Stone Roses and Oasis, and just see Kasabian as a poor facsimile of their heroes. One non-fan, who nevertheless gives them the benefit of the doubts points out ‘Being from Leicester my news feed is a massive contradiction of love and hate towards them… But most of the hate it seems is from older men, that I doubt have seen them live or even listened to a whole album.’
4 People think they are arrogant – The band clearly have a self-belief that comes across as arrogance. One of their neighbours in Leicester though says they are pretty normal blokes, ‘they might come across as arrogant but they’re not at all, they still live in bloody Leicester and will have a chat with anyone in the street.’
5 They don’t come from the north west – It seems only bands from Manchester are ‘allowed’ to act like Kasabian do and get away with it as far as some naysayers are concerned,’ said one Fbooker.
Maybe he has a point. Kasabian come from Leicester. Lots of other good things come from Leicester too like Walker Crisps, Gary Lineker and The Junipers, but it seems like they aren’t allowed to walk with the same swagger that bands from other parts of the UK can get away with. Odd eh.
Other suggestions include – Serge’s hair do? Pouty photos? But maybe the real reason is
British people love to knock success
As one Fboker put it ‘typical British attitude to anyone who’s vaguely successful and mouths off a bit. How dare they not implode after a decent first album? They write decent tunes that sell and they’re not Coldplay – what’s the problem?’
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