Kasabian rock Isle of Wight on first night of festival

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Rockers Kasabian said they wrote their new album with the idea of playing to large crowds as they headlined the first night of the Isle of Wight Festival.

The Leicester-band played before the 50,000-strong crowd on the Friday night of the event, which is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its first incarnation.

Other highlights during the weekend are Liam Gallagher, The Killers, Depeche Mode, Travis, Van Morrison, Blossoms and James Bay.

Kasabian guitarist and songwriter Serge Pizzorno said he was proud to see the band’s name on the festival’s posters.

He told Absolute Radio: “They’re quite iconic these posters, I don’t know who the designer is but they’re sort of renowned pieces of rock history, the Hendrix one, The Doors one –  it’s the 50th anniversary.

“We take each gig as it comes, we just focus our energy into it. The new album was written in mind of standing in front of 50,000 people you know Ill Ray, God Bless This Acid House, they were tunes for this moment.”

Describing how they prepare before going on stage, vocalist Tom Meighan said: “The rules are – half an hour is perfect, a bit of music and you get that kind of anxiety which boils up, like a butterfly feeling and then you’re kinda like, let’s go.”

Pizzorno added: “It’s calmed down a bit. In the past Tom’s gone, I feel like I’ve done a gig already you know like dancing around. I think it’s the way we express ourselves, you know what I mean it’s like that how we do it, that’s our thing that’s what we do. We have to get in mood before we get out on the stage.”

Danny O’Donoghue, frontman of The Script, said that he still had not got over being famous and the size of crowds at festivals.

He told Absolute: “You just look around, you’re like oh my god, the amount of people in one place just to see your song, I still haven’t gotten over that and it often hits me when I’m at home drinking my Irish tea.  I just think about it and I’m like I still can’t get over it.”

Among those spotted in the crowd during the weekend was footballer Peter Crouch, who was seen kicking a ball around with friends.

Festival promoter John Giddings said that Saturday headliners Depeche Mode would be the “dark horse” of the event.

He said: “They are a stadium act in Europe and they really know how to perform and they have more hits than you remember.”

To mark the “golden jubilee” anniversary, the crowds are being encouraged to wear gold on Saturday.

The first festival on the island was held in 1968 and went on to feature performances from legendary artists such as Jimi Hendrix, The Doors and The Who before the event was cancelled following an invasion of 500,000 hippies in 1970.

This led to an act of parliament banning open-air gatherings of more than 5,000 people on the island without a special licence from the council.

Music agent John Giddings revived the event in 2002 and it has gone on to feature some of the world’s top artists including David Bowie, Foo Fighters, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Jay-Z, Coldplay and Fleetwood Mac.

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