Review: Kassassin Street at The Wedgewood Rooms, Southsea

Kassassin Street at the Wedgewood Rooms.  ''Picture: Paul Windsor
Kassassin Street at the Wedgewood Rooms. ''Picture: Paul Windsor
The Darkness. Picture by

Simon Emmett

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Coming at the end of their first nationwide tour, this sold out gig at The Wedge was nothing short of the celebratory homecoming the Southsea psych-rockers deserved.

Aside from an unpleasant incident in Leeds where their van got broken into and a load of their equipment swiped, the 11-date tour has seen them play to considerably more than the ‘three men and a dog’ that every band fears when they step onstage in a strange town.

Tourmates Clay were well received by the packed house, their unashamedly catchy songs going down well.

Kicking off with recent single To Be Young, Kassassin Street know they’re playing to friends tonight, but there’s a swagger to their performance. However, it’s not one borne of arrogance, more of a band growing increasingly confident in its own abilities.

By the third song there’s mass spontaneous clap-alongs, and the crowd is clearly familiar with most of the material - singing a lot of it back at the five-piece.

Kassassin Street have always been a tight unit, but the nightly performing of a tour has, if anything, managed to hone them into an even sharper live act.

Frontman Rowan Bastable goes walkabout in the crowd - twice, and crowdsurfs during the set-closer, the bombastic Centre Straight Atom.

He might want to retire his regular ‘from here on it’s just the hits’ line from mid-set though. There’s a danger that it soon might not be ironic.

Despite the cheers for one, there was no encore. As the old saying goes, always leave them wanting more - and this crowd definitely wanted more.