Koko Exclusive

KOKO Asia Approved is for those from the region or are touring the region. We watch a local band and we love it then we will review it. We watch an international band touring the region and we love it you guessed it we will review it.

Finding Tom Meighan

Date: 24 August 2009
By Mayho

So CLUB KOKO had come and gone and I found myself in my room at 5am Saturday morning in preparation for my long overdue trip back to the UK in a few hours time. By the time I awoke, hung-over with a missed flight and in the foulest of moods, I decided to de-motivate myself further by pondering all the things that I should have experienced back in blighty this weekend, most notably kebabs, the return of football and some proper quality queuing.

The previous night had shown much promise in the planning stages. After being one of the first to find out about that Kasabian were coming to town for MTV a few weeks back, KOKO Asia promptly put its blagging wheels into motion and went through every contact we had to get the band into Barsonic for our little shindig. After weeks of frantic phone calls and calling in favours we finally had everything in its right place. With the band being fans of KOKO UK themselves we were assured that there was no way the members of the band that were in town, were going to miss this party and it appeared that - with only one day to go - nothing could blow our big night.

Enter swine flu.

With about 24 hours until show time I received word from a friend that Tom Meighan had the pig cold and the entire band is quarantined in some Australian hotel with strict doctors orders to cancel their upcoming shows. I laughed at first as this was just too harsh to be true. There is no way life could be this unfair, is there? I decided to find out what the hell was going on. Reading The Sun’s website I found that not only had some shows down under already been cancelled, but the whole MTV gig was plunged into doubt and the KOKO team quickly debated the merits of dragging five very unhealthy band members into a club to give everyone a photo and a dose of the flu. When a bombshell like that is dropped so close to show time it simply isn’t going to happen. But was that going to stop us trying?

Just as Simon Subsonic stepped up I received a forwarded text from a representative from the band that simply read "Sorry bro". Standing behind the decks in front of 250 eager Kasabian fans it appeared a lynching was on the cards. The no show left undoubtedly left some disappointed, but when something like swine flu hits what can you do? Luckily the KOKO faithful on the night understood the dynamics of bringing one of the biggest (and illest) bands in the world and when the tunes started it seemed that people thought less about meeting Kasabian and more about having a good night out, which I hope we delivered at least.

Now due to my aforementioned flight being missed I had no plans to go to the MTV World Stage as I was supposed to be living it up at a hotel in Swindon, but this was the weekend where all my carefully made plans were destined to fall apart, so with nothing else to do I decided to round up the KOKO crew and head over to Sunway to see a gig that 24 hours ago no one thought was going to happen.

Now this was no ordinary KOKO posse – made up of myself, Simon Subsonic, John Thubron, Marco (one of Kasabians best mates) and Matty Boy of The Standards this was the KOKO elite (if we have an elite, but this is as close as it gets), who you would probably expect to find up in the VIP taking advantage of as many free drinks as we can.

In reality, the night was a little less glamorous. After missing several performances trying to blag VIP tickets the KOKO team decided that the best course of action was to sit around outside the venue drinking tinnies and checking the football results while our man in the know Marco frantically called around the venue trying to pull in favours.

We were all excited about the prospect of seeing Kasabian, but I had something else in mind. I had to talk with the band. I had to find out what happened the night before to my beloved CLUB KOKO and I wasn’t going to stop searching (or drinking) until I had an answer.

A few hours and many beers later Marco comes skipping from the hotel with tickets in hand and we made our way into the venue in time to catch the start of the All American Rejects who are undoubtedly popular in Malaysia. While en route, Matty Boy got absolutely mugged by the refreshments staff who decided to abandon all of their customers to come running over and get their picture taken like a gaggle of over excited Japanese schoolgirls. Somewhere out there, there is a photo of several very happy Pizza Hut workers flicking peace signs and one very confused Matty Boy with a mouthful of pizza.

Having managed to pull him away from his screaming Malaysian fans we headed down to the mosh pit to witness probably the most prolific band Britain has produced this decade and they did not disappoint. After the standard five minutes of the emcee’s shouting absolutely nothing of value the hook to ‘Vlad the Impaler’ blared out of the PA systems and the lights dimmed as the boys made their way onto the stage. The crowd erupted in excitement at what might be their only chance to see an outfit which areloved my so many in Malaysia. As the song came to a close Tom declared "Im still alive" in reference to the recent swine flu story before going straight into a rendition of ‘Where Did All the Love Go?".

After playing every one of their greatest tracks such as ‘Club Foot’, ‘Shoot the Runner’ and ‘Empire’ the band finished on perhaps the biggest high of the night with their anthem "LSF’. When the lights dimmed and the crowd finished roaring there was only one thing left for me to do. Corner the band.

The KOKO team promptly headed over to the hotel bar to wait for Leicester foursome. I decided to spend this waiting time by eyeing up the stunning blonde in the corner who appeared to be on holiday with her family. After exchanging a few glances and attempting the odd cheeky smile she gave me a little grin and left the bar with her entourage in tow. It was only afterward that I realised I had been sharking Pixie Lott. Whoops.

After watching Tyson Ritter of the All American Rejects prance around the bar and get in the way of the TV showing the football many a time, I decided that if I was ever going to meet my idols it would not be standing around in a hotel lobby. I had already let the lovely Pixie slip through my fingers and the All American Rejects were ruining my football. A better plan was needed.

Marco, in his typically wide boy style, had managed to get me a mangled and ripped VIP wrist band that had in all probability been found on the floor or fished out of a bin and we headed over to Ministry of Sound where we were told Kasabian and co was holed up. After informing the bouncers that some ruffian had ripped my wrist band at the concert they quickly fell for the blag and ushered me upstairs into the VIP section to collect my free champagne. Strutting up the stairs with the usual R & B crap blaring in the background I resigned myself to defeat. Kasabian wouldn’t be in a club getting ‘crunk’ to Ciara - there must be some mistake. Feeling rather depressed that I had yet again managed to miss a chance to meet the band I plodded through the entrance of the VIP section to drink myself into a stupor. Who’s the first person I walk into?

Tom fucking Meighan.

Not wanting to come across as the excitable fan who doesn’t know what to say I promptly tapped Tom on the shoulder and introduced myself. Now normally I would expect someone of his stature and status to be complete douche and not have time for people cornering him in a club, but I couldn’t have met a more humble or genuinely loveable character. After finding out I was from KOKO he promptly apologised about last night’s shenanigans and assured me that he didn’t want to miss CLUB KOKO but the band didn’t have any say in the matter - it was the powers that be. After apologising again and posing for the standard fan photo (the one of me and Tom throwing gang signs was obscured by a fat thumb error) Tom headed back over to his VVIP section where the rest of the band were larging it up. For the record, Serge looked totally pissed.

With champagne in one hand and Simon Subsonic’s camera in the other I headed back to my bar stool with the satisfaction that my mission was complete. I had got my answer; I had met one of my idols and I had seen one of the greatest bands in the world perform some of my favourite songs live.

He who dares, my son. He who dares.


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