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Underdog

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Underdog

Underdog was written by Sergio Pizzorno and is the 1st track on West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum. It was released on 26 October 2009 as the third single off the album and peaked at #32 in the UK charts.

BackgroundEdit

The song became the opening track of the album after Tom suggested it, with Vlad The Impaler or West Ryder Silver Bullet having previously been considered.[1] Described as a rock 'n' roll song with a hip hop feel, Underdog is "like a boxer in a fight sizing it all up" with a breakdown inspired by Silver Apples. Lyrically, it's about "being an outsider but gaining a sense of empowerment from it"[2][1] According to Tom, who at one point named the song as his favourite, Underdog is "everything [Kasabian] are about in a nutshell."[3]

The single was certified silver in August 2014.[4]

LiveEdit

Underdog was first performed on 23 March 2009 in Margate and has been played at every gig since. At the early gigs of the West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum Tour it used to be the set opener. A longer instrumental bridge was added during the Velociraptor! Tour, with Serge sometimes singing snippets of a cover, like Fire by The Prodigy or Mushroom by Can. Several times the snippet has been a reference to Kasabian's support band, for example If I Had A Gun By Noel Gallgher's High Flying Birds, Shelter Song by Temples or Bring It On Down by Oasis.

Underdog has been performed acoustically many times. There are versions performed only by Tom, for BBC 6 Music in December 2009, and only by Serge, for Sky Arts Songbook in April 2011.

VideoEdit

Kasabian - Underdog03:58

Kasabian - Underdog

Two similar videos were released for Underdog, a UK version directed by Charlie Lightening and an international version directed by Matt Askem. The former is shot both in colour and black and white and shows the band playing live throughout summer 2009, including Camden Crawl, Glastonbury and supporting Oasis on their stadium tour, as well as presenting West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum at a singing session at HMV Manchester. The international version is only in black and white and only uses footage from Kasabian's set at Camden Crawl 2009. Both versions have been released on the West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum CD/DVD Tour Edition.

RemixesEdit

Sasha RemixEdit

A shorter radio edit of the remix was released on the Promo CD-R as well.

QuotesEdit

"This came late in the sessions. At first I didn't know what to do with it. All I had was this hip hop break, a sequence going down and this Stonesy riff played on an acoustic Höfner Senator but made dirty through a pedal. I've always buzzed off hip hop, the way an MC delivers to an audience. That thing of being an outsider but gaining a sense of empowerment from it. So that's what Underdog's about. When I did my rough vocal I was sort of freestyling. The first verse I was playing around with lyrics. 'Surrounded by you voyeurs and celebrity whores.' 'Stealing from the jailer with his greasy hotel whores.' Don't ask! The whores got dropped. The breakdown near the end was trying to do a Silver Apples thing."
— Serge (Q Magazine, December 2009)
"It makes me feel really strong, that song. It means no one can fuck with me. That's how I feel when I sing that song. I feel like Floyd Mayweather. I feel like the lord. Like Darth Vader, or Apollo."
— Tom (MSN Malaysia, 25 August 2009)
"It was the skeleton and it was great and then it turned in to this massive, really fat breakbeat, drum style tune with this big helter skelter guitar over the top. It's really dirty, really horrible sounding guitar but amazing."
— Tom (BBC 6 Music, 5 January 2009)
"[Underdog is] about getting yourself back up again. And keep on going."
— Tom (Today Online, 1 February 2012)

ReleasesEdit

Albums

Singles / EPs

Live ReleasesEdit

Audio

Video

LyricsEdit

Kill me if you dare
Hold my head up everywhere
Keep myself out on this train

I'm the underdog
Live my life on a lullaby
Keep myself riding on this train
Keep myself riding on this train

Life in technicolour
Sprayed out on walls
I've been pounding at the pavement
Till there's nothing at all

I got my cloak and dagger
In a bar room brawl
See the local loves a fighter
Loves a winner to fall

Feels like I'm lost in a moment
I'm always losing to win
Can't get away from the moment
Seems like it's time to begin

Kill me if you dare
Hold my head up everywhere
Keep myself out on this train

I'm the underdog
Live my life on a lullaby
Keep myself riding on this train
Keep myself riding on this train

It don't matter
I won't do what you say
You got the money and the power
I won't go your way

I can't take for the people
They don't matter at all
I'll be waiting in the shadows
Till the day that you fall

Feels like I'm lost in a moment
I'm always losing to win
Can't get away from the moment
Seems like it's time to begin

Kill me if you dare
Hold my head up everywhere
Keep myself out on this train

I'm the underdog
Live my life on a lullaby
Keep myself riding on this train
Keep myself riding on this train

Tell me if you're down
Throw your weapons to the ground
Keep myself out on this train

Hey bird on the wire
Sold yourself for another one
Keep myself riding on this train
Keep myself riding on this train

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Q Magazine, December 2009
  2. NME, 13 June 2009
  3. West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum Commentary
  4. British Phonographic Industry: Certified Awards

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