Tag Archive: Kaiser Chiefs

Kaiser Chiefs + Zulu Winter + This Many Boyfriends @ Wolverhampton Civic, 22 February 2013

Spring has disappeared, it’s gone all cold again and the weather is desperate to snow, but tonight we’ll be snuggy in the delectable Wolves Civic in the presence of the Kaiser Chiefs, almost exactly a year since they played in Birmingham and still touring to celebrate their greatest hits.

Early support tonight comes from This Many Boyfriends, a rag taggle bobtail group clearly inspired by early 80s indie – boppy with a smattering on Mary Chain and Wedding Present. Sound-wise a bit of a timewarp as it takes me back to student days. The venue starts to fill up – tonight’s gig is sold out!

And while we wait for second servings we get Slade and Stuffies and Plant’s ‘Big Log.’ Clearly intended to get the local crowd going.

“Good evening Wolverhampton – are you well, we’re very happy to be here tonight.” The polite introduction from Zulu Winter, the next support. Another indie band, with a new romantic vibe going on – pretty infective. Lead singer Will Daunt has a wide-ranging hi- pitched voice. Acknowledged quite widely on Radio 1’s indie shows Zulu Winter live are a tad like Mansun with atmospheric, rolling and rising storytelling tracks and Mick Karn inspired bass. In the right place and at the right time they have the potential to go far.

Formed way back in ‘96, The Kaiser Chiefs released their classic debut album ‘Employment’ in ‘05 featuring indie pop hits ‘I Predict a Riot’, ‘Every Day I Love You Less and Less’, ‘Oh My God’ and ‘Modern Way.’ Hugely successful, it was one of the best selling albums of ‘06, and was followed by ‘Yours Truly, Angry Mob’, which yielded No.1 hit ‘Ruby.’  The Kaiser consist of Ricky Wilson (vocals), Andrew ‘Whitey” White (guitar), Simon Rix (bass) and Nick ‘Peanut’ Baines (keyboards) and new drummer Vijay Mistry (of Club Smith who supported them last year) after Nick Hodgson recently moved on to pastures new.

So bang on 9.15pm, here they come, onto a blacked draped, white-spotlighted set. Just one of the many reasons Wolves Civic wins out with so many touring bands the height of the venue and luxury to get a decent set on stage.

“1. 2. 3. 4” and we’re into ‘Thank You Very Much.’ The crowd is pleased. Wilson: “Are you ready? I wanna see you all f****n enjoying yourselves!” and the band continue with ‘Kinda Girl You Are’, followed by ‘Everything Is Average Nowdays.’ The crowd responds on the “oooo” bits. Wilson is as always, hugely energetic, and leaps across the pit, over the plethora of photographers to stand on the barrier, held back by a roadie, who grabs the rear of his jeans.   Back on stage and the first trio of songs over Wilson apologises for the possible expletives during his chatting. “Isn’t it about time the photographers went? Go on – off you go! That’s it! I can take my clothes off now….” The photographers duly oblige.

Wilson has great stagecraft and the ability to ramp the audience up – it is the big hits that get the crowd going. ‘Every Time I Love You Less and Less’ – “I want to hear you scream your f****n hearts out!” And the crowd oblige too. “Let me see you hands” the lights beam on the audience as he insists the entire audience puts their hands in the air, even the ones sitting.

“In this room, in Wolverhampton, is when we found out we’d got to number 1 [in the charts] with ‘Ruby’ – we really ought to start writing more number 1s!” And so we get the only new track of the night ‘Living Underground’ – which doesn’t depart from the Kaiser’s formula, but is faster and punchier and rockier.

Now we’re into a rolling set of songs everyone will know… “Cos it’s cool, to know nothing” ‘Never Miss A Beat.’ Wilson is a-wandering, he’s climbed onto the balcony, sitting there chatting to the audience, ramping it up more and more… “When you turn it up a little, we turn it up a little…”

Back on stage the black backdrop falls to reveal a spray painted stick of rock that is the cover on their greatest hits album ‘Souvenir.’ Wilson’s back on stage, bounce, bounce, bounce go the crowd, as we all sing along to “Ruby, Ruby, Ruby.” He carries on singing the chorus and the crowd goes “ooooo.” Now we’re ‘Predicting Riots’, albeit one of the politest riots you’ll ever see!

And as we’re rioting, we’ll be an ‘Angry Mob’. We clap, clap, clap and chant en masse over and over “We are the angry mob, we read the papers every day, we like who we like, we hate who we hate. But we’re also easily swayed.” Cracking end to main set.

Quick break and we get Wilson and piano ‘Saying Goodbye’ followed by a brave cover of The Strangler’s ‘No More Heroes’, Wilson sounds similar to original Strangler singer Hugh Cornwell, this version is faster version and a tad chaotic – a good attempt.

Bit of musical dabbling and we’re into final song of the night  ‘Oh My God’ which rolls and rolls. “And even if you don’t have any strength left in your body – I know, Wolverhampton, you have it in you for another chorus or 15….” And the crowd start chanting… “Oh my god I can’t believe it, never been this far away from home….” The band rolls the track into dance remix before jamming it down! “Thanks we’ll see you next time!”

You can’t fault the energy and commitment that the Kaisers put into their sets. And they’re jolly friendly, jolly nice, down to earth chaps. The thing that the Kaiser’s did was to write effective ‘football’ chant songs that sold, that many peoples know and that are a huge win with the crowd at live shows. It really must be quite amazing to have written those songs with the lyrics that everyone knows and listen to the crowd sing them back to you. What a buzz. Regardless of future success, the Kaiser Chiefs already have a back catalogue most bands would be jealous of; I’ve seen nostalgia bands with fewer hits re-appearing after twenty years absence. Expect the Kaiser Chiefs to be rocking your town for many years to come. Go and see. You will have a blast!

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And now a quick mention about the Pilgrim Bandits. Not a band but a charity, which the Kaiser Chiefs are taking around the country on their entire tour. Formed in 2007 by a small group of Special Forces veterans, this group have the sole aim of using their unique experience to help and inspire wounded soldiers to live life to the full, through pushing boundaries, working with youth and funding research into areas such as prosthetic limbs.  Pilgrim Bandits raise monies, but don’t ask for charity, they ask for your support. Check them out and see what you can do to support them at: www.pilgrimbandits.org

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Setlist

Intro: Money for Nothing [Dire Straits]

1. Thankyou very much

2. Kinda Girl You Are

3. Everything is Average Nowdays

4. Little Shocks

5. Like It Too Much

6. Good Days Bad Days

7. Every Day I Love You Less and Less

8. Born to be a Dancer

9. Modern Way

10. Living Underground

11. Heat Lies Down

12. Loves Not A Competition (But I’m Winning)

13. Dead or Serious Trouble

14. Never Miss A Beat

15. Ruby

16. I Predict A Riot

17. Angry Mob

Encore:

18. Saying Goodbye

19. No More Heroes

20. Oh My God

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Listening:

Employment (2005)

Yours Truly, Angry Mob (2007)

Off With Their Heads (2008)

The Future Is Medieval (2011)

Souvenir -The Singles 2004-2012 (2012)

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Review for Gig Junkies Pictures – Ken Harrison and Birmingham Live! Pictures – John Bentley.

Kaiser Chiefs + All The Young + Club Smith, 02 Academy, 3 February 2012

Review for Birmingham Live! Pictures Ian Dunn.

First gig of 2012 and it’s into one of the coldest nights of the winter so far (at least it’s not snowing tonight!), to the 02 Academy to see the return of the Kaiser Chiefs, with a mixture of their old and new stuff, a warm-up UK tour prior to hitting the US.

The Kaiser Chiefs formed way back in ‘96, releasing their classic debut album ‘Employment’ in ‘05 featuring indie pop hits ‘I Predict a Riot’, ‘Every Day I Love You Less and Less’, ‘Oh My God’ and ‘Modern Way.’ Hugely successful, it was one of the best selling albums of ‘06, and was followed by ‘Yours Truly, Angry Mob’, which yielded No.1 hit ‘Ruby.’ Another album ‘Off With Their Heads’, lots of big gigs then a break, then to their latest album – ‘The Future Is Medieval.’ Released via their website, in a manner of “creating your own album” – take a selection of 10 tracks from 20, design your own cover, pay £7.50 to download. Do a bit of crowdsourcing and promote it, they’ll give you £1 for everyone you sell. That’s kinda different. Tonight, Ricky Wilson (vocals), Andrew ‘Whitey” White (guitar), Simon Rix (bass), Nick ‘Peanut’ Baines (keyboards) and Nick Hodgson (drums) should certainly warm the cockles of their fans hearts as they see them in all their glory – tonight’s gig is sold out.

Early support tonight comes from Club Smith – a band hailing from Leeds and York, with an indie rock / electro indie vibe. In former guise The Hair, they’ve been scooting round the music scene since 2004, and got to play the Leeds and Reading Festivals in 2010, and support to The Pigeon Detectives in 2011.

Next up, All The Young, local(ish) indie lads hailing from Stoke-on-Trent, here tonight as support as pre-promotion of their new upcoming debut album ‘Welcome Home.’  Middle of the road indies geeks, they finish their set giving it some rocky rhythmic jamming. If you fancy seeing them again, they’ll be back on their very own tour at the o2 Academy3 on 25th March 2012.

And now to the main act of the night, the Kaiser Chiefs, the speakers play out Dire Straits’ ‘Money for Nothing’ and to shouts and cheers and flashing lights on the drum roll, oh, and a bit of “I want my MTV….” on they come and straight into big hit ‘Every Day I Love You Less and Less.’ The crowd sings ‘oooooooooooooooo’ – Wilson “Birmingham…. I want to hear you, I want to see you….” And then into an energetic rendition of ‘Never Miss A Beat’, an additive indie beat, hands in the air, culminating in a huge cheer from the crowd.

Halfway through, the cords start up and the crowd: “dadadaaa, dadadaaaa” and we’re into “Ruby, Ruby Ruby.” Kaiser Chief songs are engaging – there’s loadsa opportunities for the crowd to sing along “Na na na naaa” and Wilson conducts everyone in highs and lows just like they were an orchestra. He’s lovin’ it.

Tonight’s gig is smattered with new tracks, an explanation from a chatty Wilson: “We’ve got a job to do…. got to keep doing new sings and playing ‘em… you want to hear a new song – don’t care if you don’t want to hear it – sing along, even if you don’t know the words…” The new tracks are clearly inspired by early eighties, at times harmonised and electronic, almost early OMD. The crowd is polite; these new tracks are great, but as a slight departure from their usual sound and take some getting used to.

Wilson spends the gig leaping round the stage, and is not averse to getting right in with the crowd. Fourth rack in ‘Everything is Average Nowdays’ – he’s standing on the barrier, leaning over the fans. Prior to ‘Modern Way’ he sits on a speaker stack, chatting to the audience, percussion instrument in hand. For ‘Kinda Girl You Are’ he takes a tour of the venue, climbing up onto the balcony from the stage, and walking round the edge of the mezzanine, before sitting on the rail above the sound desk. The set finishes with another newbie ‘Listen To Your head’ – Wilson: “Only second time we’ve ever played it…” more 80s inspired, this time more moody.

The main set completed and we’re into the encore – Wilson: “Someone threw a shoe on stage…. you want your shoe back we’re in Plymouth tomorrow…” First track another new one ‘Love’s Not A Competition (But I’m Winning)’ before we’re into the full on chant that is ‘Oh My God’.

The Kaiser Chiefs are jolly good fun. Hugely energetic, and engaging, they love to see what they can make the audience do, and love to get in there. The new stuff is a step away from what some fans will be used to, but there’s still something enjoyable and listenable about it, even if they don’t quite have the same sing-a-long of previous hits. Whatever the future holds, consistent success or world domination, they already have a back catalogue most bands would be jealous of. I’ve seen nostalgia bands with fewer hits re-appearing after twenty years absence. Expect the Kaiser Chiefs to be rocking your town for many years to come…

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Setlist

Intro: Money for Nothing [Dire Straits]

  1. Every Day I Love You Less and Less
  2. Never Miss A Beat
  3. Little Shocks
  4. Everything is Average Nowdays
  5. Good Days Bad Days
  6. Learnt My Lesson Well
  7. Modern Way
  8. On The Run
  9. Ruby
  10. The Angry Mob
  11. Na Na Na Na Naa
  12. Starts With Nothing
  13. I Predict A Riot
  14. Kinda Girl You Are
  15. Take My Temperature
  16. Listen to Your Head

 

Encore:

17. Love’s Not A Competition (But I’m Winning)

18. Oh My God

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Listening:

Employment (2005)

Yours Truly, Angry Mob (2007)

Off With Their Heads (2008)

The Future Is Medieval (2011)

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