Kaiser Chiefs have taken to the road in support of their latest LP, Education, Education, Education & War and tonight sees them land in Newcastle with their huge show, but first, the small matter of Public Service Broadcasting.
On first glance, we’re struck by how the band has grown since we last saw them. Thankfully, though, that is the only thing that has changed and not only are they back with a whole clutch of new songs, they also have a few extra members in tow too. They’ve not lost any of their charm, the brilliant, sample driven inter-song banter is as on point as ever.
Their set is filled with brilliant tracks from the now classic ‘Theme From PSB’ and 'Night Mail' go down particularly well. As well as new single ‘Gagarin’ that is quite a bit funkier than their previous output whilst still retaining their original style and brilliance. We were really unsure as to where they could after such a phenomenal first album but they’ve certainly pulled it off based on ‘Gagarin’. We’re already on a high, even before the Kaiser Chiefs have set foot on the stage, but as the arena is filled with smoke, we hear the first bars of ‘The Factory Gates’.
The smoke clears as the crowd go wild for Ricky and his musketeers, Wilson appearing to be in rather visceral form as he bounds around the stage thrusting his mic stand toward the crowd.
Its not long before he’s hanging over the barrier, goading the crowd who gladly oblige jostling for the frontman's attention. The newer tracks provoke just as emphatic a reaction as the older ones. With ‘Everything is Average Nowadays’ and ‘Na Na Na Na Naa’ featuring early on, alongside the brilliant ‘Cannons’ and ‘Ruffians on Parade’.
As a live band its hard to fault the Kaiser Chiefs in any way, it could be said that they lost their way with albums three and four, yet their latest offering is a real return to form. To our surprise they play little known track ‘Team Mate’ from their debut LP “Employment,” perhaps one of our favourite Kaiser Chiefs songs as its something completely different to what you would expect from these indie rockers.
The latter part of the bands set is made up of the early hits, and who could blame them really with tracks like ‘I Predict a Riot’ and the infamous ‘Ruby’ provoking mass crowd participation. Setting the arena alight, Ricky Wilson’s showmanship is second to none and the rest of the band are brilliant musicians themselves, some may think this is a little too clinical, but we’d beg to differ.
Unlike so many bands these guys are professional and have a goal to put on an epic show and tonight, that’s exactly what they do and Ricky is quick to try and dispel any overly professional atmosphere anyway. The Ask Peanut segment, producing a fair few laughs and allowing someone else from the band to take centre stage in the process, if only for a short while.
They also find the time to throw in a cheeky cover of The Who’s 'Pinball Wizard', which goes down a treat this evening. The band close out their set though with arguably their biggest hit ‘Oh My God’ to top off what has been a brilliant evening, which proves new material is just as exciting as anything from their earlier albums.