We Are The Rowdy Mob
Never ones to court a less than eclectic crowd, the last year or so has seen the somewhat diverse following of the Kaiser Chiefs change quite radically. Where once a wave of indie trendsetters would be hanging off the lapel of Ricky Wilson’s obligatory waistcoat, it would seem that their grasp has slackened resulting in the youngster being replaced by an older generation of gig goers, the type that have come straight from the office and have brought their ten year olds along for a family night out. Yes things have changed, the shows have got bigger and the songs have got darker but the Kaisers still court a rowdy mob.
With the glitz and glamour befitting of their two night stint at Earls Court, Kaiser Chiefs make their entrance striding along a snaking runway that backs the raised drum kit, pausing momentarily to take in the crowd before bursting into ‘Everything Is Average Nowadays’. Brimming with lyrics that ooze spit and venom, ‘Everything Is Average Nowadays’ sends a ripple throughout the crowd, springing them to life as they immediately bounce along echoing the lyrics resoundingly back to Wilson with gusto as the singer makes his way to the barrier, embracing his followers as has been his trend since the early days. Having to climb the rigging to make his way back onto the extremely high Earls Court stage, Wilson wastes no time lunging straight into ‘Everyday I Love You Less And Less’ again causing a wave of exhilaration splashing through the crowd as a frenzy of pogoing ensues. Sure, the average age of their crowd may have increased with their mainstream recognition but still Kaiser Chiefs know how to stir a frantic flurry from out of nowhere.
With hits strewn from across two albums making an appearance tonight it truly is a best of Kaiser Chiefs with ‘Born To Be A Dancer’ sitting snugly alongside the likes of ‘Heat Dies Down’ and Highroyds’. Inevitably though it is ‘Ruby’ that cumulates in a burst of communal singing with Wilson being almost drowned out by the enthusiastic cries of the crowd, a fact all members would have been grateful for during their amusingly blundered version of ‘Modern Way’. Something of a ballad, well at least in the world of Kaiser Chiefs, ‘Modern Way’ turned into a hilarity of gaffes as keyboardist Peanut sought revenge for his many years of being the brunt of the other guys jokes. Strolling around the stage with a keyboard strapped across his stomach, Peanut shocked and amused the remaining four Kaiser Chiefs, reducing them to a gaggle of giggling school kids and rendering them helpless. Apologetically jumping to the crowds mercy, it was left to drummer Nick to explain that they’d seemed to forgot their own song before Wilson led the crowd in an accapello rendition of the omitted verse, proving that the Kaiser’s may be bigger now but they’re still just five lads having a good time.
Not everything tonight though was about the Kaisers past with a couple of new tracks, ‘You Want History’ and ‘Never Miss A Beat’ hinting at the path the Leeds band will continue along whilst ‘I Predict A Riot’ left all to raise merry hell throughout Earls Court even leading to Wilson sprinting through the crowd to reach the sound desk where he continued to finish the rowdy rebel yell. Ultimately its this that Kaiser Chiefs do best; picking up on the mundane which everyone can relate to they are able to spin a catchy hook laden beat to it, string it together with witty lyrics before packaging it to be chanted from the streets to the terraces and as such it was fitting that the equally sinister but highly infectious ‘Angry Mob’ brought the set to a close. And whilst an encore of ‘Oh My God’ was just as worthy it was the insightfulness of ‘Angry Mob’ that truly invigorated the crowd allowing them to erupt in a hail of chants and leaping insanely with more energy than those indie trendsetters could ever have wished for. Sure, the Kaiser Chiefs may pull an older crowd now but they’re certainly not average and they most definitely still know how to cause a riot.