Since lead singer Ricky’s stint on The Voice UK, the Kaiser Chiefs had slowly fallen off everyone’s radar. Having released their last album in 2016, people have been waiting to hear from the Leeds quintet for a few years now.
Gracing the stage after a rousing introduction from a booming Lancastrian voice describing a father taking his son to see the Kaiser Chiefs for the first time, the five piece jump straight into new song Wait, unfortunately Ricky’s voice sounded strained and raspy. “We’re at the wrong side of the Pennines but let’s go Manchester!” bellows the front man.
Never Miss A Beat from the bands third offering is a big hit but falls a little short with Ricky’s vocal performance letting it down slightly- even the CO2 at the end didn’t distract from it. It must be pointed out that the first few shows of the tour were rescheduled because of illness, so maybe he returned to work a little too soon. The rarely played Saturday Night goes down a treat with the fans of first album Employment and the old-school songs don’t stop there, Modern Way from the same album is the first crowd participation track of the evening.
A mirrorball descends from the ceiling of the O2 Apollo stage for the slower Love’s Not A Competition But I’m Winning and new song Target Market, the latter of the two reminiscent of a slow dance song at a local school disco. Confetti shoots around the room during the final chorus of Coming Home, and as the gig prolongs, Ricky’s voice improves and both him and the band seem to settle back into the big venue- right where they belong. The setlist was a real ‘greatest hits’ set and the loyal fans were treated to yet another new song in Golden Oldie, the chorus is catchy and it’s hard to not be captivated when the entire staging is lit by dazzling golden light.
A generation mix fills the room this evening; middle aged women starting their weekend off with a drink and a dance and moshpitting teens as well as everything inbetween. Everyday I Love You Less And Less is undoubtedly massive but it’s the number one single Ruby that really gets everyone bouncing. The guitar riff to start is nostalgic and unfortgettable and there isn’t a person in the room not losing their mind to this song. The I Predict A Riot B-side Take My Temperature has been a staple of the Kaiser’s setlist for years, and goes down well with the core fanbase but it’s the A Side that keeps the good vibes going. Angry Mob and Retirement close the show and gives everyone the time to get their breath back before the encore.
Hole In My Soul and Time Honoured Tradition are two notable bangers but it’s the timeless Oh My God that is the perfect closer for the show. Letting off huge party cannons as he gallivants around the stage, Ricky leads the crowd into repeated chorus of “Oh my God I can’t believe it, I’ve never been this far away from home”- which is ironic because home is literally down the M62 motorway. After a shaky and slightly unconvincing start to the show, Kaiser Chiefs eventually turned it around and won everyone over. The addition of new songs in the set was refreshing for the Kaisers but it’s undeniable that the Leeds mob have some absolute bangers that have stood the test of time.