Kaiser ChiefsClaire B
Last week saw The Kaiser Chiefs return to Ibiza Rocks for their fourth gig there. They last played in 2012, which culminated in singer Ricky Wilson jumping into the swimming pool at the end of their set – the performance of the year for me. With the departure of their drummer at the end of 2012, rather than crumble under the enforced change to their line-up, they’ve experienced somewhat of a renaissance. Their last album saw them return to the top of the album charts and in interviews they’ve talked about how the change has brought new life to the band and made them appreciate what they have. So, for my third time of seeing the band, I had high expectations of this gig, hopeful that they would put on a good show.
Support was from four-piece band Peace from Worcester. Playing songs from their first album ’In Love’ released in 2013 and new songs from their second album due out soon, they got a great reaction from the crowd as the venue filled up. There was not much showmanship in their performance, bar a bit of inter-song banter from the singer, but they more than made up for this in the delivery of their music. Their indie pop/rock songs veered between the layered soaring guitar on ‘Money’ to the more poppy tunes like ‘Lovesick’, and the jangly guitar and funky bass on last song ‘Bloodshake’, which was a great end to the set. As they walked off the stage they chucked over the mic stands and left us with feedback – the best exit a band can make in my opinion. I liked them and I liked their catchy, poppy, dancey tunes. Ibiza Rocks do a great job of selecting support acts who are starting to make an impact in the UK and who complement the main act well and Peace were an excellent choice on both counts.
With five albums under their belt now, Kaiser Chiefs have a vast repertoire of material to draw from, and a number of anthemic, sing-a-long crowd-pleasers, but they also have a new album ‘Education, Education, Education and War’ to air. However, they expertly mixed in tracks from their latest album with the old favourites that the crowd inevitably wanted to hear. They kicked off with ‘Every Day I Love You Less and Less’, followed by ‘Everything is Average Nowadays’, and it wasn’t long before singer Ricky left the stage and leered over the crowd from the top of the barrier. Back on the stage he jumped around all over the place, singing from on top of the bass drum at the back and on top of monitors at the front, confirming that their performance so far was anything but average. Sneaking in ‘Ruffians on Parade’ from their latest album they then went back to crowd-pleasing classics ‘Never Miss a Beat’ and ‘Na, Na, Na, Na, Naa’, one of the easiest tracks to sing along too. Ricky finally took his jacket off (it was a hot night and hardly required) to screams from the girls down at the front, as they went into another couple of tracks from the latest album, ‘Meanwhile Up in Heaven’ and last single ‘Coming Home’. By now there were a couple of blow-up guitars being passed around in the crowd and arms were being waved in the air in time to the music. Ricky was on fine form, jumping around the stage whilst belting out the songs, and entertaining the crowd with banter in between. Single ‘This is the Modern Way’ gave way to the next single from the new album to be released at the end of the month, ‘My Life’, which sees Andrew the guitarist and Simon the bassist grooving away on the stage behind Ricky, clearly enjoying themselves. Then they up the pace for their only number one single ‘Ruby’, which sees everyone singing the chorus and putting their arms up in the air, but when the opening bars of ‘I Predict a Riot’ ring out around the venue everybody goes crazy and there’s a barrage of energy coming simultaneously from the stage and the crowd as everybody jumps up and down and sings along in the chorus. ‘The Angry Mob’ sees Ricky leaving the stage again and orchestrating the crowd around him to sit down, telling them to stop recording everything on their phones and enjoy the moment (see the link to the video at the end of the article). It was an excellent display of crowd control, and with that, they left the stage.
But it wasn’t long before they were back for an encore, launching into new song ‘Misery Company’, and Ricky demonstrating the command he has over the audience by engaging them in his own version of ‘Simon says’, where he raises his arms in the air and everyone copies him. It’s both powerful and humorous and the song ends with Ricky lying on the floor with his feet resting on a monitor. When vertical again, he announces “we were sent here to entertain you, it’s our only purpose in life – if we felt we disappointed you we would end it tomorrow”.
There was no doubt that we were anything other than entertained, as the gig reached another crescendo with ‘Oh My God’ which had the crowd shouting back the lyrics to the chorus and jumping up and down with their arms in the air, me included. Ricky held the microphone stand over the crowd to pick up their chants, which raised the decibel levels in the venue a few notches. A perfect climax to the set.
Kaiser Chiefs are a great live act. They’re a tight band and their catchy pop/rock songs are great to sing along to and front man Ricky always puts on a good show. You never know quite what he’s going to do, but you know he’s going to do something and he’s highly likely to leave the stage at some point during the show. The set is delivered with humour and they all look like they’re having the time of their lives. Above all, Kaiser Chiefs’ gigs are fun, and this one was no exception. They didn’t disappoint and with the combination of great support from Peace, I left the venue very happy.
Kaiser Chiefs ‘Angry Mob’:
Kaiser Chiefs ‘Ruby’: