Razzmatazz, Barcelona, 15.02.2014
The Kaiser Chiefs are one of those bands who had the pulses of indie
kids across England racing back in the mid 2000s, but by now,
maybe they have slipped off of that radar slightly. My first memory
of the Leeds quintet was downloading a 30 second ringtone clip of
I Predict A Riot as a 10 year old back in 2004, after
probably being introduced to them by my Dad (the fucking hipster).
After a string of mega hits from the first two albums (and one from
the third), the band took a brief hiatus before returning with the
novel idea of allowing fans to listen to 20 30 second clips of songs
before designing their own version of fourth album The Future
Is Medieval. Despite the ideology behind the release, the album
was, in my opinion, a disappointment that failed to live up to their
previous work. Now, as they prepare to release fifth album Eduacation,
Education, Education & War I gratefully accepted the opportunity
to take a short stroll to Razzmatazz, a fantastic venue in Barcelona,
to see the band perform, praying that the new songs cant be
worse than the new album title.
One thing that has never been doubted is Rickys frontman credentials,
hes full of energy and bounces round the stage like Tigger on
coke. But more recently the bands songs have been put into question,
even more so now that drummer and main songwriter Nick Hodgson has
departed. The Kaiser Chiefs stroll onto the stage to the sound of
War by Edwin Starr and are met by rapturous applause.
They begin with one of the new songs, The Factory Gates
before launching into three of their classics, Never Miss A
Beat, Everything Is Average Nowadays and Everyday
I Love You Less And Less. Wilson milks every little piece of
energy out of the adoring crowd as he swaggers around the stage, testing
his Spanish skills between songs.
After getting the crowd excited with some older songs, the band then
opt to sample some newer tracks, with Bows And Arrows
and Coming Home being separated by 2011s Little
Shocks. These songs seem to be a slight dampener on the crowd,
who, having been riled up by the old tunes, seem disappointed by the
new ones. The songs seem like the band are desperate to reproduce
a chorus like that of Ruby to propel themselves back into
the charts, but are just falling short. The lyrics are poor and the
songs are scruffy, with the best of them coming from new drummer Vijay
Mistry, who seems full of energy.
At the halfway point of the set the band revert to the older material,
following You Can Have It All with Modern Way,
with the latter sending the audience into delirium, as keyboardist
Nick Baines steps forward to encourage a sea of clapping hands across
the venue. With another new number slotted inbetween, Ruffians
On Parade, the boys then proceed to play what could possibly
be classed as one of the best two song streaks in noughties indie,
with I Predict A Riot being followed by Ruby.
The Catalan crowd goes crazy as Ricky begins to smash a symbol and
the opening riff of I Predict A Riot kicks in before the
frontman offers the microphone to the crowd During Ruby
and gets more than what he expected in return, as the people reply
by singing every word back to him so loud and impressively that the
hairs on the back of my neck were left standing.
The band finish the initial set with The Angry
Mob, with Ricky re-introducing the band, Somos the Kaiser
Chiefs, Somos The Angry Mob
and as they leave the stage
the chorus is still echoing through the venue in the voice of the
fans, before cheers of one more song (which is highly
amusing when heard with a slight Spanish accent) take over. The Band
return to the stage to finish up with one new song Cannons
and one last classic, 2004s Oh My God, leaving the
stage with the microphone left swinging above the audience and two
poor fuckers trying to de-tangle it from the roof whilst the curtains
draw shut and the projector screens re-appear.
The Kaiser Chiefs older song will always have that indie nostalgic
glow to them, but unfortunately the new songs just dont compare.
Despite the disappointment in the new songs, the band still put on
an incredible show and were met by an audience who put in an equally
as impressive performance.
Pix from http://www.treintayunacanciones.com
Thanks to Estella at Razzmatazz for organizing things.