The Kaiser Chiefs - Manchester Academy

Retaining an element of character and edge despite having become far too big for this short string of 'intimate' dates, The Kaisers turn in a performance that bristles with energy and, crucually, brings an element of fun to a cold wet Manchester. With new album 'Off With Their Heads' to promote, they sneak in the songs that are not yet part of the indie landscape in between singles from the first two albums. 'Every Day I Love You Less and Less' is rolled out early and 'Oh My God' closes the show. Ricky goes crowd-surfing and ends up further from the stage than common sense would suggest. (A stolen belt results in all manner of recriminations until it eventually is thrown back on stage.) A pissed-up Peter Kay appears when technical hitches halt proceedings and is made most welcome. The mixed demographic (accountants, students, schoolkids) laps it up. 'Oh My God' closes the main set and encores of 'Everything is Average Nowadays' and, predictably, 'I Predict a Riot' (sadly minus 2 Up 2 Down and their take : 'We Predict a Riot') bring the house down. Credit too for the smart lighting and the sound (punchy and clear rather than muddy and muddled.)

The Kaiser Chiefs are still a league or too away from throwing in enough twists to offer the listener anything that startles or truly ennervates. Kitchen sink indie is done with more flair by, say, Maximo Park and arena-filling anthems are delivered with more guile by the likes of Elbow. That said, their way with a tune can't be denied and in Ricky Wilson they have a leader who, for once, you don't particularly want to punch in the face for his self-important posturing. Playing in a venue they out-grew long ago, before they hit the arenas next March, the Kaiser Chiefs live experience is not bad at all. Praise doesn't get much fainter than this, I know, but, hey, you could do a lot worse.

Last updated: 18/04/2018 21:54:33

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