Kaiser Chiefs at the O2. Absolutely brilliant. Period. A band made for playing live with every song an anthem which you cannot help but sing along tom and a front man who cannot keep still and bounces around the stage from amp to crowd to stage left, right, front, back and out into the crowd on a 6 ft diameter circus stage.
Iv’e not seen the Kaisers before and this gig was eagerly anticipated. The new album – Education, Education, Education and War – has grown on me and has all the anthemic songs that previous albums have had with maybe a little more refinement.
I went with the family and it was the lads 2nd gig and a good 2nd gig to go to! As usual we drove up and whilst the A13 up to Canning Town was plain sailing, the last 2 miles took nearly an hour so we missed the first support act Teleman all but half of their last song.
Lights up and efforts made to hook up with my sister’s friends Paul and Sandra who were in the next block! Success and a chat and some photos was had before the second support act came on – Public Service Broadcasting. I was looking forward to seeing them and they didn’t disappoint (separate review here).
And then it was time for the Kaisers.
The show started with a cloud of smoke and a lowering of the stage lighting rig to provide an ‘intimate’ staging for the first few songs. The boys opened with The Factory Gates from the latest album and from there it was anthem after anthem.
Every Day I Love You Less And Less was next, followed by Everything is Average Nowadays, Ruffians on Parade, Na Na Na Na Naa, and My Life. Frontman Ricky Wilson was in great form and raced around the stage and sang much of My Life standing on the crowd barrier being held up by excited fans.
It was hard to stay seated watching this performance and a few people were standing – including my daughter – but with people sitting behind me I didn’t really feel I could stand too much. I had to for the next couple of songs though.
Ricky launched into The Angry Mob and the place erupted with everyone standing and everyone shouting along. After a bit Ricky disappeared and it wasn’t till my daughter prodded me that I realised he had appeared in front of us on a 6′ diameter circus stage in front of the lighting desk from where he finished Riot before belting out Cannons.
The talky bit after Cannons on the album – The Occupation – gave Ricky the opportunity to return to the stage and it worked well I thought with images displayed on the screens behind the stage.
Next up was the excellent track Roses accompanied by great visuals after which Ricky took a rest and performed the slower TeamMate. No rest for the wicked though and next up was Modern Way and Never Miss A Beat..
Next up was an odd segment where one off the band members was randomly chosen to chose a track to play and I’m not sure it worked like it should. There was talk of the system that picked the band member not working but it did eventually and I’m not convinced it wasn’t all part of the act. Anyway Peanut aka keyboard player Nick Baines chose Time Honored Tradition which I didn’t think worked too well either for some reason but hey ho.
Order was then restored – and everyone finally got themselves stood up – with Ruby and I Predict A Riot which were a complete blast. I managed to get a bit of video of the latter included below – with apologies in advance for my singing.
A change of tack for the next song with the boys playing a rendition of the classic Who track Pinball Wizard which was pretty damn good followed up with a new song Coming Home which was a tad less riotous but good all the same. Always dodgy to play a song no-one knows at a gig but they pulled it off okay. And with that – and a shower of confetti from stage front cannons – the show was done and the boys were off.
There then followed a most bizzare video interlude where the band were seen being chastised by Dave Grohl for a poor performance. It went on a bit and had the odd expletive and can be watched online in various places. Needless to say the boys promised to make amends and came out for another few songs kicking off with Falling Awake.
The encore finished up with Misery Company and finally the brilliant Oh My God which culminated in more pyrotechnics and full scale party poppers firing streamers into the crowd. And rapturous applause.
It was a brilliant gig from a band who are perfect for playing live which will be a highlight of 2015 I’m sure. If you get the chance to see them – then do so.
Included below is the full setlist from the gig,