Review: Kaiser Chiefs, 02 Academy, Newcastle

Kaiser Chiefs performing at Sheffield O2 Academy
Kaiser Chiefs performing at Sheffield O2 Academy
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ENERGISING guitars, climbing on bars and na-na-na-na-nas were the order of the day as the Kaiser Chiefs brought their brand of punky-indie-rocky-type stuff to the O2 Academy.

The Leeds quintet burst-out with a crowd-pleasing Everyday I Love You Less And Less at the Valentine’s night gig, treating the venue to a hefty dose of their distinctive sound.

The set list was studded with what have already become classic songs, but every track was greeted with as much glee by the sell-out crowd.

Frontman Ricky Wilson also engaged in his trademark climbing feats, clambering around the stage and at one point singing while standing atop a narrow bar, demanding a blue WKD from the somewhat bemused barmaid below.

This may or may not have been the reason for the band tweeting disparaging remarks about security staff at the Academy after the gig.

I Predict a Riot, Ruby, Oh My God and Angry Mob all got a dusting-off in the Kaiser Chiefs’ 1hr 20min show, which served up a relentless menu of sound, which seemed seamless even during the obligatory gap between mainshow and preplanned encore.

A personal favourite was the quirky percussion-heavy Little Shocks from the band’s last album The Future is Medieval.

Of course it’s still the sleeve list from the Kaiser Chief’s first outing, Employment, which resound the most – and it’s hard to believe it’s been almost seven years since I first bought the album as a postgraduate student in March 2005.

It’s an album where every song is good, no track you want to skip to get to the next – and a very good analogy for Tuesday’s performance.

That said, it was hard to believe that everyone in the packed venue was there for the headliners, with Sunderland’s own Frankie and the Heartstrings sparking a massive reaction and no doubt winning yet more fans with their punchy performance and a set list including Ungrateful, Tender and Hunger.

The Wearside band played a comfortable, confident and crowd-cajoling set with frontman Frankie Francis magnanimously reminding the audience they were just warming them up for the Kaiser Chiefs, side-stepping the common problem of those in the audience (ie the ignorant ones) who want the support band to get off and the headlines to come on.

The first support act of the night were Oxford band Fixers, a wanna-be whacky outfit big on mildly-oddball vocals, loud shirts and hand-held percussion instruments – sparking a Google search in a vain attempt to ascertain what one actually calls bells on a stick.

Answers on a postcard please.