Kaiser Chiefs

All posts tagged Kaiser Chiefs

Oh yes, definitely worth waiting for!  Despite being a fan since seeing the band featured on TV on the NME Awards Tour in 2005, I had never seen Kaiser Chiefs live so when they announced a UK tour, I was determined to get a ticket.  And so it was that I found myself in Leeds this weekend for the last date of the tour – end of tour and home town shows have that extra special magic about them, so to have the two together was fabulous.

Singer Ricky Wilson, as live a wire as I’d expected, kept the near capacity crowd entranced from beginning to end.  In addition, the chemistry between the group as a whole, borne from years of making music together, was evident and meant that the set moved seamlessly from new to old; songs that must have been played hundreds of times sounded as fresh as those from the most recent album, Stay Together. The opening track was the title track from that album and proved that the band’s somewhat controversial journey into the world of synth pop easily lends itself to guitar led live shows.  Playing these songs, amongst them Press Rewind and Good Clean Fun, served to remind us that whatever else, the Kaiser Chiefs still know how to write a cracking tune with catchy lyrics that manage to be thought provoking at the same time.  The crowd seemed to agree with me, singing along full throttle to Parachute and the stand out song of the album, Hole in My Soul.

Bands with a long back catalogue of hits face the problem of what to include when touring, or probably more likely, what to leave out and the Kaiser Chiefs’ relative longevity means they are no exception.  Mega hits like Ruby, I Predict a Riot and Every Day I Love You Less and Less are a given but the rest must be more tricky.  The set list was a great mix of old and new, with Angry Mob, Everything is Average Nowadays, Oh My God, Modern Way and Never Miss A Beat mixing flawlessly with the rest of the set list.  Kaiser Chief’s previous album, Education, Education, Education and War, was represented by the epic Coming Home and Meanwhile Up In Heaven, whose lyrics I can’t listen to without tears appearing…and yes, this concert was no exception.

Although I loved every minute of this concert, the highlights for me were Hole In My Soul, a song that fills me with joy whenever I hear it and, more surprisingly, Every Day I Love You Less and Less.  I say surprisingly, as in spite of loving this song when it was first released, it came to be associated with an unhappy time in my life and I haven’t been able to listen to it since.  On Saturday though, I was up, dancing and singing along with everyone else and I absolutely loved it  – the mark of a great band / singer is when they make you love a song you previously hated.  All in all, I can’t wait to go to another Kaiser Chiefs gig!

Kaiser Chiefs are playing numerous gigs in 2017 – click here to see the dates.

Stay Together is available here:

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xx

 

 

It’s safe to say that Kaiser Chiefs completely wrong footed both their many fans and the world of music in general when they released the first single from their new album back in June this year.  In contrast to their previous guitar led indie sound, Parachute showed a distinct pop / dance style and to begin with, a fair amount of fans were really not happy.  I loved it and felt the same about the equally catchy second single, Hole In My Soul, which followed in August and vies with Parachute for best video:

The title track, Stay Together, kicks off the album and instantly showcases the rest of the album: catchy, upbeat, synth pop, dancey and something that has you singing along in no time at all.  Dancing along seems to be compulsory for me at least which makes writing a review somewhat tricky – taken longer than normal as I keep having to get up and dance!

I opened this review by saying that Stay Together is a completely different sound for Kaiser Chiefs and yet…it’s not.  Strip the synth pop sound away and most of the tracks would sound like the guitar led KC sound we all know.  I suppose this is not a surprise as they are an extremely well honed band live and several of these songs have already been played live at KC shows so far this year.  My favourite songs are Hole In My Soul, Press Rewind, Indoor Firework and High Society, the latter for the novelty value of hearing Ricky sound more like Mika than Mika!  I hasten to add that I could have chosen most of the other songs too.

Kaiser Chiefs’ previous album, Education, Education, Education and War was a blistering return to form after the departure of Nick Hodgson and certainly their most cohesive album since their early releases; Stay Together continues in that vein.  Despite a difference in sound and subject matter (Stay Together speaks throughout of the tricky business of relationships – which relationships, it’s up to the listener to decide), this sixth album is very definitely to be taken as whole rather a collection of disparate songs.  If you’re not keen on your favourite bands taking a new direction then this album might not be for you but you’ll definitely be missing out.  Can’t wait to see where Kaiser Chiefs go next.

Stay Together is available here:

kaiser chiefs

 

Yesterday I heard (in full, for the first time) the Kaiser Chiefs’ new single, Parachute from their long awaited sixth album, Stay Together which is due out in October.  I’d seen YouTube clips of Parachute over the weekend so I had an idea of what the song would sound like but I was blown away by the dance style sound of the single.  Blown away as in not expecting it but really loved it.  Judge for yourselves:

[August 2016] The second new song, Hole In My Soul, has just been released and I love this one too.  Fab video – apart from anything else, how cool is Whitey?

How often is it that you get a fab dance track that works just as well when played live by a guitar based indie band?  It’s genius – catchy, great lyrics, had me dancing about at first listen, what more could you want? And the answer to that last question, at least when scrolling through tweets on the subject, was that a number of fans just wanted a record that sounded the same as the previous five albums.  Actually, I don’t think that any of the previous albums are similar enough to warrant that statement (I have followed the band since their first album, didn’t listen for a while, around the times of the third and fourth albums, but came back to the music via front man Ricky Wilson’s stint on The Voice) so I suppose what disgruntled fans mean is that they want something that offers a recognisable Kaiser Chiefs indie band sound.

So, (Ricky once said on his Radio X show that you shouldn’t start a sentence with so but I do it quite a lot) I suppose the question is whether Kaiser Chiefs are trying to reach a new audience with this single or they’ve just written something that they wanted to?  Who knows – maybe I’ll get the chance to ask them one day – but I do know that it’s their choice.  Personally, I love it when a band goes in a new direction (and as I’ve not heard the rest of the album I don’t know if the rest of it is the same); life’s an adventure and just doing the same old thing dulls creativity or at least it does for me.

Having said all that, I think it’s not surprising that some fans are not all that enamoured of the sound.  Writing about Alfie Boe’s music for almost three years now has shown me that although a lot of fans say they would listen to anything and everything an artist puts out, that’s not actually true for a sizable percentage of the audience.  Alfie is renowned for endlessly changing the style of his music and not all his fans have stayed the course throughout his career (on a personal note, I could happily live without the musical theatre albums) despite originally and repeatedly saying that they would listen to him sing anything, “even the phone book”.  Balanced against those fans are the ones who have come to him following one of his many changes in direction proving only that there is never just one audience for an artist or their music.  Change is good – embrace it and you might find a whole new world out there but that’s another song entirely.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that if your favourite band, and Kaiser Chiefs are my most listened to artist after Alfie, wants to try a new sound, go with it, you might find that like me, you love their new song.  On the basis of Parachute I can’t wait to hear the album.  Roll on October.

Stay Together is available for pre-order here:

kaiser chiefs

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xx

Have beards had their day?  According to a new study by the University of New South Wales, Darwinian selection has a say in the ebbs and flows of beard fashion – the more beards there are, the less attractive they become, thereby handing advantage to clean shaven men.  When this happens, the pendulum swings away from a lot of beards to less beards.  The rarer a beard is, the more attractive it is; conversely, in a bearded world, clean shaven is the more attractive option.

Anyway, this is all very well, but what does this mean to Alfie fans?  Do we think Alfie will shave his beard or keep with it, after all, he’s had for quite a while now.  Do we even prefer him with a beard or without?

Image

alfie carfest

Personally, I love the beard despite not being a fan of beards before I became a fan.  In fact, I would go so far as to say that beards positively turned me off before.  Not any more, beards are often the thing I notice first! And now, thanks to this study, I can say it’s evolution, nothing to do with me at all!

Just to prove it, here are a few photos of my favourite beards – and there’s a new beard in town! But I kind of think I would like Ricky Wilson clean shaven too  x

ricky wilson

And another beard we like (although, again, a clean shaven Toby Stephens is also delightful) – this shows Toby as Captain Flint in the engrossing pirate series Black Sails:

toby stephens

 

The lovely Ben Affleck:
ben affleck beard
george clooney beard Gorgeous George Clooney
JOJ beard
The lovely John Owen Jones