Kaiser Chiefs provide a masterclass of rock at Newmarket Nights
Judging by their performance last night, the Kaiser Chiefs give off enough electricity onstage to power a small town, with frontman Ricky Wilson being a constant blur of kinetic energy and a hugely likeable showman.
The third of this year's Newmarket Nights brought the Leeds band to the famous Suffolk racecourse and they put on a performance worthy of headlining Glastonbury. You can almost feel sorry for the revellers at that particular festival as they missed Wilson and Co put on a masterclass of modern rock that was packed with great tunes and a real energy.
Opening number ‘People Know How to Love One Another’ really set the tone for the evening, a bright paean to love and hope, the band taking off into flight led by their dapper singer who was resplendent in sharp waistcoat, bow tie and straw boater. ‘Never Miss A Beat’ followed, full of a real new wave and punk spirit both lyrically and musically with the theme continuing with fan favourite ‘Everything Is Average Nowadays’ and a turbocharged run through of ‘Na Na Na Naa’.
‘Golden Oldies’ was the first of two brand new tracks from the curiously titled ‘Duck’ album and proved itself to be a great introduction to what promises to be another great release from the band, its echoes of David Bowie and a less angular Talking Heads marking its quality. The warm, slightly psychedelic, New Romantic tones of ‘Factory Gates’ was another great twist in a set that constantly kept both band and audience on their toes and led into the anthemic ‘Parachute’, a slab of a stadium-filling dance song that sounded both huge and impossible not to move to. Without doubt one of the finest and biggest numbers in their repertoire, the previously animated Wilson seemed to go into overdrive, at one point charging from one side of the large stage to the other and back to conduct the audience in singing and cheering whilst his bandmates laid down the brilliant beats behind him.
Lead single from their ‘Education, Education, Education and War’ album, the joyful ‘Coming Home’ saw a sea of arms waving back and forth as its ringing guitar glided over the top before second new song ‘Record Collection blazed with its stuttering funk beat. The band always were a quality proposition, even before his spell as one of the coaches on ‘The Voice’ turned Wilson into a national treasure and it’s genuinely impossible not to have a good time at one of their shows. This is ably illustrated by another feelgood love song ‘Hole in My Soul’, the crowd jumping up and down in unison to the bounce of the music. ‘Everyday I Love You Less and Less’ saw the microphone stand tossed high in the air and the much loved ‘Ruby’ prompted a breakout of mobile phones and even louder singing.
‘I Predict a Riot’ and ‘The Angry Mob’ closed the set in truly wild style, the latter really capturing the zeitgeist of this age of social media, its lyrics more pertinent than ever. With an opening slot for The Who just over a week away, the first number of the encore ‘Pinball Wizard’ was a masterstroke, more than equalling the original for fire as the band put their all into it. Anything else would have been an anti-climax following that but the anthemic ‘Oh My God’ was the perfect finish to the evening, one last great big happy singalong.
At the start of the show Wilson declared, very tongue in cheek, that they were back because they were told they didn’t entertain everyone enough when last at Newmarket. After tonight’s performance there couldn’t be a person in the place who was less than 100% entertained. Without doubt one of the finest bands in the country.
Review: Paul Monkhouse
Pictures: Angela Smith