Kaiser Chiefs

Barrowland, Glasgow on Fri 17th Oct 2008

If there is one single venue that shall always be synonymous with hard drinking, rambunctiousness, and the tackiest decor in the history of modern architecture, that venue is the Barrowlands. If, however there is one band synonymous with all of the above that act would have to be the festival goers favourite, Kaiser Chiefs. The marriage of these two particular entities is literally perfect and as Glasgow is always up for anthemic terrace songs with loud guitars its hard to imagine that this gig could possibly fail. With new album 'Off With Their Heads' due out in 3 days there is an excited air to the world famous venue

The lighting rig dominates the ballroom, as if it was designed more with the SECC in mind. This room has never seen anything like this before, with an array that looks stunning even turned off, the indication is very clear: 'We are here to rock'. Unfortunately, I am not 'here to rock'. The 'Chiefs are probably the most overplayed band in the history of radio, and I could not be less excited about hearing the same songs I hear on the way to and from work in a live format.

Adding to my cynicism is feeling so alienated from the sell out crowd, who are obviously lubricating themselves to the extent where they're 'not very sensible' and are on the veritable knife edge of anticipation enjoying the local boys replacement for Late Of The Pier (who signed off on injury). Whereas I, have been waiting outside in the Scottish cold due to extraneous factors of ticket procurement freezing my bottom off. Thinking that if I join in with the fans and have a beer, my black curmudgeon heart will turn pink and I'll get to enjoy a show, I make it to the bar in the nick of time.

Kaiser Chiefs

The hugely dirty E5 chord erupts from the stage and the aforementioned lights kick in with all the authority of an off duty bouncer. The keys flail wild in the chaos of percussion and distortion when it all stops and the harmonies of vocalist Ricky Wilson and drummer Nick Hodgson come across tight and effortless as album and set opener 'Spanish Metal' rocks the proverbial kazbar. Wilson, as a frontman, is faultless. It's like watching Pong in high speed. In fact, Wilson is so entertaining that the rest of the band become secondary.

The set itself is a conservative mix of the old and the new. With the stand outs 'Everyday I Love You Less and Less', 'Ruby', and 'The Angry Mob', are met with the responsive gusto of a crowd singing their guts out. However all builds to the moment when Wilson, after shouting "Clear the way!" dives from the stage and surfs his way from the stage, to the back of the venue and back again. It's amazing the Health and Safety nannies have not prosecuted Wilson under their 'no fun' gig laws.

The absolute pinnacle of the evening comes with the blatant crowd pleaser, 'I Predict A Riot' . I mean, did you expect anything else? With a duly deserved pop that sounds like a tetra gillion Rice Krispies exploding simultaneously through Marshall stacks. Having gone expected to be bored, for some reason I'm in the mood for going out and maybe having a kebab - such is the infectious influence of the Kaiser Chiefs. You can say whatever you want about the Kaisers but these guys deliver every single time. Really, really, really, really...

Kaiser Chiefs

article by: Ross Gilchrist

photos by: Louise Henderson

published: 20/10/2008 16:58

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