Kaiser Chiefs + All The Young + Club Smith @ Birmingham O2 Academy – 3rd February 2012


First gig of 2012 and it’s into one of the coldest nights of the winter so far (at least it’s not snowing tonight!), to the 02 Academy to see the return of the Kaiser Chiefs, with a mixture of their old and new stuff, a warm-up UK tour prior to hitting the US.

Kaiser Chiefs formed way back in ‘96, releasing their classic debut album ‘Employment’ in ‘05 featuring indie pop hits ‘I Predict a Riot’, ‘Every Day I Love You Less and Less’, ‘Oh My God’ and ‘Modern Way.’ Hugely successful, it was one of the best selling albums of ‘06, and was followed by ‘Yours Truly, Angry Mob’, which yielded No.1 hit ‘Ruby.’ Another album ‘Off With Their Heads’, lots of big gigs then a break, then to their latest album – ‘The Future Is Medieval.’ Released via their website, in a manner of “creating your own album” – take a selection of 10 tracks from 20, design your own cover, pay £7.50 to download. Do a bit of crowdsourcing and promote it, they’ll give you £1 for everyone you sell. That’s kinda different. Tonight, Ricky Wilson (vocals), Andrew ‘Whitey” White (guitar), Simon Rix (bass), Nick ‘Peanut’ Baines (keyboards) and Nick Hodgson (drums) should certainly warm the cockles of their fans hearts as they see them in all their glory – tonight’s gig is sold out.

Early support tonight comes from Club Smith – a band hailing from Leeds and York, with an indie rock / electro indie vibe. In former guise The Hair, they’ve been scooting round the music scene since 2004, and got to play the Leeds and Reading Festivals in 2010, and support to The Pigeon Detectives in 2011.


Next up, All The Young, local(ish) indie lads hailing from Stoke-on-Trent, here tonight as support as pre-promotion of their new upcoming debut album ‘Welcome Home.’ Middle of the road indies geeks, they finish their set giving it some rocky rhythmic jamming. If you fancy seeing them again, they’ll be back on their very own tour at the o2 Academy3 on 25th March 2012.

And now to the main act of the night, the Kaiser Chiefs, the speakers play out Dire Straits’ ‘Money for Nothing’ and to shouts and cheers and flashing lights on the drum roll, oh, and a bit of “I want my MTV….” on they come and straight into big hit ‘Every Day I Love You Less and Less.’ The crowd sings ‘oooooooooooooooo’ – Wilson “Birmingham…. I want to hear you, I want to see you….” And then into an energetic rendition of ‘Never Miss A Beat’, an additive indie beat, hands in the air, culminating in a huge cheer from the crowd.


Halfway through, the cords start up and the crowd: “dadadaaa, dadadaaaa” and we’re into “Ruby, Ruby Ruby.” Kaiser Chief songs are engaging – there’s loadsa opportunities for the crowd to sing along “Na na na naaa” and Wilson conducts everyone in highs and lows just like they were an orchestra. He’s lovin’ it.

Tonight’s gig is smattered with new tracks, an explanation from a chatty Wilson: “We’ve got a job to do…. got to keep doing new sings and playing ‘em… you want to hear a new song – don’t care if you don’t want to hear it – sing along, even if you don’t know the words…” The new tracks are clearly inspired by early eighties, at times harmonised and electronic, almost early OMD. The crowd is polite; these new tracks are great, but as a slight departure from their usual sound and take some getting used to.


Wilson spends the gig leaping round the stage, and is not averse to getting right in with the crowd. Fourth rack in ‘Everything is Average Nowdays’ – he’s standing on the barrier, leaning over the fans. Prior to ‘Modern Way’ he sits on a speaker stack, chatting to the audience, percussion instrument in hand. For ‘Kinda Girl You Are’ he takes a tour of the venue, climbing up onto the balcony from the stage, and walking round the edge of the mezzanine, before sitting on the rail above the sound desk. The set finishes with another newbie ‘Listen To Your head’ – Wilson: “Only second time we’ve ever played it…” more 80s inspired, this time more moody.


The main set completed and we’re into the encore – Wilson: “Someone threw a shoe on stage…. you want your shoe back we’re in Plymouth tomorrow…” First track another new one ‘Love’s Not A Competition (But I’m Winning)’ before we’re into the full on chant that is ‘Oh My God’.

The Kaiser Chiefs are jolly good fun. Hugely energetic, and engaging, they love to see what they can make the audience do, and love to get in there. The new stuff is a step away from what some fans will be used to, but there’s still something enjoyable and listenable about it, even if they don’t quite have the same sing-a-long of previous hits. Whatever the future holds, consistent success or world domination, they already have a back catalogue most bands would be jealous of. I’ve seen nostalgia bands with fewer hits re-appearing after twenty years absence. Expect the Kaiser Chiefs to be rocking your town for many years to come…



Intro: Money for Nothing [Dire Straits]

1. Every Day I Love You Less and Less
2. Never Miss A Beat
3. Little Shocks
4. Everything is Average Nowdays
5. Good Days Bad Days
6. Learnt My Lesson Well
7. Modern Way
8. On The Run
9. Ruby
10. The Angry Mob
11. Na Na Na Na Naa
12. Starts With Nothing
13. I Predict A Riot
14. Kinda Girl You Are
15. Take My Temperature
16. Listen to Your Head

17. Love’s Not A Competition (But I’m Winning)
18. Oh My God


Employment (2005)
Yours Truly, Angry Mob (2007)
Off With Their Heads (2008)
The Future Is Medieval (2011)


Review by: Zyllah Moranne-Brown
Pictures: Ian Dunn

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