Words and Pictures – Adrian Hextall \ (C) MindHex Media
It’s a Sunday evening, the sun is out and we’re down by the seaside, beside the sea…
The Kaiser Chiefs, following on from one of the more successful live streams during lockdown (the Royal Albert Hall show was set up to help out both the staff and the venue during one of the most difficult times it has faced financially), have got their act together, set up a tour and made it down to Kent. Margate, home of the wooden scenic railway (restored), the original rattle your fillings out of your mouth ride, the amusement park that houses it, Dreamland would play host to the band on a glorious summer evening.
Whilst my immediate thought was to grab a pint of the amber nectar and settle down for an evening of fish and chips, sea breezes and excellent music, my daughter reminded me that the support artist Wax Works is quite the up and coming thing. Fronted by a young fella from Leeds, Adam Levey, whose stage name is in fact the aforementioned Wax Works, his band comprises a set of young but extremely talented musicians.
The set comprised a jangly, breezy set of indie rock numbers, triggering an excited response from my teenage daughter who took delight in advising me that she and her friends knew of the band, had them on various playlists and were definitely one to watch out for in the future.
A great set and one that warmed the early evening crowd up perfectly in readiness for the headliners. Special mention has to go to Wax Works lead guitarist, Eddie Allen, whose playing was utterly sublime. I personally could listen to his playing on constant repeat. The guitar felt like an extension of his soul such were the mesmerising sounds that drifted over the crowd. Amazing.
Check out latest single ‘Know No Better’ now.
As the sun started to dip and the melting ice cream sundae was rapidly finished in readiness for 90 minutes of energy, the crowd swelled, more pints were ordered and before we knew it, Kaiser Chiefs hit the stage to the music of Dire Straits ‘Money For Nothing’.
If there’s one thing that you can’t accuse Kaiser Chiefs of, it’s getting money for doing nothing. Whether or not they get their ‘chicks for free’ is between them and the backstage crew but for now, let’s concern ourselves with the music. As Ricky Wilson bounded on stage dressed in his black and white he upended one of the stage monitors and used it as a plinth to preach to the assembled masses in front of him. Balancing perfectly, the band then launched into ‘Never Miss a Beat’ with ‘Na Na Na Na Naa’ steaming in straight behind it.
Clearly energised, bouncing on and off the monitor plinth, Wilson then tried some Roger Daltrey moves, twirling and hurling the microphone into the air before the mic got the better of him and decided to loop around one of the stage lights on the main lighting rig and just hung there. A quick amount of pulling by the clearly surprised front man yielded no results and a stage hand dashed onto the stage with a wireless mic to allow him to continue.
Was it deliberate? Ha… who knows but the possibly less than impressed Ricky then decided to hurl the mic stand into the security pit, narrowly missing, well… no one, but it looked cool so we’ll let it go for now!
With some great digital screen work behind the band and a great lighting rig (now minus the recovered microphone) ‘The Factory Gates’, ‘People Know How To Love One Another’ and ‘Everything is Average Nowadays’ flew by in quick succession. One of the notable things is how well the newer material sits alongside the classics from tracks that were released well over a decade earlier.
Whilst band’s might fade a little as they head towards the end of their second decade as an act, Kaiser Chiefs’ star seems to be once again on the ascendency. Whilst Wilson’s stint on ‘The Voice’ will have done his and the band’s publicity machine no harm whatsoever, the proof in the pudding is the strength of the songs and on latest album ‘Duck’, they have this in spades.
The downside of course is that no matter how many good songs the band have on their latest release, they have to balance the live set with the songs that the people expect to hear. As such alongside ‘Golden Oldies’ we got bona fide classics like ‘Ruby’, personal favourite ‘Modern Way’, the song to get any crowd moving ‘I Predict A Riot’ and of course ‘The Angry Mob’ which brought the main set to a close.
With the show being played on a Sunday meant that a strict 10pm curfew was in place but instead of cutting the set short, Ricky simply cut the chit chat short and stuck to the task in hand, namely playing the tunes. As such we were treated over the course of 80 odd minutes, some 17 songs from the band. Not to be sneezed at, they even managed to squeeze in a cover of The Who’s ‘Pinball Wizard’, a song that felt as if it has been written for the band thanks to the energy they put into it.
When it all did come to a close, confetti cannons were fired, ‘Oh My God’ was played and a bouncing, happy, sweaty mess of a crowd wandered home from Dreamland with wide grins across the faces of all. This is the sort of thing that a summer show down in Margate should feel like and Kaiser Chiefs delivered in style.
Money for Nothing (Dire Straits song)
Never Miss a Beat
Na Na Na Na Naa
The Factory Gates
People Know How to Love One Another
Everything Is Average Nowadays
Everyday I Love You Less and Less
I Predict a Riot
The Angry Mob
Hole in My Soul
Pinball Wizard (The Who cover)
Oh My God