Kaiser Chiefs (BIC, Bournemouth – 28/01/2020) ★★★★★

By: admin

If you were at The (very much sold out) BIC on Tuesday 28th January 2020, you may be surprised to learn that a fairly well-known band named Razorlight played. Writing this after the night has ended, I can barely remember seeing them, such was the spectacle and quality of the final act, but I know for a fact I did!

To be fair on them, they do their thing very well, being seasoned indie veterans with around 18 years under their belt and it’s just a shame that their thing is a catalogue that consists almost entirely of middle of the road, radio friendly background music. Perhaps they would be better suited on a line-up of other soundalike bands with interchangeable generic indie vocals. On this occasion though, they don’t manage to elicit much of a response from the audience, save for the one or two big singles that everyone knows. It probably doesn’t help that their stage space is restricted to a tiny strip in front of the curtain that hides the main event from view, it doesn’t provide them much room to move about and create some much needed excitement that is sadly lacking from the music. Overall, a pretty underwhelming and forgettable experience unfortunately, albeit a competently performed one.

In contrast, when the curtain rises for the grand finale we are treated to a totally different scene! The most unusual aspect befell on us, a small shack on the stage where the indie-pop juggernauts Kaiser Chiefs spend the first couple of songs of their set. Ricky Wilson is an ever-moving bundle of energy and rock star cockiness, a lively and charismatic frontman who masterfully leads the show from start to finish. Although this is very much a tour in support of their new album Duck, it is still to the surprise of absolutely nobody that the biggest highlights for everyone are obviously the old classics that set this band on their upward trajectory towards chart bothering superstars; I Predict a Riot, Every day I Love You Less And Less, Ruby etc. All played with just as much enthusiasm as when they first became the huge sing along party starters that they were in the mid 2000’s. Never too famous to get intimate, Wilson spends a good few songs atop the sound desk behind the crowd, within touching distance of the adoring fans. One audience member is invited to join in with a novel interlude in the form of the fairground staple “Hook the Duck”, where she attempts to catch one of the rubber ducks in a mini paddling pool with a toy fishing rod, with each duck having a random Kaiser Chiefs song name underneath…and that song, you guessed it, is the one they play next. Out comes Heat Dies Down, complete with printed lyrics being handed to the charming frontman and laughs all round. Obviously a song that hasn’t been played live in a while!

The pace never really lets up with Kaiser Chiefs, they manage to keep the same level of fun and excitement going throughout. The crowd is unusually civilised for an act this size, but that is likely more to do with the widely varied fan base on display here and their massive mainstream appeal than their ability to rock…they can certainly do that! When the lights do finally go out, indicating the end without providing enough light for people to actually leave, it’s not long before the band return for a spot of trolling rather than a straight up encore. They appear back on the roof of their shack, feet up and sipping cans of coke. They make no sign that they plan to do anything other than chill out under their parasol, seemingly unaware they have an audience watching patiently. This does of course lead to a proper signing off, with part of me thinking it would have been ten times funnier if they had just stayed there, refreshing themselves as the lights came on and people were ushered out the venue. But everyone else seemed to be happy; maybe I’m just a bit sadistic at heart…

Overall, a fantastic night was had by all! Let’s hope the Kaiser Chiefs, return to Bournemouth soon!


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