Kaiser Chiefs - Aintree Pavillion, Liverpool
The Aintree pavilion is a large aircraft hanger of a venue, tonight only fractionally warmer than the arctic conditions outside.
It’s going to take a support band with a considerable amount of fire to get the crowd interested.
The Little Ones unfortunately tonight are not that band. Their set is badly paced, with all the better quality songs placed at the tail end of the gig, by which time most of the audience have decided what they think and gone off to find the overpriced bar.
The songs that do work, work because unprompted they get the crowd attached and they buy into joyous hand clapping. It’s only inexperience of the large arenas one feels, but it means The Little One’s are simply ‘Nice’, a pleasant diversion to something else, when you really should stop and listen. ‘Face the facts’ sounds Merseybeat but more by mistake than anything else.
TLO’s just end up being that slow hand clap that no-one follows. The chant by one person that never really leads anywhere. What is the sound of one hand clapping?
Alternatively, The Mystery Jets seem to have everything. Well, they would like us to believe so. Instead it’s more than a little contrived mixture of The Strokes, psychedelic and pop/punk, all combined but rather than mixed well it becomes too obvious and almost deliberate, drawing away from some of the more energetic and involved songs.
The interaction between band members seems an afterthought and although there is more energy than The Little Ones set, the Jets shout loud but don’t really say anything.
At one point in 2005, The Kaiser Chiefs tightroped between the NME and rest of the associated music press as the new saviours of British music. The release of Employment saw the band hit top three in UK album charts, receive a Mercury music nomination and a string of hit singles followed. The release of follow-up Yours Truly, Angry Mob saw much of the same. Kaiser Chiefs really made an impact.
Tonight they pull that same trick. It would be almost impossible to play a bad set with the Kaisers back catalogue, but it’s the placement of songs that really surprises. Whereas ‘Ruby’ would have been an almost perfect set closer here it is presented at the mid-way point and works beautifully for it.
With a crowd mixed levelly between families wanting to go to a ‘Rock gig’ and young 'uns still unsure about the style of music they want to follow, thus frantically mixing clothing and hairstyles like some emo ‘guess who’, it was always going to be difficult to elicit a wild response but when Ricky Wilson makes his way through the crowd to the sound desk, they do nudge on the spirit of rock’ n roll.
It doesn’t wake up, but the mass of people here to see one of the highlights of the Liverpool Music Week are in the palm of the Kaiser's hands. ‘Modern Way’ ties up the whole crowd and ‘Everyday I love you less and less,’ sees a plethora of mobile phones held aloft to record the moment.
One of the advantages of such a large-spaced venue as this, is that you do have the ability to create a spectacle and tonight the lighting is a complete part of the package-from the opening War of the Worlds intro hinting at ‘I predict a Riot’ to the explosion of colour in the final moments that raises the whole concert's level.
Tonight proved something anyone who has seen the Chiefs live will already know, what critics expect and fans who had listened to their previous albums would want. Live they are an accomplished band using every inch of power in every facet of their material to enthrall, despite moments when Nicky [peanut] and drummer Hodgson looked a little tired and unsure about which way the set may go ‘A new song or an oldie?’ this was a quality performance of strong songs by a band with a awful lot to life up to with their new material.
Released: Mon 17th Dec 2007