Monday night gigs are becoming commonplace for me, the last few I attended (Amber Run in Exeter, Deaf Havana in Bristol) were sold out affairs, I was hoping that this one would be the same. As we arrived at Plymouth Pavilions to see Kaiser Chiefs, it didn’t take long to realise that it was another full house, read on to see how the evening unfolded.
Opening up the festivities was a talented Bradford 5 piece called HOWL, I was confused as the stage times poster I saw had a band called NGOD but I later saw on Facebook that they had changed their name! These guys really held their own and entertained the hoards with their blend of indie-pop goodness, which pleased the room that responded with a huge round of applause at the end of each song. If you’re a fan of big sounding epic tracks, then these guys are bound to be up your street, they’re coming to the end of their support tour with the Kaisers but you can bet your bottom dollar, they’ll be back real soon, ready to lead you into battle once again!
In-between acts, the large video walls either side of the stage acted as large televisions, beaming out an interesting advertisement for Yorkshire Tea, you may have seen it, lady in a kitchen takes a phone call and puts the caller on hold, cue Ricky and the rest of the lads to kick into song, they are soon cut short as the lady connects the call, the slogan going something along the lines of “Yorkshire Tea, you can’t beat the real thing”, amusing? I guess, a bit of a sell out at a show? hell yes but that’s the way the cookie crumbles!
Onto the second act of the evening, Spring King are a band that I saw last year at the BBC One Big Weekend in Exeter and have since appeared on Jools Holland and a plethora of radio shows, helping to spread their music as far and wide as possible. It’s their combination of great bass lines, guitar hooks and melodies that did it for me and seeing them on a larger stage at The Pavilions in Plymouth proved to me that they were at home here as they were on the smaller BBC Introducing stage at the massive BBC hosted event last year. The standout track from their set for me had to be the effortlessly cool “Rectifier”, which sounded great ringing around the arena, entering the ear canals of the enthused crowd who had left the bar and ventured into the inner sanctum to see what the fuss was all about!
Another break ensued followed by a smaller frame being pushed into place on the stage, it was shrouded in a large black curtain, unsure what it was, it could have been a boxing ring or maybe a smaller stage? I’m sure all would be revealed later on!
The lights dimmed, the curtains fell and the Kaisers were already onstage, inside the shrouded black box that looked like it had been wheeled right out of a Butlins holiday camp complete with a silver tinsel curtain at the back. Kicking off with “We Stay Together” being the opening track lifted form their 6th studio album Stay Together they remained in the social club cuboid stage for the first 3 songs, after which it was wheeled away and the band took to their normal stage positions for the remainder of the show.
The photographers were let into the pit just as the opening keyboard line from “Everyday I Love you Less and Less” played out, the crowd started jumping and it wasn’t long until the whole room was singing along in unison whist Ricky and the band grinned from ear to ear, the show had officially begun!
Midway through the set, Ricky took to the audience and battled his way through the crowds to reach a smaller platform where he stood for a couple of tracks, allowing the residents of the balcony a birds eye view of him without needing to stare at the giant video walls that had been installed for their benefit, this was a nice touch, showing that they still cared for their fans after being in the game for so long.
Their set consisted of a good mix from over the years, I guess they were using the tour as an engine to deliver their new album to the masses. Despite this, only 6 of the 20 tracks played were lifted from their latest long player, the remainder being a good sample of classics such as “Ruby”, “Modern Way”, “The Angry Mob” and the ever popular crowd pleaser, “I Predict a Riot” amongst others pulled from later albums.
The band left the stage after “Coming Home” and after a few minutes, returned to rapturous applause for a few more songs. Kicking off the encore with the final track from their latest album “Still Waiting”, the crowd were hungry for more and it was here that they launched into a great version of “Ever Fallen in Love” which was a track made famous by Buzzcocks in the late 1970’s, this had its desired effect and once again saw the entire room jumping about and singing every word back at them. This took us to the last track of the evening, only one track fitted and they soon crashed into the familiar tones of “Oh My God”, causing another mass sing-a-long in the process.
They ended the show with Ricky dashing about setting off paper cannons, streamers were flying everywhere and a very gloomy Monday night in the heart of Plymouth had been transformed into a full on party extravaganza for everyone in attendance.
Chatting to some fans after the show, they commented how their sound had become a little softer since Ricky was on ‘The Voice’ TV show, maybe this was something to do with the amount of pop acts that he was working with at the time, one things for sure, they still have the chops to be able to put on a great live show and this is one that will be remembered for a long time to come!
We Stay Together
Everything Is Average Nowadays
Take My Temperature
Everyday I Love You Less and Less
Ruffians on Parade
Good Clean Fun
Meanwhile Up in Heaven
Never Miss a Beat
The Angry Mob
I Predict a Riot
Hole in My Soul
Ever Fallen In Love (Buzzcocks cover)
Oh My God
Review and Photography by Steve Muscutt