Kaiser Chiefs at Camden Assembly
It was easy to forget just how big Kaiser Chiefs were at their peak during last night’s gig at Camden Assembly to no more than 200 people. Having headlined major European festivals and selling millions of records over the past 15 years, watching the five-piece above a pub in north London was a throwback to the mid-noughties for the crowd who’d successfully won £2 tickets in a lottery-type draw via ticketing app Dice.
Opening with We Stay Together from their latest album, frontman Ricky Wilson had already dived into the crowd five minutes into the gig during second song Every Day I Love You Less and Less. What followed was an hour of madness and chart-topping hits, cherry-picked from more than ten years’ worth of albums.
Just as it’s easy to forget their huge level of success, it’s also easy to misremember them as a typical indie guitar band, with the genre’s trademark floppy hair and skinny ties. It’d be wrong to do so: with a lack of pretence and Wilson’s raging confidence as a frontman, this is a band whose Northern grit and punky influences have earned them millions of record sales – and they continue to put on a brilliant live show, led by Wilson’s vein-busting energy. There’s sarcastic posing on The Angry Mob, a thumping football chant-like tune from 2007 album Yours Truly…, as the Yorkshire singer declares them as the “anti-indie band”, kicking around the stage as the band’s ringleader.
The more poppy Parachute and Hole in My Soul from the latest album worked well, particularly the latter with its soaring and catchy chorus. But what really give this gig its five-star rating were the infectious older songs such as Na Na Na Na Naa from debut Employment, which punched with such a force it was as if we were watching the band at the Barfly in 2005 before they really hit the big time. Never Miss a Beat was a to-and-fro dialogue with the adoring fans, and it was these tracks directly involving the audience that made this a show to remember.
Ending with the timeless I Predict a Riot and Oh My God, this concert in aid of music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins was an hour of noughties mayhem that heralded back to the glory days of the former Barfly, a place which hosted the early gigs of now-legendary bands including this group of talented boys from Leeds.
Photos: Filippo L’Astorina
For further information about Kaiser Chiefs and future events visit here.
Watch the live performance of I Predict a Riot here: