“It’s an oldie, but a goodie,” Kaiser Chiefs’ singer Ricky Wilson informed us before the decidedly mediocre Heat Dies Down, almost by way of apology.
* * *
It was midway through this early date of the long-serving Leeds indie-rockers’ latest UK tour and by this point we’d heard more of the bland playlist filler material which bulks out a discography that hasn’t burst into top-40 singles chart life since Never Miss a Beat five years ago.
So oldies but goodies are the main currency the Kaisers have to rely on these days, and this show made no pretence towards offering a brave new direction or foisting a large bill of new music upon us at the expense of the old. Yet nor was it redolent of a group going through the motions either, with Wilson – man-in-the-pub-smart in denim jeans, white T-shirt and brown leather jacket – attacking his duties with a real sense of enjoyment and the band playing loud and fast amidst the strobe glare.
The audience (near-capacity and perfectly sizeable considering one of the games of the season was occurring along the road) competed well with the band for enthusiasm, responding in most part by throwing their fists and bodies in the air as if they were being filmed live from the front row at Glastonbury.
By the nature of this kind of show, the unfamiliar becomes the unremarkable (for example recent singles Kinda Girl You Are and Little Shocks, both dispensed with early), but the closing salvo of hits – Ruby, I Predict a Riot, The Angry Mob, the Stranglers’ No More Heroes segueing into Oh My God – inspired a communal high it was hard to remain cold in the face of.