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LIVE REVIEW Kaiser Chiefs, Haydock Park Racecourse, Newton-Le-Willows, Friday 07 August 2015
Sunday 9th August 2015 @ 13:05 by Max Wieland

Just like a decade ago, the Kaiser Chiefs are seemingly back in fashion, playing to thousands upon thousands of people at gigs around the world, none more so than the few thousand who crammed into a corner of Haydock Park Racecourse on Friday.

KAISER CHIEFS: Set to headline a fun filled evening at the races with a spectacular evening concert at one of the world's most famous racecourses.

KAISER CHIEFS: Wowed a 20,000 strong audience as they headlined a fun filled evening at the races with a spectacular evening concert at one of the world’s most famous racecourses.

After exploding onto the music scene in 2005 with their debut ‘Employment’, the band’s fifth and latest album ‘Education, Education, Education and War’ was a huge commercial success last year, probably helped with the limelight given to the band by lead singer Ricky Wilson’s appearances as a judge on the TV singing contest The Voice.

Not that Wilson’s side project has deterred his enthusiasm for the band if anything; it has catapulted them further into the periphery of headline bands.

Enchanting the audience with the showmanship that has won the band an army of followers over the past decade, Wilson has built on his previous infectious frontman skills by adding a bit of his TV charm to the Kaiser Chiefs sets.

“They tell me this is the rowdiest racecourse in the country,” he asked tongue-in-cheek to the 20,000 or so people who had travelled to Haydock on Friday.

“But this feels like an afternoon at the races; let’s make this feel like a rock show instead.”

If you hadn’t have enjoyed the six races on offer at Haydock that afternoon, you would be forgiven for thinking they had ever happened such was the ferocity of the Kaiser Chiefs show.

Mosh pits inevitably turned into full-scale brawls with suited and booted men probably taking Ricky Wilson’s words a little bit too far, but that aside, the crowd was led through a rib-bruising jig which included new favourites ‘Falling Awake’ and ‘Canons’ and classics such as ‘Modern way’ and ‘Oh My God’.

Not ones to let an audience stop for a breath, the band have an uncanny ability to bringing out one’s younger spirit.

Grown men and women were encouraged to let go by Wilson and the crowds adolescents were no doubt encouraged by the odd pint or two associated with a day at the races.

With the majority of fan-favourite songs originating from their debut, it was pleasing to see and hear a set that included a smattering of songs from the band’s second offering, ‘Yours Truly, Angry Mob’.

Pinball Wizard

More lyrically astute and less focused on a pop hook, the domination of songs from the Kaisers second album shows that they have more in their palette than a fistful of commercially successful anthems.

‘Never Miss A Beat’ ensures no mid-set lull materialises throughout their 16 song set – whilst their cover of The Who’s ‘Pinball Wizard’ had everyone rushing further forward in an already crammed and excitable atmosphere.

Sensing the opportunity to impress, Wilson spent most of his time straining his last breath into the raucous front rows.

So much so that it was surprising he had any left for their havoc-wreaking pre-encore finish, which saw ‘Ruby’, ‘I Predict a Riot’ and ‘Coming Home’ bring the whole audience singing together as one.

As anthems go, they are all pretty unforgettable and go some of the way to explaining the Kaiser Chiefs continued widespread popularity.

Ricky’s constant enthusiasm, as he darted from one side of the stage to the other is matched only by the band’s electrifying ability to match their frontman musically.

The frontman may have asked the crowd towards the end of their 1-hour-and-15-minute-set “if the racecourse would take them back next year,” but on this sort of form, the racecourse may have to extend their allocation of tickets if Wilson, Mistry, White, Baines and Rix are to return.

For the Leeds rockers may be back in fashion thanks to their recent successes, but the Kaiser Chiefs were as faultless and transfixing as ever as they bounced off stage to a volley of confetti cannons, proving they are undoubtedly one of the most exciting acts in Britain right now.