Back on the road
THE Kaiser Chiefs, have a busy 2019 in front of them.
A number of Festivals are planned before the summer, as well as a massive show at Leeds United’s Elland Road ground in June as part of the football teams centenary celebrations. Not only that, but there is a brand new album – their seventh – to be released soon (still to be finished).
But before all that, there is the matter of a UK tour throughout the end of January and most of February.
The band: Ricky Wilson on vocals, bassist Simon Rix, Andrew White on guitar, keyboard player Nick Baines and drummer Nick Hodgson (who left in 2012 to be replaced by Vijay Mistry) morphed out of a band called Parva, as Simon tells me.
“Originally we were all in different bands, and getting together was a gradual process.” He says.
“We all wanted to write songs and Parva was reasonably successful, but this was one of the key moments in Kaiser Chiefs history – Parva had run it’s course, but we all enjoyed being in a band together as we’re all mates – so we reinvented ourselves as The Kaiser Chiefs.”
“At the time, Nick and Ricky were Deejaying at a club night and playing what I’d call ‘British guitar music’, which is what we wanted to do.”
And this ties in well with the band’s influences.
“Yes, that’s right. We were into new wave and post-punk, aling with bands like The Kinks and The Clash, but to begin with we played all sorts of styles. The thing that made us successful as Kaiser Chiefs was that we had a direction in which we wanted to go.”
The world and his wife now know that the band is named after a South African football team that one of the Leeds Utd players, Lucas Radebe, and they are helping the club celebrate their centenary; but are they, in fact, Leeds supporters?
“The majority of us are.” Simon says enigmatically.
“With regards to the name, we just though it was a great name. No-one could really uhnderstand ‘Parva’, but the name ‘Kaiser Chiefs’ is strong. And it’s great having an attachment to Leeds , makes it regional.”
The band struck ‘gold’ with hits like Ruby and I Predict A Riot, but they don’t rest on their laurels and are taking their time with the new album.
“We haven’t got a release date yet,” Simon explains.
“It’s pretty much finished, but not quite. We’re taking a long time over it because we want it to be brilliant.”
“We always want to move on from the last album, but still be Kaiser Chiefs. We don’t want to do the same things or alienate the fans. There are some great songs on the album, which is already my favourite since the first couple.”
And will the new songs feature on the upcoming tour?
“Because it’s not out, we won’t go crazy with it. Maybe three or four songs each night, but a different selection at each gig.”
And the rest of the show?
“Well, there are some songs we have to keep in, but because the venues are smaller we’ll be mixing up the set a bit and playing some songs we haven’t played in a while, like Retirement. It keeps it fresh for us and the fans.”
Most of the dates are already sold out.
“Yeah, that’s great!” enthuses Simon. “Most of them sold out almost straight away.”
“I’m really looking forward to playing places like Bexhill and Blackburn as we haven’t played there before.”
“I’m also excited to be playing the older stuff, it’s been six months since the last gig as we were concentrating on the album, so we’re all raring to go.”
The Kaiser Chiefs will be appearing at the Cliffs Pavilion, Southend on Sunday 17th February. For tickets and more information visit: www.southendtheatres.org.uk
By Martin Hutchinson