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Mail Music: Knickerrocker glory night for wildman Ricky; KAISER CHIEFS Barrowland, Glasgow, April 11.


Yorkshire didn't offer much to the Britpop era of the mid-1990s but all that has changed as this fresh-faced band from Leeds single-handedly breathe new life into the genre.

The Kaiser Chiefs may have taken their name from a less-than-glamorous South African football team but this performance was more like Real Madrid on top form.

A fantastic light display helped create a riotous atmosphere as the band opened with wonderfully titled live favourite Na Na Na Na Naa before Saturday Night and Everyday I Love You Less And Less completed one of the best gig intros the Barrowland has ever seen.

Frontman Ricky Wilson is the most energetic host around and he didn't stay in the same spot for more than a second at a time, taking time to visit every square inch of the Barras' stage. He summed up the audience's enthusiasm perfectly during Everyday Love You Less And Less when he sang: 'It's clear to see that you've become obsessed.'

Using his microphone stand as a gymnastic aid, Wilson launched himself around the stage without the slightest regard for his well-being.

It could be he was just trying to avoid an aerial assault of undergarments that would have made even Tom Jones blush.

Not that guitarist Andrew 'Whitey' White was embarrassed at all - he collected the knickers to hang over his own microphone stand.

Just when it seemed the atmosphere couldn't get any more intoxicating, the band launched into their immense breakthrough single, Predict A Riot, causing uproar.

Not to be outdone by the brilliant support acts, HARD-Fi and The Cribs, whose guitar player won an army of fans with his stage-diving antics, Wilson caused further hysteria with a well-executed stage dive of his own.

He repeated the perilous act during smash hit single Oh My God, much to the dismay of the stewards and the delight of the adoring - and now mostly knickerless - public.

T-shirts for sale at the merchandise stall proudly claim that 'Everything is brilliant in Leeds.' They were a long way from Leeds - but by the way they captivated Glasgow, you'd have thought they were on home territory.

The Kaiser Chiefs were smitten too. Wilson gushed: 'Behind Leeds, Glasgow is my second favourite city now.' The disappointed boos prompted a swift re-think: 'Oh, all right then - you're my favourite,' he says.

Comparisons to Britpop pioneers Blur were most justified in the familiar-sounding Time Honoured Tradition, which could easily have slotted on to Blur's Parklife album.

This was an astonishing performance from a band who look like effortlessly living up to the tag of Britain's next big thing.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Apr 17, 2005
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