Kaiser Chiefs review: Sell-out gig at Blackpool's Empress Ballroom

Take some of the biggest anthems from the indie-rock scene and a frontman with boundless energy, and it's no wonder the Kaiser Chiefs are still top of their game - and I'm not just talking about hook-a-duck (more on that later).

By Julia Bennett
Saturday, 25th January 2020, 7:00 am
Kaiser Chiefs, Empress Ballroom, Blackpool
Kaiser Chiefs, Empress Ballroom, Blackpool

The Leeds lads threw everything at their sell-out gig in Blackpool's Empress Ballroom from the off as smoke jets and exploding streamer canons came thick and fast.

Opening with People Know How to Love One Another, the quintet launched into their impassioned set on top of a shack to recreate the cover of their latest album, Duck.

Dressed in striking monochrome, slick frontman Ricky Wilson proved he's the sheer definition of a showman as he belted out Na Na Na Na Naa from the band's Employment album followed by Everything Is Average and the beautiful Parachute.

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Kaiser Chiefs, Empress Ballroom, Blackpool

It's clear this tour has been meticulously thought out - even down to Ricky disappearing from the stage and popping up under a lamppost in the middle of the ballroom, where he plucked a fan from the crowd to play a game of hook-a-duck to choose the next track.

The tour may be named after the band's latest album, Duck - their seventh album no less - but it was the indie-rockers' tried and tested hits that the fans were longing to hear.

Following new material such as Target Market and Northern Holiday, the packed crowd finally got what they were after with Everyday I Love You Less and Less, Ruby, Oh My God, and I Predict a Riot arguably the songs of the night.

Earlier on, Skinny Living opened the gig followed by special guests Razorlight whose hits - such as In the Morning, Before I Fall to Pieces, and America - whipped the crowd into a frenzy.

Few peers from their mid-2000s heyday can still draw in the same crowds, but the Kaiser Chiefs and Razorlight have loyal fans.

And rightly so.

They both brought an energetic set packed with a heady mix of anthems and infectious showmanship.