Friday at Haydock Races draws to a close, and tonight’s gathering of people awaiting Kaiser Chiefs’ set is looking a little different to their usual crowd.
Everyone is still shuffling around, finding a space or deciding whether or not to stay now the racing is finished as the Kaisers unceremoniously file onto the stage and launch into Angry Mob. The rousing intro is met by the many blank faces of those who have perhaps had a couple (or ten) glasses of champagne too many- it’s not until the song drops and the WE ARE THE ANGRY MOB war cry hollers over the masses that the penny drops and people find their groove.
They rattle on through Everything Is Average Nowadays, as the backdrop falls to reveal a sky blue banner featuring a picture of a small plane- not unlike the one that took off and landed right beside the stage moments before the show. Ruffians On Parade is rumbling yet sharp and witty with a punchy beat that generates energy amongst anyone who may be lagging. This energy is utilised and cultivated during Everyday I Love You Less and Less; Ricky is a mirror of his boisterous self, back when the song was first released ten years ago, leaping around the stage as if it’s the first time they’ve played the song live.
In the aftermath, Ricky introduces all of the members of his band and following this, Falling Awake ensues. This is a slightly slower song than the previous few, and as night descends over the racecourse, this is just the right balance between pacey and too slow to make it a genuine feel-good moment as the sun sets. Modern Way absolutely soars over the skies of Haydock and as the tambourine makes an appearance, even the people seated in the grandstand are on their feet.
The blinding blue and yellow light show during Never Miss A Beat may or may not be an ode to their home team of Leeds United, however regardless, little else is important as Kaiser Chiefs blast through this older classic under the shower of the striking light show. Ruby was undoubtedly always going to be an insurmountable force, however this track is home to one of the Kaisers’ trademark ‘OHHHs’, and as the music fades out Ricky and the crowd engage in a call and response moment that lasts long after the song has ended, this offers a new dynamic away from the fact that Ruby is just an all-out belter. From one crowd pleaser to another, they plunge into I Predict A Riot which- predictably- goes down a storm even with the most disengaged of punters, and winds up being the epitome of the evening.
Their cover of the Who’s Pinball Wizard, complete with lights in the classic the Who colouring (red and blue), is pleasing to the ear on record with their added spin, however executed with their vigour live, it is completely undeniable.
After a short-lived departure, Kaiser Chiefs return to the stage with Misery Company, that lightens the mood right before the end of the night. Ricky Wilson seems to have endless energy, and is carrying out his frontman duties excellently as he runs back and forth across the front of the stage trying desperately to get a Mexican wave going in the crowd- only to be met with half-hearted attempts.
It’s on with Take My Temperature, the B-side to I Predict A Riot, before the tambourine returns once more and Kaiser Chiefs have their final word at the races with Oh My God. ‘We want to come back!’ Ricky Wilson yells, ‘But you’ll have to promise to buy tickets!’ Despite the fact they may have taken some warming up, the reaction of the crowd now- as they stand displaying thunderous participation under a downpour of part streamers- is evidence enough that Kaiser Chiefs would be more than a worthy choice to make a return.
Photography by Erin Moore at Forte Photography