‘Why are we still doing this? We can’t do anything else...’

Kaiser Chiefs: Ricky Wilson
Kaiser Chiefs: Ricky Wilson
Share this article

Ahead of two North West megagigs Ricky and Simon of Kaiser Chiefs talk to the Lancashire Evening Post

With a number one album and an arena tour just finished, the Kaiser Chiefs are back with a vengeance.

The chart-topping indie band plays Kendal Calling next weekend before a mega-gig at Haydock Park on August 7.

So how’s the album, how’s the new material went down then on these tours?

Simon: “We felt, even though it was a long time after the album, like that was the tour for the album because we didn’t do one.

“So we played a lot of new songs and it was noticeable how well they went down.”

Kaiser Chiefs

Kaiser Chiefs

Ricky: “From fans the only criticism we really got was not playing some of the new ones.

“It was like ‘why aren’t you playing One More Last Song, why aren’t you playing Bows & Arrows’. And it’s like, ‘woah’.”

“It was an indication of everything we’d done and wanted to achieve, which was basically not sit on the laurels of the first two records for the rest of our lives. To create something new that people felt in their hearts as much they did with the old two.”

It’s 10 years since Employment came out. What do you reckon it is that’s got you guys still here 10 years later?

So we played a lot of new songs and it was noticeable how well they went down

R: “It’s because we can’t do anything else and we’re too scared of doing anything else.

“All we wanna do is be in a band because anything else seems like a compromise.

S: “Even at our lowest points, we’ve still always had some good songs and we still always put on a good show.

“I think even a few years ago when it wasn’t as good, maybe, we were still putting on great shows and still lots of people wanting to come and see us because they knew it was a great night out. Festivals especially, I think people know they can depend on us to show them a good time.

You’re coming up to a series of race course shows. The band has done these before, do they differ much from other kinds of gig?

S: “There’s racing and drinking, and everyone’s quite dressed up and they’re all on a big night out and it’s very good.

“There’s no support band, it’s just sort of, we’re kind of the main event I guess, which is nice.”

R: “It’s kind of like a wedding, because you’ve got guys with their ties around their heads going mental.

“I really enjoy it, it’s a different vibe to anything else we’ve done but we’re coming back to do more so we must enjoy it.

“We got asked ‘do you want to play at York race course’ and I think we just did it because at that moment we were trying some different things.

“I honestly expected it was gooing to be like in a marquee, even more like a wedding, you know what I mean, so like a thousand people in a marquee or something, it’s gonna be a little affair.

“Then we got there and it was like 20,000 people in a field.”

R: “A festival, basically.”

S: “It was like wow, this is more people then have turned up to other gigs.

“That one in York was the first one we did and it was ace, and they’ve all been good since, so we always do a few.

R: “It’s like a festival with good toilet facilities.”

Do you try and catch any of the racing while you are there?

S: “Yeah!”

R: “It’s hilarious. I’m watching this lot all day betting and I don’t bet because I know it would be a problem if I started I’ve got to do the (five). So yeah, it’s funny and they keep popping out and putting bets on.

S: “One of our crew guys, it’s his favourite gig of the year, he loves it. He stayed out doing all sorts of things all day, not setting anything up just betting.”

R: “Everything becomes very serious about the betting, and like you’re getting paid for the day and you’re in danger of losing it.”

S: “When you’re on tour you get something called PD’s, money for food, toothpaste-”

R: “Betting.”

S: “-and so we got our PD’s for everything on that day, a decent amount of money and I said we should put our money on a horse that’s PD.

“So there was one that was called, I can’t even remember now, you know Pearl Diamond or something, and we all, me, Peanut, this guy Andy, put quite a lot of money on it, like 50 quid each or something, and it won – and it was a long thing.”

Do you approach these shows differently? I guess it would be more a greatest hits shows.

R: “It’s becoming weird, because now the greatest hits are, I mean we’ve a song on the radio at the moment and ‘Coming Home’ was a big song in my life, and people generally love the new stuff.

“So it’s becoming like we had a blip in the middle – we don’t really play anything off the fourth record eventhough it’s some of the best stuff we ever wrote . It’s just…”

S: “No-one knows it.”

R: “It was quite self indulgent...”

S: “We always think about the people watching and we always put on our best show.

“We want everyone to have the night of their lives and we never shy away from playing the hits anyway, really.”

R: “I just want everyone to, you know, I want them to go away thinking that’s the best gig they’ve ever seen.”