Homegrown indie rock band Kaiser Chiefs have been on their UK and European tour for a few dates and it was finally London’s turn to be a party to the Duck Tour.

Duck is their seventh studio album, released on 26 July 2019. For many, this tour has been a long time coming and the night at The O2 was packed out with fans of all ages.

To open the night LIFE took to the stage, the band from Hull in Yorkshire came onto the stage with a familiar cocky attitude. Frontman Mez was dressed in a suit on his skinny frame he danced around and was reminiscent of Jarvis Cocker. In fact, it was almost as if he was the embodiment of him and as entertaining as the man himself.

The bassist was full of energy and put on a great performance with equal measures of skill and enthusiasm. She had a way of catching your eye and keeping your gaze, stealing the spotlight from Mez a little. Now at this point, the venue was mostly empty but they did a great job of warming up those of us who had arrived in time to catch the whole show. Offering up tunes on such timely topics as Brexit and the universal song fodder of love. Sentimentally they also included an ode to lone parent Mez’ son Gus.

Next up was Razorlight and by the time they took to the stage, the venue was all but full. It became obvious that people were as excited to see Razorlight as they were to see the Kaiser Chiefs. You could feel the buzz as the opened with ‘Back to the Start’ and they kept up that energy running straight into ‘In The Morning’. The audience was getting a little bit more than just warmed up; they were getting hyped. The band had a phenomenal stage presence but even more impressive is their connection with one another. They bounced off of each other they were clearly having a great time amongst themselves and it was great to be a part of the audience taken along for the ride.

Once they got to their classic hit song ‘Golden Touch’ the audience was on fire and quite frankly it sounded beautiful listening to thousands of people singing acapella in perfect harmony. Other classic songs that made the setlist included ‘Don’t Go Back To Dalston’ and ‘I Can’t Stop This Feeling I’ve Got’. Finally, Frontman Johnny Borrell declared that he had a dedication to make. “Fuck you Fox News, fuck you Rupert Murdoch, and fuck you Donald Trump — this is America!” he declared. The audience was then over the moon to hear the track ‘America’ and it was an excellent closer to a great set.

Now the excitement was very real and the standing audience pushed forward slightly in anticipation to make certain they had a good spot to view the rest of the show from. When the curtain finally went back it revealed an amazing scenery set. A recreation of the album artwork from Duck which consists of a house type structure accompanied by giant tyres and a video screen backdrop. The band were originally on top of the house as they opened with the song ‘People Know How To Love One Another’ followed by ‘Golden Oldies’, and when they launched into ‘Na Na Na Na Naa’ frontman Ricky Wilson came down and onto the main stage.

After a few songs including ‘Everything is Average Nowadays’, during the song ‘Parachute’ Wilson ran from the stage down to a platform at the other end of the standing section. Stood underneath a fake street lamp he delivered an impeccable performance of ‘Target Market’. He then announced that the next song would be chosen in a unique way, through a game of hook a duck. Calling up someone from the audience he asked them, “why don’t you have any Kaiser Chiefs’ merch on?” which was cute considering that underneath Wilson’s bright white jacket he was wearing one of the t-shirts they had on sale at the show. The fan actually hooked two ducks at once and then choose ‘Born To Be A Dancer’ out of the two of them. Wilson joked it was an oldie and remembering it would be hard as he taped a paper with the lyrics to the lampost for reference.

‘Every Day I Love You Less and Less’ came on later into the set, at which point the entire crowd began dancing. Not just the standing ticket holders either, everyone in the seats were up on their feet and having a boogie to the classic song loved by fans and occasional listeners alike. The band continued the set with popular songs including ‘Ruby’ and ‘I Predict A Riot’, and their showmanship was impeccable. The only thing that really outdid it was their stamina. They finished the show looking as energetic and fresh as when they started, but perhaps just a little bit more sweaty. Confetti canons sprayed into the air and fans couldn’t quite believe the set was over. Of course, it wasn’t exactly, and Kaiser Chiefs finished with an encore of another three songs, wrapping things up with ‘Oh My God’.

Photos by Bonnie Britain.

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