I predict time-killing tactics.
When you consider the NME Tour is quite mainstream given that magazines commercial directions and that a major mobile phone company was sponsoring the event, its obvious a headliner was required that was indie but also had to have major crossover skills as well.
With this mind, The Kaiser Chiefs were the obvious act to headline the tour and the news that they have an arena tour already lined up for Spring 2006 should come as no surprise for a band who have quickly risen up the popularity and mindset of the general British public. The Chiefs are no longer the domain of the indie set but belong to the general British public, which is handy considering their set showed definite signs of tiredness and blandness.
Whilst it is good to see bands coming up quickly and playing to lots of people earlier in their careers, it's not helping a lot of bands developments. Having seen The Chiefs a number of times in their short career, it can only be hoped that their Glasgow show was the result of a long tiring tour and not an indication of what they are becoming.
The need to provide value for money and play for as long as is expected for headline acts leads new bands to drag out sets, to have too much dull crowd interaction and to throw in covers. The Kaiser Chiefs used all three of these aspects in filling out their set, and whilst the good points of the evening were still great, there was too much filler involved to feel that a brilliant gig was witnessed.
Songs such as 'Na na na na na' and 'Caroline Yes' are above the quality of album tracks by bands like The Killers or Bloc Party and the singles off the album have all been of a really good quality so in the most part, the songs were good but the whole set lacked a lot of soul and feeling, with an in it for the money vibe.
With Ricky Wilson crowd surfing from the sound desk to the stage and introducing the band, there was ample opportunity to stock up at the bar, nip to the toilet and then have a read of the Sunday broadsheets before he reconvened back on stage with the rest of the band and tossed off another hit. The cover of 'I Heard It Through The Grapevine' was okay and hopefully it will get some new fans into the original but it was a limp version compared to the Slits take on it.
'I Predict A Riot' is still a classic but 'Oh My God' as the set closer featured guest appearances by the other acts on the bill as they all group hugged and repeated the chorus ad nauseum, its was just too much too often and this summed the set up nicely. The Kaiser Chiefs have always been a band determined to find mainstream success and be as big as possible, so I am sure they are extremely happy with the direction their career is taking, its just a shame that the early excitement and buzz around them is starting to decay.