Review: Kaiser Chiefs ****

At Kirkstall Abbey

WITH a new album title to fit the venue perfectly, Kaiser Chiefs can be assured of one thing after their triumphant home-coming gigs. Leeds loves them nearly as much as they love their home city. There have been rumblings the Kaisers’ careers are on a downward trajectory since their undoubted heyday of 2005.

However, their two-night residency at Kirkstall Abbey was the perfect testing ground for the new album, The Future Is Medieval.

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Sure, it was never going to be the hardest crowd they have played to, but sometimes the keenest gig-goers can also be the most easily disappointed. Yet a greatest hits set – interspersed with new tracks such as latest single Little Shocks – ensured there was an electric atmosphere among the 10,000 fans.

Hearing a succinct trawl through the back catalogue makes you realise just how many good songs they have. Everyday I Love You Less and Less, Ruby, Modern Way, Never Miss a Beat, I Predict A Riot – they are all tracks which rival bands would be more than happy to include on their CVs. But live they reach another level, thanks in no small part to the efforts of lead singer, Ricky Wilson.

A whirling dervish on stage, Wilson is a master showman, popping up on the walls of the ruins after disappearing briefly from the stage. Closing the set with Oh My God – with its line of “I’ve never been this far away from home” particularly apt – was a fitting end.

The love affair between the Kaisers and Leeds is far from over.