Thursday, April 27, 2006

I Predict A Riot

I Predict A Riot

Last time I was the NIA in Birmingham it involved tennis, Cliff Richard and being told that I should have applied to go on X-Factor. This time it had much more to do with bouncing, waistcoats and Leeds accents. In the same turn of events that saw me seeing the-other-Corinne in a venue that wasn't in Leeds I ended up seeing the Kaiser Chiefs in Birmingham because I am clearly incapable of seeing them when they perform under thirty minutes away from my house*.

So, after Nik and I got weirded out at being back at the NIA and not being able to find the Griffin boat this time, it was into the NIA along with lots of people wearing skinny jeans and stripey tops. Not that I could say much as I was wearing a waistcoat. And it is probably fair to say that I only bought the waistcoat because of Kate Moss; I cannot talk about rock chick/beatnik bandwagons given all my glass windows.

What I did want to buy - without fear of any bandwagons - was a t-shirt. Several months ago when Nik and I were on the Oxford Tube we spotted a guy on the pavement outside wearing a Kaiser Chief t-shirt that read 'Everything's brilliant in Leeds'. And I wanted one. Not because everything actually is brilliant in Leeds [what with the one way systems, a small but significant proportion of its residents, the weather, taxi prices, the less that stellar performance of the football team etc etc etc I'm not even going to try and pretend] but because I'm not above wearing something that I know to be untrue in the name of self promotion. Clearly if anyone outside of this blog were to ask me Leeds obviously is brilliant. Fact. At the time I first saw the t-shirt the online store had sold out of t-shirts in my size and then I'd, well, forgotten. But here was a huge merchandise section at the gig with lots of t-shirts and whilst they didn't have the 'Everything's Brilliant in Leeds' t-shirt they did have others. So, after several minutes of protracted discussion, Nik and I decided which t-shirts we were going to get (and, yes, they did have 'Leeds' on them). Only for the man behind the stall to say they'd sold out of the skinny t-shirts of our choice. Which I call shoddy, did they not realise that skinny was going to be the most popular? More importantly, did they not realise that they were depriving me of having a t-shirt that I had been waiting for over a year to get? Which means that CBR and her mugs are firmly winning the music-acts-from-Leeds-promotional-tat stakes.

Only slightly disgruntled it was time to find our seats inside the NIA, to the sound of the first support act. The flaw in this plan was the lack of any lighting and - less explicable - the lack of numbers on the seats. How, please tell me, are you meant to know which seat belongs to you and which to a bald man in bad clothing when there at are no numbers? So I ended up sitting in the wrong seat for the next hour until said Bald Man emerged and I discovered the error of my ways whilst complaining profusely about the NIA.

Maybe it was all part of a mystery game that was compounded by neither of the support acts actually managing to introduce themselves. It might be a crazy idea, but I might have liked to know who I was listening to, if only so I could avoid them in the future and/or make huge claims about seeing them in the future. Naturally Ricky managed to announce 'we're the Kaiser Chiefs' at least fifteen times during their set which probably goes to show why it was their gig. How do they expect to get fans if they don't bloody well know who you are?

All of this is probably painting a picture of my being mildly disgruntled which is not really accurate (you know the things that go wrong are the best blog material) as, what with the Mexican waves and people spotting, I was rather enjoying myself. Not sitting in the right seat with a new t-shirt at my feet admittedly, but still enjoying myself.

But I was glad that the lights dimming down signalled the last (at this point) of the mexican waving because - even I confess - there is only so many times that standing up and raising your arms with a few thousand strangers is entertaining. And then the gorgeous red velvet curtains across the stage pulled back to reveal the Kaiser Chiefs. And Ricky - he was wearing a waistcoat too. Clearly we are on the same wavelength and destined to be lifelong friends. Or, at the least, he's a fan of Kate Moss too.

With the opening bars of 'Every day I love you less and less' and some of the best lighting I have seen in a long time*** the gig began. And, within minutes, they had everyone in the room eating out of their hands. When we were instructed in some protracted hands up, hands down movement it struck me that they could request anything at this point and the majority of the people present would probably do it. Now that is what I call POWER. Makes you want to be a rock star, doesn't it?

As we danced, whooped and sang with very little regard for tune or key the gig passed in a whirl. In an attempt to at least provide a little bit of critical overview, I adored 'You Can Have It All' (if only for the fact it prompted the revelation of the Kaiser Chiefs Dating Plan****) and 'I Predict A Riot', which I swear that everyone in the NIA was bouncing to, was possibly the highlight of highlights. Because we could have started a riot. Albeit one that involved waving arms in the air and bouncing.

Predictably the final song of the encore proved to be 'Oh My God' and lasted at least fifteen minutes what with all the singalongs and co-ordinated dance moves we had to do and still I didn't want it to end. Despite the fact they'd been round the album (with a couple of new songs thrown in for good measure) it felt like they'd only just come on stage and we were just getting going.

As if I needed further proof of the general fabbness of the gig, when I left the NIA I was covered in sweat and had managed to bruise myself with my bracelet. A good night all round, then.

*This is not to go into the fact I missed Ricky bonding with members of my family a month or so ago. Because, did you know, we're - almost - related**. Not that I'm bitter I wasn't at the party concerned.

**Well, the related bit's not strictly speaking true. We're not inbred in Leeds. But this is my blog. I can lie if I want to. And I don't think it's too much of stretching the truth to claim we're almost cousins. At the least he calls my aunt "aunt" too. See. Not clutching at straws at all.

***I've done a lot of theatre. Good lighting always excites me.

****That, given the lack of couples at the gig, everyone should just pair off.


Penny said...

I'm assuming the Brum support was the same as for the rest of the tour - Graham Coxon (you know, he was in Blur) and Polysics (Japanese mental folks). Both of whom = better than the Kaiser Chiefs, but then I am possibly blinkered by the memories of the sheer mediocrity of Runston Parva (and the direness of Parva).

cat said...

wow, Graham Coxon was in Blur you say? goodness, who knew? well, erm, oh yes; everybody.

Jen said...

Phew, Don't need to go myself now as I fewel like I was there with you.
Actually you have just made me reallly really want to go see them.
Glad you both had a fantastic time :)

Jen said...

Should go to bed, you know that was supposed to say FEEL (Unless I pretend I have made up my own word LOL)