Kaiser Chiefs rule the coast as Yorkshire favourites conquer Scarborough: Live review

“I knew I’d forget the words,” announced Kaiser Chiefs’ frontman Ricky Wilson as he lost his way midway through a set of the band’s classics at Scarborough’s Open Air Theatre.

Monday, 9th August 2021, 6:51 am

He’s to be forgiven.

These last 18 months have tested all of us like never before – and even Leeds-based indie icons can be a bit ring-rusty when it comes to turning out the crowd pleasing favourites.

For many, this was a return to live music following the coronavirus pandemic. And both the Chiefs and support act Apollo Junction were quick to reference how long it had been since they’ve played live gigs.

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The Kaiser Chiefs' Ricky Wilson rules the roost at Scarborough's Open Air Theatre. (Photo: Cuffe and Taylor).

It was fellow Tyke types, the aforementioned Apollo Junction who kicked things off with an energetic and lively set on a blustery night on the Yorkshire coast.

Lead singer Jamie Williamson led his band-mates through a sprightly selection of songs, including Two Car Family – ‘we thought we’d better write a song that sounds like the Kaiser Chiefs, ’ he remarked drily, ahead of said song, which indeed did tick the KC-soundalike box.

He’s obviously been studying the Chiefs’ Ricky Wilson as there’s even time for a quick stroll among the fans for the final number – although whether that follows the ‘hands, face, space’ rule is anyone’s guess!

And then it is full on into the Kaiser Chiefs.

18 months away from the live music scene is a long time – and it is clear to see the band are still not quite back to full match fitness.

Lyrical slips aside, this feels like a tentative step back into the live arena – things seem a little bit more stripped back, a little less frenetic, a set of largely crowd pleasing hits as they gradually build back up to speed.

There’s less of Wilson’s trademark running around the stage – and only one climb up the set scaffolding – and no audience walkabout as in previous live shows. Perhaps, like all of us, he’s found one too many recipes for banana bread during lockdown.

But while the stage energy might be lacking a little, the songs certainly aren’t.

From start to finish, it’s one rousing anthem after another.

Never Miss A Beat kicks things off and sets the tone for the rest of the evening.

Everyday I Love You Less and Less and Parachute are both given a rousing reception, but predictably the biggest cheers and singalongs of the night come with Ruby and I Predict A Riot.

A feisty version of The Who’s Pinball Wizard and a meaty Oh My God draw things to a close on a night when seeing crowds enjoying themselves again after such a long time was the winner.

Not quite a full on riot just yet, this was more a case of Coming Home – but without too much of a fuss.

But with a few more concerts under their belts – including an upcoming date at Doncaster Racecourse next summer which has already been put on hold three times – Leeds’ finest will soon be back to pre-Covid levels of intensity and energy – that’s for sure.