Members: Ricky Wilson, Andrew White, Simon Rix, Nick Baines, Nick Hodgson
Active: 2003 - Present
Kaiser Chiefs are an English indie rock band from Leeds, formed early in 1997 under the moniker Parva. After reinventing themselves as the Kaiser Chiefs in 2003, the band made a strong impact on the British music scene, culminating in winning three Brit Awards for 'Best Group', 'Best British Rock Act' and Best Live Act in 2006.
Prior to 2003 the members of the band had been a garage rock group called Parva (before that having been known as Runston Parva). However, after their label went bust, the band went back to their roots and adopted a more Britpop-indie sound, helping the band reach their current popularity within the UK and beyond. Members of the band are ardent fans of the English football team Leeds United. The band was named after the South African Kaizer Chiefs Football Club, the former team of long-serving former Leeds captain Lucas Radebe.
Their debut single, "Oh My God" was released on Drowned In Sound Records in May 2004. It sold out within three days of going on release and charted at #66 on the UK Singles Charts. However, it was the release of their second single, the critically and financially successful "I Predict a Riot", which brought the group to widespread acclaim when it reached #22 in November. It was also their first for B-Unique Records, which the band signed to in summer 2004.
On 18 February 2005 the Kaiser Chiefs were the opening act at the NME Awards show and won the Philip Hall Radar Award.
A new, more professional recording of "Oh My God" was released in February, which charted at #6, becoming their highest-charting single to date. Their debut album Employment followed on 7 March 2005 and entered the charts at #3 that week. Despite becoming favourite after being shortlisted, the album failed to win the 2005 Mercury Music Prize. Three more single releases from Employment - "Everyday I Love You Less and Less", a re-issue of "I Predict a Riot" and "Modern Way" - followed in 2005, with all of them making the top 20.
A DVD release, entitled Enjoyment, was released in November 2005. The basis of the DVD is a (semi-false) documentary about the band narrated by Bill Nighy, with actors portraying the members' younger and older selves. Besides the documentary, it contains all the promo videos to date, live performances, the band's festival appearances at Glastonbury and V Festival, and other exclusive content.
Wilson auctioned off his red tambourine to radio station Xfm in late 2005 to raise money for the homeless charity Shelter. The winning bid was ?375.00. He is now auctioning his boots on eBay.
The band returned to the studio during the majority of 2006 to record the follow-up to Employment after previewing new material to fans in the years' performances. The album, entitled Yours Truly, Angry Mob, is due for release in February 2007 and will be preceded by the lead single "Ruby", which had its radio debut on January 8, 2007.
Kaiser Chiefs' first big festival show was at the dual-site Reading and Leeds Festival on 27 August 2004 and in the following year, on 16 May 2005, they appeared at the Pinkpop Festival in Landgraaf, Holland. After that, things went fast. They were the opening act at the Philadelphia Live 8 concert on 2 July 2005, one of only two British acts in the lineup (Def Leppard being the other). They performed "I Predict a Riot", "Everyday I Love You Less and Less" and "Oh My God".
June 2005 saw them headline at the May Ball at Queens' College, Cambridge, before an acclaimed appearance at a rainsoaked Glastonbury Festival during the same month, whilst August's appearance at the V Festival featured a very enthusiastic set despite Ricky Wilson having his leg in plaster. Also more recently they embarked on their own headline UK Tour, supported by Max?mo Park and The Cribs. Their first US tour (with The Cribs) ran through the summer of 2005, and they followed it by playing a few shows on the Foozer tour. This was followed up by opening for Foo Fighters during their Australian tour in December 2005. They also played to Jools Holland and his audience on December 31, 2005.
2006 was a year with few performances, as the band began to record their new album in August. On March 1, the band played their biggest concert ever, in the Heineken Music Hall in Amsterdam, Holland, performing for a crowd of over 5,500. This show was a part of their Europe tour in February and March. In April they played several shows in the UK, followed by festivals in June and July, including Pinkpop, Rock Am Ring and Rock Werchter, and most notably at the Reading and Leeds Festival, taking another opportunity to perform in their home town. They played a number of their greatest hits (to date), including Time Honoured Tradition, Na Na Na Na Naa, Oh My God, Everyday I Love You Less and Less and I Predict a Riot. Late 2006 they did a club tour in Europe, visiting France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Spain, Denmark and Greece. On this tour, Kaiser Chiefs performed songs such as High Royds and Heat Dies Down, songs which appear on their new album entitled 'Yours Truly, Angry Mob'.
2005 - Employment
2007 - Yours Truly, Angry Mob
2004 "Oh My God" Employment
2004 "I Predict a Riot" Employment
2005 "Oh My God" (reissue) Employment
2005 "Everyday I Love You Less and Less" Employment
2005 "I Predict a Riot/Sink that Ship" Employment
2005 "Modern Way" Employment
2007 "Ruby" Yours Truly, Angry Mob
2007 "The Angry Mob"
Submitted by OptimusPrime at Wed 07 Feb, 2007 9:22 am
Last updated by OptimusPrime at Wed 07 Feb, 2007 9:22 am