Reading Festival: Kaiser ChiefsBy Becky Barnes
August 26, 2012
Fresh from the Olympic closing ceremony and with a diary boasting more than 30 festivals this summer, the Kaiser Chiefs have found they are never far from a tour bus.
But this does not stop them from pulling out the stops for their performances every time.
“When you tour as much as us you can’t let your standards slip,” says keyboard and percussionist Nick ‘Peanut’ Baines (it’s been his nickname since school).
“You want to put on the best show each time – we would never put on a sub-standard show.”
The veteran band, with anthems such as Ruby, I Predict a Riot and Oh My God to their name, released sixth album Souvenir this year – a collection of their hits from 2004 to 2012.
Peanut says: “It’s weird listening to Souvenir because it shows snatches of time and pieces of sound. We have an identifiable sound – it’s about singing along and having a good time. It’s always been the same sound, but we were a bit more adventurous in the third and fourth album. It hasn’t been forced, it was a natural progression.”
The five-piece Leeds-based indie rock band has landed several awards for putting on great live shows, but Peanut says this doesn’t add any pressure at all.
He says: “It is nice to be recognised to be good at what we are expected to do as a live band.
“It’s enjoyable to see people singing the words as we have a lot of memorable singalong songs. It’s fantastic when you can hear them singing every word – we are used to it but we would miss it if it wasn’t there.”
What can festival-goers expect from the set on Sunday?
“It’s just over a year since we came back [from a two-year hiatus] and our set list has evolved – it’s like a best of set,” says Peanut. “We tour so much and play live so much – we are really looking forward to it.”
Backstage the Chiefs will be tucking into their rider food – ‘mostly hummus but it never gets used’ and ‘water and fruit’ to make it ‘healthy stuff with a bit of crap mixed in’
It will be the lads’ fourth time at Reading, and sister festival Leeds holds a special place in their heart as it’s their hometown.
“Leeds means a lot – being home it’s a bit different to other festivals. Reading is a true rock festival – they keep to their roots and don’t let pop filter in.” Not all festivals this summer have been as familiar to the band.
“We played a biking festival in Holland earlier this summer,” says Peanut. “There was a ramp over the stage with a motorbike going over while we were playing.”
The band has drawn influences from several musicians over the years but right now Peanut says he is loving The Cribs (“it’s been great to watch their career rise and rise as they are old friends from Leeds”), Pink Floyd (“they always pushed technology and sound”), and Chemical Brothers (“love all their albums”).
Peanut says: “Music is subjective – each to their own – you can’t like everything.”
But the band has had the chance to rub shoulders with equally big names in their eight year career and Peanut says U2, Foo Fighters and Paul McCartney have been particular highlights.
“Paul McCartney puts on a real show – he is the real deal,” says Peanut.