Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Photos: MisShapes

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Japanese Vintage Jackets

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Friday, March 02, 2007

Kaiser Chiefs

Kaiser Chiefs are an British indie rock band from Leeds, formed early in 1997. They were formed by school friends Nick Hodgson, Simon Rix and Nick Baines. They were later joined by Andrew White and art school graduate and Ricky Wilson, who they spotted singing with a Rolling Stones tribute band.

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.

They are such big fans of United they are reportedly paying £4k per week towards Leeds' Striker Tore Andre Flo's wages.

Their debut single, I Predict A Riot was released initially but later re-released with the sucess of "Oh My God", 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, when I Predict A Riot was re-released as their second single people took notice. It was the critically and financially successful "I Predict a Riot", which brought the group to widespread and mainstreem 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 at the time. 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, was released in February 2007 and was preceded by the lead single "Ruby", which had its radio debut on January 8, 2007.

The debut single from Yours Truly, Angry Mob, "Ruby", entered the UK singles charts at number 2 and stayed there the following week on downloads alone. On February 25, Kaiser Chiefs scored their first ever #1 single in the UK as Ruby climbed up a place thanks to CD sales.

Photos: Andrew Kendall

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