Kaiser Chiefs Biography
Kaiser Chiefs Biography
Kaiser Chiefs are an English indie rock band from Leeds who formed in 1997. They were named after the South African football club Kaizer Chiefs, a team for which former Leeds United defender Lucas Radebe played.
The group’s debut album, Employment, was released in 2005. It was primarily inspired by new wave and punk rock music of late 1970s, and enjoyed international success with sales of over three million. In 2005, the album was shortlisted for the Mercury Prize. Kaiser Chiefs’ second album, Yours Truly, Angry Mob (2007), yielded “Ruby”, a number one single in the United Kingdom. They released their third album, Off with Their Heads, in October 2008.
Formation and early years (1996?2003)
When they were around eleven years old, Nick Hodgson, Nick Baines and Simon Rix met in the same class at St. Mary’s School, Menston Bradford. After leaving school, Rix and Baines left for university in 1996 whereas Hodgson remained in the Leeds area, meeting both Andrew White and Ricky Wilson. Hodgson, White and Wilson formed the band Runston Parva its name a deliberate misspelling of a small East Yorkshire hamlet called Ruston Parva. After Runston Parva failed to secure a record deal, the group would re-form as Parva upon the return of Rix and Baines from university. Parva’s career would go beyond the boundaries of Leeds, and the band was able to obtain both a record and publishing deal. However, after Beggars Banquets closed the Mantra label, Parva were dropped and left desolate and without any direction after the release of an album and three singles. The band decided that they would aim for a longer term record deal and started afresh with new songs and a new name: Kaiser Chiefs. The new name was taken from South African football club Kaizer Chiefs, where former Leeds United captain Lucas Radebe had once played.
Ricky Wilson in concert in Germany in 2006.
The group’s debut album Employment was released in March 2005, being primarily inspired by new wave and punk rock music of late 1970s. The album was well received by music critics, described as “thrilling from beginning to end” and “quintessentially British, without pretension and most importantly, a whole lot of fun”. It reached number two on the UK albums chart, and was certified five times platinum. In 2005, Employment was shortlisted for the Mercury Prize, an annual music prize awarded for the best British or Irish album from the previous year.
The first single released from the album was “Oh My God” in 2004, which reached number six on the UK singles chart when it was reissued in February 2005. In 2007, the song was covered by Mark Ronson and Lily Allen for Ronson’s album Version. “I Predict a Riot” soon followed as the album’s second release. In 2007, the song was ranked number thirty-six on the NME “Greatest Indie Anthems Ever” countdown. The top twenty singles “Everyday I Love You Less and Less” and “Modern Way” followed in late 2005. The band opened and performed several of their singles at the Philadelphia Live Eight concert in 2005. The song “Saturday Night” was featured in a pre-release video for the Xbox 360 gaming console. It was posted on the official Xbox 360 page before its launch.
In August 2006 the band released a book entitled A Record Of Employment, which along with photos by Peter Hill, documented the band’s rise from being unsigned to their triumph at the Brit Awards that year. Later a DVD entitled Enjoyment, which documented concerts from the first album era was released, this showed members of the band hypothetically interviewed when ‘jaded rock stars’.
Yours Truly, Angry Mob (2007)
Kaiser Chiefs’ second album Yours Truly, Angry Mob was released in February 2007. The group recorded the album throughout the September and October 2006 at Hook End Studio in Oxfordshire, England. The group took inspiration from Led Zeppelin and American rock music, and recorded over twenty-two songs.
Unlike Employment, the album received mixed reviews from critics who found it to be both “an album full of jukebox hits” and “predictable”. Yours Truly, Angry Mob reached number one on the UK albums chart and number forty-five on the Billboard 200 albums chart.
“Ruby”, the album’s lead single, became Kaiser Chiefs’ first UK number one single. “Everything Is Average Nowadays” was released as the album’s second single, and reached number nineteen in the UK. The album’s third single “The Angry Mob”, described by the The Sun as a “clever, accessible pop” song, peaked at number twenty-two in the UK. The fourth single, “Love’s Not a Competition (But I’m Winning)”, was released on 12 November as a collector’s edition 7″ only single via their website.
Off with Their Heads (2008?2009)
The stage at Elland Road stadium on 24 May 2008.
On , the band confirmed the name of their third album as Off with Their Heads. It was released on . The first single “Never Miss a Beat” was released on .
The band also released a DVD of their live performance at Elland Road from May 24th. The DVD contains the full set from the home of Leeds United as well as the Kaiser Chiefs performance for the 2007 BBC Electric Proms.
Kaiser Chiefs set out on a UK tour in October 2008 with Castle Donington band Late of the Pier and The Hair. The tour started at Leeds Academy, a new venue where they were the first headlining band to play. Other dates include Manchester Academy, Southampton Guildhall, Reading Rivermead, Glasgow Barrowlands, Leicester De Montfort Hall and London Forum.
It has also been announced that Kaiser Chiefs are to head out on a UK Arena tour kicking off in Nottingham and ending in London. The tour will also visit Sheffield, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Newcastle, Manchester, Liverpool, Cardiff & Dublin. This will be the new album tour to promote Off with Their Heads. This tour will be between February and March 2009. The band featured on several shows over Christmas including performing “Never Miss a Beat” with Girls Aloud on their TV Special and playing the same song on the Christmas Day edition of Top of the Pops.
At July 16 they played at Mar?s Vivas in Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal as headliners on that day. They – along with Republic of Loose – opened for U2 in Croke Park in Dublin on the 25th of July, 2009. They will be opening for Green Day from July 27 to August 7, 2009, and will be playing at Reading and Leeds Festival 2009, underneath headliners Kings of Leon. In March 2009, the band announced that they were intending to take a break following a long touring and recording schedule. Wilson commented that “We’ve all got things that we’re doing outside the band – I’ve got five years of letters to open.”
Ricky Wilson – lead vocals, percussion
Nick Hodgson – drums, backing vocals
Andrew White – guitar, live backing vocals
Simon Rix – bass, live backing vocals
Nick Baines – keyboards, percussion (on You Want History)
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Original Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaiser Chiefs
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