CONCERT REVIEW: Kaiser Chiefs & Razorlight – Usher Hall Edinburgh 22nd January 2020

Photo Credit Steve Gunn – Shotbyagunn Photography

Billed as the ‘Duck’ tour the Kaiser Chiefs arrived in Edinburgh for their only Scottish date, the 5th date as part of their current UK tour. With Razorlight billed as the support, tickets for this gig were in high demand ensuring that the venue would be filled to its nearly 3000 capacity. The night even included a brief opening set from Wakefield based band ‘Skinny Living’ who were on stage to play to the early arriving fans.

Photo Credit Steve Gunn - shotbyagunn photography

By the time Razorlight hit the stage the Usher Hall was packed resembling a mini Albert Hall on ‘the last night of the proms’ but ready to rock! It must have been a challenge for lead singer and guitarist Johnny Borrell to pull together a band that could excite a crowd like they did over 10-15 years ago. Would the fans remember them? No fears here as the band opened with familiar tracks ‘Back to the Start’ and ‘In the Morning’. It was clear that many of the fans were not experiencing Razorlight for the first time as pockets of the crowd would chant back and singalong to a host of songs taken from the bands first two albums ‘Up All Night’ from 2004 and ‘Razorlight’ from 2006. Highlights of the 15-track set were notably ‘In the City’ and ‘I Can’t Stop the Feeling I’ve Got’ and a rousing rendition of a wild party night ‘Rip It Up’. Back for this tour, ensuring true originality, was lead guitarist Bjorn Agren who bounced around the stage clearly enjoying himself. Johnny Borrell tended to remain centre stage and was confidently impressive throughout, the final track ‘America’ encapsulated the night as trip down memory lane.

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Expectantly as the front stage was cleared and circus type renditions blasted out from the sound system, everyone awaited the dropping of the main curtain and the start of the Kaiser Chiefs show. On the ‘Duck’ theme, when the curtain did drop the stage resembled the cover of their new album ‘Duck’, an old shed somewhere on a nice day. The band were to be found on the right side of the stage, on the roof of the shed opening with ‘People Know How to Love One Another’ and ‘Golden Oldies’ tracks from the new album released in July 2019. Ricky Wilson was first to ventured down onto the main stage resplendent in white tunic (Freddy type ilk) but with his hair dyed blond. ‘Are you ready to sing? Then Let’s Hear You’ as the opening chords of ‘Na Na Na Na Nas’ quickly had the crowd responding back. It goes without saying Ricky is a true action showman as he covered every part of the stage through songs ‘Everything is Average Nowadays, ‘Factory Gates’ and encouraged everyone to bounce through an epic version of ‘Parachute’. Signalling his intentions to dive into the crowd ‘it happened,’ as he crowd-surfed his way to a mini platform under a street light in the middle of the hall to sing ‘Target Market’ from the album Duck. Embracing the crowd as he fought his way back to the stage Ricky then decided to do a bit of fishing as with rod in his hand he proceeded to hook a duck. Being a winner, we were then treated to ‘Kinda Girl You Are’ and ‘Coming Home’ and then Ricky asked the band ‘What Next’ oh yes ‘Northern Holiday’ How does it go again? Because we have never played this track live before! Up next were two classic tracks ‘Every-day I Love You Less and Less’ with smoke cannons firing up to the roof and ‘Ruby’ when Ricky showed his juggling talents with a tambourine (Phil Collins ilk). Vijay Mistry on drums then pounded out the beat, as the crowed clapped along to ‘Modern Way’ then Andrew White (guitar), Simon Rix (bass) and Nick Baines (keyboards) excelled in the playing of Don’t Just Stand There, Do Something’ and ‘Never Miss a Beat’.  Being the true professional Ricky then announced ‘Scotland you are the best audience in the World? I Predict a Riot’. ‘The Angry Mob’ heralded the end of the set but not before the hysterical crowd were treated to encore tracks ‘Record Collection’, ‘Hole in My Sole’ and ‘Oh My God’.

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With 6 tracks from the album ‘Duck’ included in the set, the band have added to their repertoire a number of strong new songs that the fans loved and know doubt they will be played on future tours. Overall this was a true SHOW! The tour finishes at the O2 in London on 1st February.

Photographs by Steve Gunn Shotbyagunn Photography and Review by Hugh Connell
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