Nine Black AlpsEdit this event
- Junction, Cambridge »
Tonight is a good indication that the artists formerly known as Parva have arrived. Outside the newly refurbished Junction, tickets are exchanging hands for up to three times their face value while inside excitable fans have unfurled banners which proclaim their love for perma-grinning, pork-pie hat-wearing Peanut (a keyboardist no less - who the hell fancies a _keyboardist?). The merchandise stall isn't so much overrun as under siege: £5 will secure you an oh-so-bling black and gold Kaiser Chiefs mug or, for double the money, a tie which even Jarvis Cocker would dismiss as too gaudy.
Which is not something that could be said of Nine Black Alps, although the plaid shirts make it a close run thing. The Mancunian melodic grunge merchants put in a workmanlike performance, toiling away to very little avail. They receive only a smattering of polite applause, akin to a cricket match but the soporific atmosphere is broken by a fired up 'Shot Down', and a marvellously moody 'Unsatisfied'. Yet, compared with the neon-lit guitar pop of Kaiser Chiefs, NBA sound merely average. The mid afternoon slot in the Radio 1 tent at Reading beckons.
Not so for Kaiser Chiefs who are set to be playing big stages this summer, and tonight shows why. The Kaisers' boundless enthusiasm and energy, and Ricky Wilson's cheeky boy charm, are matched by a crowd who know all the words to all the songs, and who pogo themselves stupid right from the opening chords of 'Na Na Na Na Naa' until 'Caroline, Yes' in the encore.
Indeed, the Kaisers are absolutely loving it, none more so than Wilson who spends as much time off stage as on, continually throwing himself into the crowd unto the point where security join in with his antics: one hapless bouncer, during a thunderous 'I Predict A Riot', acts as an impromptu mic stand. Even the Kaisers' road crew are in on the act, one roadie juggling bottles of water, while the sound engineer is seen waving his hands in the air at the mixing desk like he's trying to taxi in a jumbo jet. Ker-azy guys.
Sure, one could spend all evening drawing comparisons with the Kaisers' sound to any number of Britpop acts and even, as one punter tells DiS, Sparks. One could discuss the finer points of their wardrobe (ties, shirts, and jeans, that's so last season boys. Ahem...) or ruminate over how old Wilson really is (does it really matter?). That there were people actually doing these very things while the rest of us were hollering along to a fantastic 'Oh My God', beggars belief.
Really, give it up, and follow the example of DiS writer Holl(i)y Davies, seen down the front up against the crush barrier, punching the air with joy, singing along to all the songs, and quite possibly trying to cop a feel of Wilson's arse but above all enjoying it (the gig, and, indeed, Wilson's perky buttocks. Yum.)
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