In support of their seventh studio album 'Duck', Kaiser Chiefs packed out The Brighton Centre to delight the lively crowd with their anthemic tunes. Joining them on tour, a rejuvenated Razorlight taking the 'very special guest' slot. Neither band disappointed with their mix of older and newer material that was skewed, with just the right balance, towards their noughties triumphs.
Razorlight were the second act onto the East Sussex stage (Sadly I missed Life due to the horrendous M25 traffic) to play to the four and a half thousand crowd gathered before them. Johnny Borrell was not in a particularly chatty mood but he and his band were clearly focused throughout their thirteen track set. Aptly they began with 'Back To The Start' from their eponymous 2006 album. The next song, that album's opening track, 'In The Morning', set the room alight and was the first track to properly connect with the audience. 'Stumble And Fall' built on the momentum before Razorlight raised the ante with infectious sing-a-long party pleaser 'Golden Touch'.
Johnny and his band chose to perform only one track from their last album 'Olympus Sleeping', perhaps appreciating the expectations of the crowd. 'Carry Yourself', the 2018 Vampire Weekend-flavoured single release from the album, actually stood up very well against their better known material. Johnny's vocal was crisp and clear as he belted out the song with great gusto. He gave a similarly impassioned and energised performance on an extended 6m30s light-show enhanced 'In The City'. Two more tracks from the 'Razorlight' album were, however, more crowd pleasing big hitters. 'Before I Fall To Pieces', with its jangly guitars and breakneck speed, got the audience buzzing before finally Razorlight's behemoth. "I'd just like to make a small announcement, well a big announcement" Johnny said, "F**k Rupert Murdoch, f**k Fox News, f**k Donald Trump, this is America". The guitar chimed in and Razorlight played out 'America' with Johnny's emotive voice capturing the song's message brilliantly.
Razorlight departed and the stage was, literally, set for Kaiser Chiefs. The album cover from 'Duck' was re-created stage right, complete with garden furniture and parasol, and a huge screen initially set up to look like a billboard occupied stage left. Ricky and his band started their performance atop the beach bar with their summer single from last year 'People Know How To Love One Another', and then one by one made their way down the stairs at the back for the remainder of the performance. 'Golden Oldies' set up the first track to kick start the set, 'Na Na Na Na Naa'. The partially strobe lit song saw Ricky dart from one side of the stage to another with the pace of Usain Bolt! The billboard behind slowly started to lose planks as it revealed the TV screen that would then project the rest of the performance.
'Everything Is Average Nowadays' saw Ricky take his first stand on an up-turned monitor as he and his band tore into the pulsating track before the pace slowed, marginally, for the politically charged 'The Factory Gates'. The lights, projections, animations and front of stage cannons were all now employed to great effect to give up a terrific multi-sensory, super charged performance that was an early highlight. Mid-set Ricky left the main stage to run round to a much smaller circular stage in the middle of the venue. He sang another of the band's newer tracks, 'Target Market', from here before posing for a few photos and having a bit of banter with his band back on the main stage. Ricky then said, "We're going to choose a song in the age old way of choosing songs which is getting a random member of the audience to choose that song, this guy down here he looks like a...." The 'guy', after a brief stumble, was helped up onto the stage as he received a huge, rapturous, round of applause. "Hey man, what's your name?" The 'guy' replied, "Hey, I'm Rory, I'm from Brighton". The man in question was none other than Rory Graham, aka Rag 'N' Bone Man! Ricky asked him to hook a duck from the inflatable pool before him, as everyone from the crowd chanted "Hook-a-duck, hook-a-duck", before launching into 'Good Days Bad Days'. "If you know it sing-a-long, if you don't f**k you, Rory chose it" Ricky said jokingly.
The Second half of the set ramped up the energy in the room still further with a rousing 'Every Day I Love You Less And Less' and a pumping 'Ruby'. Wilson just about sustained his energy levels during a blistering twenty track set that barely paused for a breath the whole evening. Penultimately, 'I Predict A Riot' raised the roof on The Brighton Centre before Kaiser Chiefs concluded the main set with 'The Angry Mob'. The band took a brief break under their roof top parasol before finishing off the night with a three track encore that was capped off with, arguably, their most anthemic track, 'Oh My God'. The crowd joined in, Ricky gave it is all and then the ticker tape rain and confetti canons showered the room with a ton of paper.
Both Razorlight and Kaiser Chiefs played to their strengths and played to the audience during a crowd pleasing evening that delivered up two very memorable and highly enjoyable performances.