Newmarket Nights is a great idea for a fun trip out – an evening of horse racing followed by live music. When I saw The Kaiser Chiefs name crop up, I was drawn to the occasion. I’d seen them supporting Green Day at The Emirates a couple of months ago with my Kaiser mad cousin, and the fact is that lead singer Ricky Wilson is adorably crackers. As Yorkshire lasses we take clan pride in this nuttiness. It’s only a year since the People’s Republic of Yorkshire came tenth in the medal table at the Olympics. The fact is (puffed out chest) the Yorkies are good at stuff.
I went to the track with good intentions of looking at the form in the race guide before picking my flutters for the night. Then I saw a horse named Mathematics. I had to go with it. Members of my party were using solid methods such as the colour purple, anything to do with cars, and the number one. It struck me that it might be an idea to take a look at the horses first, just in case one of them had three legs or a limp, but to be honest they all looked like absolutely awesome creatures. A furniture polish factory would be proud of the sheen on their coats. There were a couple with the naughty gene, jig jogging about with a handler either side, but it didn’t put me off choosing them. Frankly I liked their style. I can report that a combination of the colour purple and the colour orange resulted in four winners out of four. Clearly, if you pick a strategy and stick to it, you will be quids in with the bookies!
To the music – to be honest I didn’t consider myself a huge Kaiser fan until recently. I owned and had enjoyed a couple of their albums, Employment and Off with Their Heads, but had to be reminded by my Kaiser cousin of the name of the lead singer. Ricky Wilson just wasn’t quite how I remembered him. He was, well … fit! Not the chubby chap I had in my head at all! But he’s certainly a showman not averse to hamming up the posing element of being a lead singer of a band. And he has an impressive line in tuck jumps. One sing-a-long (or in my case yell-a-long) track after another hit the Newmarket crowd. It was simply impossible not to grin your head off and get caught up in the fun of it all. Ricky did a bit of climbing up the scaffolding in I Predict a Riot. My guess is that his security team have kittens at such antics, but then he went completely AWOL, got off the stage and headed into the hospitality boxes looking for a Pimms. You couldn’t blame the lad on such a beautiful summer’s night.
The encore kicked off with a new track, Coming Home, which seems slightly mellower than a lot of their big hits. It will be interesting to see what further new material sounds like now that Nick Hodgson, the band’s primary songwriter, has moved on.
The Kaisers have certainly renewed my interest in them having had the live experience. If you’re looking for an evening’s entertainment involving Ricky, Ruby and (I’m predicting here) riots, I would thoroughly recommend them.
Newmarket Nights: Meatloaf Friday August 16th
Kaiser Chiefs will be playing in their home town of Leeds at the First Direct Arena on September 13th.