Kaiser Chiefs & Night Engine: Apollo, Manchester

As Night Engine took to the stage of a packed Manchester O2 Apollo it was clear from the lead singer’s attire that they were going to be heavily influenced by eighties bands, and they were. The singer’s vocal delivery incorporated more than a hint of David Bowie but worked well over fuzzy bass lines and synth which had more of an early Red Hot Chili Peppers feel to them. Night Engine are hotly tipped to be one of the next big things, and the crowd certainly found them to be infectious. They are a mixture of influences that have no real relation to each other, but when combined they produce something very different from what you would expect from a breakthrough act. Night Engine produce a sound which is very familiar whilst also sounding fresh.

After some suspense building intro music (the same music which is used as the intro to “Genesis” by Justice) Kaiser Chiefs started playing behind an illuminated curtain before it dropped revealing them on a raised stage. Ricky Wilson rushed to the front of stage looking like a 50’s Elvis with all the leather replaced by denim. He instantly elevated the crowds excitement, encouraging them as he arrogantly swaggered around. Within the first couple of songs he was leaning over the crowd, with security holding him up by his belt, singing to them and pointing the microphone towards them. It was a scene one would expect to see at a festival, this really showed how much Kaiser Chiefs were enjoying and embracing being back on tour despite it being smaller venues than they have become accustomed to.

The crowd were revelling in their return, jubilantly screaming “hey” when required during ‘Good Days Bad Days’. During the chorus of ‘Modern Way’ Wilson’s vocals were inaudible over the noise of the crowd joyously singing along. Nobody seemed to be missing, or even notice that co-writer and drummer Nick Hodgson was no longer in the band and had been replaced.

The final few songs of the main set gave the audience exactly what they were expecting, and hoping for. ‘Ruby’ followed by ‘I Predict A Riot’, then rounded off by and extended version of ‘The Angry Mob’ left the crowd begging for more. Throughout the gig they proved themselves to be real showmen and crowd pleasers, and with a crowd as varied in age as this one was this is a real endorsement of their appeal. The begged for encore featured a cover of ‘No More Heroes’ by The Stranglers before finishing off with ‘Oh My God’. This was the perfect ending, as the final chorus finished the band carried on playing in a muted fashion allowing the crowd to continue singing the chorus before they began to build for one final flourish with Ricky and the fans all screaming the lyrics.