Kaiser Chiefs + Razorlight @ Trentham Live – Saturday 19th August 2023


Day 4 of Trentham Live sees two bands who arrived on the scene at the turn of the millennium whose ability to write short catchy songs kept them in the charts and on regular radio playlists for much of that decade when releasing singles was still very much a physical thing. The combination of Kaiser Chiefs and Razorlight has pulled in the fans and the two band format allows longer sets from both acts to satisfy the near capacity crowd.

Razorlight – Trentham Gardens – 19th August 2023

It’s almost 20 years to the day since Razorlight released their first single ‘Rock N Roll Lies’ and they soon became hot property amongst indie rock fans with their debut album, Up All Night, spawning another 5 singles. After an 11 year hiatus and the post pandemic reformation of the original lineup, it’s probably not surprising then that much of their set pulls from both this and the eponymous follow up album. Opening with a stirring ‘Rip It Up’ sees the band in particularly energetic form. As they rattle through the tracks even the most casual of listeners would probably be surprised with how familiar these songs are; ‘In The Morning’, ‘Stumble And Fall’ and ‘Golden Touch’ are all testament to their early songwriting skills.

Having released a recent best of album, they took the opportunity to record a couple of new tracks. ‘Violence Forever’ is played tonight, a punchy indie punk hybrid comes across live with more intensity live and sounds pretty damn good. It is, of course, the biggest hits that get the best reaction; the building ‘Somewhere Else’ has the crowd dancing and singing along and set closer ‘America’ sees an incredible amount of mobile phones go up to record the moment. It remains to be seen if we’ll get to hear a new album from this line up, but the fact that they have reconciled differences to play shows as entertaining at this is enough reward in itself.

Kaiser Chiefs – Trentham Gardens – 19th August 2023

While suggestions point to album number 8 not being too far away, now seems to be a perfect time for Kaiser Chiefs to be working the festival circuit. Having completed their own headline tour at the tail end of 2022, these dates at various festivals, country houses and castles allows the band to tailor their set leaning towards a greatest hits set but also adding in a couple of new songs seems a smart move to appeal to both the hardcore fans and wider festival crowd who may be reconnecting with the band.

‘Never Miss A Beat’ kicks things off with Chris Rix’ infectious bass leading the pace while Ricky Wilson encourages the crowd from standing atop an upturned monitor. To be fair the encouragement is not needed with audience on side from the off. ‘Na Na Na Na Naa’ follows giving even the most casual of observer the opportunity to join in.

The sentimental love song ‘Parachute’ slows the pace a little and is accompanied with gentle arm swaying. New songs ‘Jealousy’ and ‘How 2 Dance’ nestle mid set between the classics ‘Modern Way’ and ‘Everyday I Love You Less And Less’, and while they may err more to pop, Kaiser Chiefs’ ability to write catchy songs with memorable hooks has not diminished.

Of course the biggest hits come out towards the end of the set, ‘Ruby’ and ‘Hole In My Soul’ sound glorious and ‘I Predict A Riot’ suitably sends the crowd into a frenzy and Ricky Wilson takes the opportunity to scale the side of the stage as the song reaches its climax. The encore concludes with a rousing ‘Oh My God’ leaving plenty of satisfied fans having just witnessed the band very much on form.

Music festivals at country houses and gardens can often be a hit and miss affair but the set up at Trentham is very well organised and just works. The gentle slope down to the stage ensures even those towards the back can get a good view and also affords the site a good sound. The route to and from the free car park is mostly hard standing pathways and both entry and exit is well manned and allows for a swift exit. Its fair to say that Midlands Rocks gives Trentham Live a big thumbs up.

Never Miss a Beat
Na Na Na Na Naa
Heat Dies Down
Everything Is Average Nowadays
Modern Way
Coming Home
How 2 Dance
Everyday I Love You Less and Less
Hole in My Soul
I Predict a Riot
The Angry Mob

People Know How to Love One Another
Oh My God