Is 2014 set to be the year of the Kaiser Chiefs?

March 25, 2014 at 10:58 am , by Blue

Kaiser Chiefs

Once heralded as one of the biggest bands in the UK, the Kaiser Chiefs are this year making their long awaited comeback. Although the band once enjoyed almost unstoppable chart success, with eight successive singles finding places within the top 40, none of their past seven have landed within the top 100; the last being 2008’s Never Miss a Beat (which struck a chord at #5).

Additionally, the band’s fourth album, The Future is Medieval, was released to an indifferent audience, selling less than the minimum amount needed to achieve a silver certificate from the British Phonographic Industry (BPI). Though of course, there are very many bands that enjoy long lasting careers without even nearing the BPI threshold (60,000 album units for silver), times are deemed hard for a band that could once push a million sales per album, and indeed, two million from their debut.

If you want to be truly sceptical about the band’s success, the follow up album, Yours Truly, Angry Mob, sold 800,000 copies, though compared to I Predict A Riot, this represents a 55 per cent drop in sales, which is only furthered by another 75 per cent drop by the third album, Off With Their Heads, which sold 200,000 copies.

In conversation with The Guardian, an industry insider said, “It’s odd to think of 800,000 sales, or even 200,000, as failure, but Kaiser Chiefs’ sales numbers marked them out as a band in a downward spiral, and that’s very, very hard to get out of. As with everything else in life, people like to support success.”

Boosted however by lead singer Ricky Wilson’s regular slot on The Voice, could we see an emergence of a fallen Leeds giant?

Speaking of his appearance on the show, Wilson has said that despite some criticism, he sees it as great opportunity to help promote the band’s new album, Education, Education, Education & War.

With another appearance on a Barclay’s advert helping to fund the new album, the band it seems, are now set for their 2014 release, despite the departure of drummer and principal songwriter, Nick Hodgson.

Speaking to The Guardian in a different article, Wilson said:

“I don’t want to peddle that old rubbish about being a new band again but for us it did feel like we were making our first record, because it was the first time we didn’t have the captain steering the ship.”

Both the lead single, Coming Home, and the album are set to be released on March 31. So far, the former has already clocked up 600,000 plays on YouTube – far more than any other official upload since 2011.

Judging from the amount of noise and publicity that the band have managed to generate pre-release, it is certain at least, that 2014 shall be a big year for the Kaisers, but just how big, compared to the dizzying heights of 2005 and 2006, it is quite hard to tell.

If you want to judge for yourself, a sneak preview of the new album is now being streamed on the band’s official Soundcloud account.

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Leeds Festival Adds Co-Headliners to Line-up

March 11, 2014 at 4:31 pm , by Blue

Leeds Festival

Yesterday evening it was announced that Queens of the Stone Age and Paramore will be co-headlining the Saturday day of Leeds Festival, which is to take place on the August Bank Holiday weekend.

Speaking to NME, event organiser, Melvin Been, said that the two bands may in fact take turns to go on last when they play at both Reading and Leeds Festivals, “When I told them we have two sites and they could essentially swap who goes on last each date, they loved the idea,” Benn told NME. “We’re just working out the minor details now.”

Interestingly this is the first time that the event will enjoy a female-fronted headliner since Garbage took to the stage back in 1998 (16 years ago).

Joining the two headliners will be the Arctic Monkeys and Blink 182 with support from the likes of Jake Bugg, Vampire Weekend, Foster the People, Bombay Bicycle Club and Cage the Elephant amongst others.

But for those who aren’t up to date on rock bands, which ones are particularly worth seeing?

Aside from the headliners, there are a number of bands currently added to the line-up that are well worth checking out:

Vampire Weekend

Vampire Weekend – A Punk

Having just released their third album, Modern Vampires of the City, Vampire Weekend have enjoyed both critical and chart success over the past year and will be looking to make an impact over the summer.

Typically indie, with a few baroque beats in accompaniment, they probably the most interesting band to investigate if you are looking for a good time.

Peace

Peace – Follow Baby

With just one album to their name, the Worcester band started to gain ground throughout 2012 before hitting it big early last year.

With their sound drenched in 90’s grunge and psychedelia (finding a neat solution between the two), Peace are the band to see if you fancy rekindling something that you may not have felt, or heard, in twenty years.

Chvrches

Chvrches – The mother we share

Another band with but one album under their name, the Chvrches are one of the hottest things to come out of Scotland in the past two years.

By fusing together synthpop and a dash of electronica, the band have won a string of awards as well as coming fifth in the BBC’s Sound of 2013 poll and are not something to miss if you’re searching for something a little different from the rest of the line-up.

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Why Leeds Will be Better Than London in 2014

February 19, 2014 at 3:01 pm , by Blue

Though London had the pleasure of hosting the Olympic games back in 2012, this year, it is Leeds’ turn to shine with an array of sporting, artistic and musical events happening throughout the year.

Here are some of the best:

BBC Philharmonic – February

Orchestra

One of the most prestigious orchestras in the UK is making its way to Leeds in just a few days.

Performing at Leeds Town Hall on 22 February, Paul Daniel leads the orchestra through Shostakovich, Barber and Rachmaninov.

With tickets ranging from £12.50-£31.50, a pre-concert talk is also to take place in the Albert Room at 6:45pm.

The talk is free for concert holders, though space is limited. Anastasia Belina-Johnson shall discuss the evening’s works.

Live at Leeds – May

Taking place on 2-5 May, Live at Leeds is a festival of music that takes place throughout a variety of locations in and around the city centre.

Now in its seventh year, the event has in its short history enjoyed acts such as Alt-J, Bombay Bicycle Club and Ed Sheeran.

This year, the festival includes groundbreaking acts such as Yuck, Albert Hammond Jr, Kodaline and Blood Red Shoes, making it one of the biggest festivals in UK for anyone looking to enjoy a little indie rock and roll.

For more information about who is playing, or to buy a ticket, see the official site.

Tour de France – July

Tour de France Yorkshire

With Yorkshire having recently been voted as the best place in the world to visit by Lonely Planet, this couldn’t be made truer thanks to the fact that the Tour de France shall start in the very centre of Leeds in July.

Scheduled to begin on 5 July, stage 1 encompasses a 190km route from Leeds to Harrogate with stage 2 taking place the very next day, with a 200km trek from York to Sheffield.

For more information on the event, take a look through the official site.

Leeds Festival – August

Leeds Festival

One of the most important music festivals in the UK, the event is set for the August bank holiday weekend and once more finds its home in the prestigious Bramham Park.

With plethora of international acts including Arctic Monkeys, Blink 182, and Of Mice and Men, this year promises to be one of the biggest festivals of recent years.

For more information, or to buy tickets (including the new £50 ticket deposit scheme), click here.

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