Kaiser Chiefs: 10 things

We reveal ten things you may not know about the nu-Britpoppers

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    Kaiser Chiefs songwriting duo, frontman Ricky Wilson and drummer Nick Hodgson, met at a mod nightclub in Leeds, where they had a dance-off to ‘Memphis Soul Stew’ by King Curtis.


    The pair formed Runston Parva in 1997 with three friends (after the Yorkshire village of Ruston Parva). They dropped Runston and signed to Mantra, who dropped them before Parva’s debut album, ‘22’ (their average age), came out.


    Ricky Wilson’s name is an anagram of ‘I know lyrics’. As a singer, that’s an important part of his job.


    The band are big Leeds United fans. Having left Mantra, they renamed themselves Kaiser Chiefs, after Kaizer Chiefs, the South African football team who Leeds ace Lucas Radebe used to play for.


    Radebe is a big fan of the band, as are Finchy (from ‘The Office’), Jay-Z (who saw them play the US Live 8 and invited them to a recent London party) and Paul McCartney. Roger Daltrey rang Alice Cooper to tell him how good they are.


    The band always have a huddle before each show (even in their Parva days). It’s strictly for band members only.


    The band love Blur. Parva sounded like Blur in their Pavement phase. Kaiser Chiefs sound like Blur in their ‘Parklife’ phase. Their song ‘Saturday Night’ features a recording of Graham Coxon revving his Honda Hornet. They also admit aping Blur’s sound; when they met Damon Albarn in April, Hodgson joked, ‘I hope you’ve not brought your lawyers.’


    Ricky Wilson went to Leeds Grammar School. He namechecks another ex-pupil in ‘I Predict A Riot’ with the line, ‘Would never have happened to Smeaton’. John Smeaton (1724-1792) is the ‘father of civil engineering’. Meanwhile, Wilson’s dad was the TV executive responsible for the appalling, ‘It’s A Royal Knockout’.


    Left-handed guitarist and motor scooter collector Andrew White is a former Yorkshire BMX champion.


    Kaiser Chiefs' gig rider asks for 12 bottles of Budvar or Kronenbourg lager. It stipulates ‘no Stella, no Grolsch, no Becks, no Bud’.

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