“Kaiser Chiefs have done rather well out of having ideas above our station,” decides Ricky Wilson, reflecting on the multi-platinum pop crusade that continues this summer with the release of brilliantly idiosyncratic pop record Stay Together — the follow up to the #1 album Education, Education, Education & War. “Making our first album, we weren’t trying to be the best indie band in Leeds. We weren’t even just competing with guitar bands. Almost by accident, we were competing with Girls Aloud.”
Funny how things turn out. Fast-forward twelve years and the country’s biggest girlband have split, reformed and split again. Kaiser Chiefs, meanwhile, have managed lose only one member and now present their sixth album. It’s a spiky, surprisingly romantic affair bursting with the verve, ambition and great tunes that first propelled the band to household name status, and it’s been produced — plot twist! — by Brian Higgins, the Grammy award-winning producer whose Xenomania hit factory conjured Girls Aloud’s record-breaking run of Top 10 singles.
Alongside euphoric lead single Parachute, Stay Together boasts a double-chorused title track that sounds like it’s been plucked from somewhere between the grooves of the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, and takes the listener on a journey through pulsating electro (Press Rewind) and low-slung grooves (Good Clean Fun). And that’s before you even consider anthemic banger Hole In My Soul, a song so festival-ready it’s already packed its wellies.