Never Miss A Beat – Kaiser Chiefs

Stardate 2008… The Kaiser Chiefs have been dragged to the citadel gates and face being thrown out into the cursed landfill. They can just about make out the mangled remains of Yourcodenameis:Milo and The Libertines on the heap as the acid rain and smoke lash the knackered converse from their broken feet. The TasteMakers of The Capital have decreed Black Kids are the new black and old mother Mumford is dropping sprogs born already wearing tweed waistcoats at an alarming rate in some BBC controlled research facility. The march to eradicate any free thinking joy that wasn’t downloaded to a pre-approved payment plan continues apace. The credit card companies own the festival fields now. The phone companies own the TV Shows about music. Are you bright dancing to this kid in a pork pie hat on Simon Cowell’s Saturday Night replacement for Top Of The Pops? He is your state approved replacement for Pete Doherty. We have assumed control. Yes I know he’s singing Boston but this is rock and roll now. Get back inside your home. New entertainment will be delivered to those who have the appropriate minutes left on their plan. Central Services! You Do The Work, We Do The Pleasure!

Ricky Wilson and his sidekick Peanut (The Drummer, you’d to well to remember him) have to think fast to save the band from a fate worse than death. Nobody wants to play The Circus Tavern on a weeknight in the same decade they’ve had a number one single. So they flex a new muscle. The Angry Mob has turned on the band. Pop is a fickle mistress. Who can you count on when a Leeds based indie band want to stay relevant with their cheeky bouncy Barfly anthems? The kids on the street.

“What did you Learn today? I learned Nothing! What did you do today? I did nothing! What did you learn at school? I didn’t go! Why didn’t you go to school? I don’t know, It’s cool to know nothing”

Hey! Teacher! Encourage those kids to see the value in learning will ya? Never Miss A Beat is a sizzling glam rock stomper with call and response vocal ticks and swooshing synths propping up a chorus so immediate there would be no doubt the band could find their way back to the top ten. In doing so they had to shrug off the indie world’s limitations and go full blown. They turned to pop savant Mark Ronson to save them. I’d argue (and on many occasions I have) that it’s OK for bands to sound big, shiny, produced, smooth and streamlined for maximum radio friendliness if the song has got something to say. making gags about “Big Coats With Words On” is one thing. Highlighting that cool and clued up are often mutual by their exclusion while doing so is another.

“Television’s on the blink! There’s nothin’ on it, I really wanna really big coat with words on it, What do you want for tea? I want crisps! Why didn’t you join the team? I just didn’t”

Many ‘Indie Purists’ wrote the band off when they heard this single (considering most indie purists are kids in their teens who’ve decided they’ve just invented the rules to rock and roll, we won’t worry about that). Opportunists, showing their true colours, sell outs. When they promoted the single on a cheesy Christmas TV extravaganza as a special guest band on The Girls Aloud Party they appeared to nuke the fridge the shark was jumping. Except it was a show millions were watching. Even me… I’ve confessed my particular proclivity for some of this particular manufactured Girl bands output already. I stand by it. Sort of. Truth be told the TV show was utter garbage. Full of unfunny skits and 70’s style celebrity squares type cameos. It was horrific bar this one scorchingly good song in the middle of it.

Never Miss A Beat and follow up single Good Days Bad Days were the only releases from album number three Off With Their Heads. A top ten had kept the ship afloat but troubled times lay ahead. The Future Is Medieval after all. Compilation albums and label changes lay in wait.

Just like me telling the tale of an indie band like it’s some kind of sci-fi fantasy serial over a week long series of posts. Will we fare these seas all the way to the sunlit uplands of Sunday? We might need a flash back or a side quest before we make land.

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