Sink That Ship – Kaiser Chiefs

Previously On SteveForTheDeaf’s Kaiser Chiefs Week: What started out as Auntie Approved Indie Pop with inflatable dinosaurs and singles suitable for the highlights reel on Soccer AM had taken a turn. The PTB* strategic pursuit of pappiness had smoothed the wrinkles from an uproarious northern indie band that toured with the likes of Klaxons and The Cribs (looks at the camera) and put them on Saturday Night Takeaway TV judging panels.

The rebels didn’t want Ricky sitting alongside Jessie J and Will.I.Am telling starry eyed painters and decorators how to imbue Wham! covers with the surfeit amount of soul. The mainstream didn’t want indie bands at all when the could go to V Festival or the Isle Of Wight wearing glittering wellies or day-glo face paint and listen to James Blake or Ed Sheeran before telling the leather jacket crowd how ‘they went wild too once’. We were at an impass. To go forwards however we first have to go back. Back to the island… Not Penny’s Boat! Or Something.

At the core of this mighty pop music machine though beat the heart of a rock and roll band. That’s essentially where The Chiefs sit. Atop the Razorlight, Stereophonics, Ordinary Boys pile they have the chops. Dave Grohl can see it. When they used the famous DAVE GROHL PEP TALK film to open their set in 2015 it was a declaration of self knowing intent.

Ten year previously when I Predict A Riot had done well, but not quite well enough on it’s initial release it was pushed out a second time with a double A Side. The Kaiser Chiefs hit single nobody remembers is Sink That Ship.

It did get a promo video, but it was never broadcast. The video is tied to some video game and features a warring rocker and hip hop fan acting out petty acts of increasingly foul revenge on one another. It’s possibly too similar to All American Rejects Gives You Hell to truly stand out, even thought it predates it. Anyhoot! I’d say seeing as the video features a repugnant vacuum cleaner and dog dirt moment I’m pretty sure we should move on to the song itself.

Sink That Ship is a fast, bitey almost punk bit of indie rock. It’s a ripper. It’s also almost completely erased from pop history. Sure it was only ever there to make up the numbers for the big single to have another bite at the cherry but still. You’d think it’d at least earn it’s place on the first chapter best of album Souvenir : The Singles 2004 – 2012 which followed the download build your own album era of The Future Is Medieval. The issue with the build your own era was it didn’t yield any hits to speak of. So the download TFIM and the shop soiled sales campaign version don’t quite share the same experience for the fans. I covered this topic before when posting about the track I Can’t Mind My Own Business. The link for which is in the jumble of text above.

Because Sink That Ship is not on that hits comp, I’m putting it here. To get you to the end of phase one of the band. Strong start. Bit of a wobble. Some nonsense on the internet trying to predict how music will be bought and sold in the future and some big mainstream TV stuff that seemed to distract from the actual band…

That greatest hits album meant this band would always be able to fill a theater. They could fit in on an afternoon slot on a huge stage and have the crowd in the palm of their hand under a number of massive names. They were saved. 2012 was the UK’s Olympic Year. They were comfortably at the ‘Cover version’ stage of their career. They may have set out to Sink That Ship but Souvenir was a life raft that would bouy them all the way to The London Stadium where they could take on the mantle from two other great Pop/Rock national treasures…

*Powers That Be


3 thoughts on “Sink That Ship – Kaiser Chiefs

  1. I don’t mind telling you that you’re highlighting that these guys are much better than I gave them credit for.

    I saw them at the Barrowlands (Glasgow) just before getting the first album. On my brother’s recommendation. They were pretty brilliant. Never really enjoyed their recorded output, though it might be time for a revisit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Then it is working. I might be writing this as some odd sci-fi narrative just for kicks but I genuinely think this band deserves to be the one of biggest pop groups in England and they’re seen as the funny old Kaiser Chiefs “are they still here?”

      Liked by 1 person

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