Kaiser Chiefs in Dubai

Seven things you didn't know about Brit indie rockers

Interview

Its official – Sandance is getting rockier with every passing incarnation. Starting life at the tail end of 2010 as a dance musical festival, the first indie-shaped curveball came last autumn when former Verve frontman Richard Ashcroft was suddenly parachuted in to play an acoustic set on a bill alongside Sasha and Chicane. A month later it got rockier with a full band set from The Script, plus more guitars (albeit of the acoustic variety) from Pete Murray. At last month’s fifth festival the change was solidified – indie tear-merchants Snow Patrol were the main event; it was officially a gig, not a DJ event.

Now the Sandance team have gone one step louder by recruiting sprightly indie rockers Kaiser Chiefs. Best known for the ever-so-slightly annoying UK number one ‘Ruby’, they were forced to endure being the butt of one too many jokes about their crystal ball talents off the back of 2004’s ‘I Predict a Riot’, following widespread rioting in the UK last year. As the Chiefs fly into play alongside Rizzle Kicks and Armand Van Helden on Friday April 6, we brushed up on some facts.

They met over a dance-off.
The Kaisers’ songwriting duo, frontman Ricky Wilson and drummer Nick Hodgson, met at a mod nightclub in the UK city of Leeds, where they had a dance-off to ‘Memphis Soul Stew’ by King Curtis.

They weren’t always the Chiefs.
The pair formed Runston Parva in 1997 with three friends (after the English village of Runston Parva). They ditched the Runston part of their moniker and signed to record label Mantra, which dropped them before Parva’s debut album, 22 (their average age), was released.

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 fans of football team Leeds United.
Having left Mantra, they renamed themselves Kaiser Chiefs, after Kaizer Chiefs, the South African football team that Leeds ace Lucas Radebe used to play for.

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

They all 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 to aping Blur’s sound – when they met Damon Albarn in the mid-2000s, Hodgson joked, ‘I hope you’ve not brought your lawyers.’

And on their days off…
Left-handed guitarist and motor scooter collector Andrew White is a former Yorkshire BMX champion.

Kaiser Chiefs play Sandance at Sandance Beach, Atlantis The Palm on Friday April 6, 2pm-2am. www.timeouttickets.com

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