Kaiser Chiefs, SECC, Glasgow <!-- none onestar twostar threestar fivestar -->

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The Independent Culture

The Kaiser Chiefs' popularity continues to escalate: this is the largest indoor show they have ever played, as well as the record attendance for an indoor show in Scotland. With the SECC's banks of fringe seating removed for this concert, somewhere in the region of 11,500 people lend the occasion more of a festival atmosphere than even that of a straight arena gig.

Such statistics are proof that the Kaiser Chiefs sit at the very pinnacle of contemporary British guitar music, although their critical standing is still overshadowed by that of their fellow overachieving luminaries the Arctic Monkeys and Franz Ferdinand.

Unlike those others, that's probably because the Kaisers are seen as both less lyrically developed and not distinctively styled enough to spearhead a movement of their own. Instead, they exist in something of a bubble, with the exact reasons for their huge success remaining nebulous. While the simple, memorable hit singles account for part of it, their show-stealing live appearances at last year's summer festivals undoubtedly acted as a pretty big career boost.

It is refreshing that at no point do the Kaiser Chiefs feel like a live act going through the motions. A certain amount of ceremony is involved as the KC-branded stage curtains drop away and the brilliantly terse electronic intro to "Every Day I Love You Less and Less" (both here and on record, their crowning moment) rings out.

Then, through the hour and a half that follow, Wilson is on dynamic form. He instructs the crowd in the art of the sing-along during "Na Na Na Na Naa". As the title virtually announces, this song epitomises the band's uncanny ability to produce a nigh-on meaningless song that connects in a powerful way with their audience, and the similarly unweighty "Oh My God" also sees the singer lead his admirers in wave upon ecstatic Mexican wave.

An even more grandstanding stunt occurs when Wilson vanishes from the stage and reappears to sing "Caroline, Yes" under a spotlight at the back of the hall. Such theatrics are part of the Kaiser Chiefs' appeal - they're all about living for the moment, about neglecting to notice any sort of subtext to "I Predict a Riot" and lapping it up as a boorish hymn. "This is the modern way," runs another of their most popular songs, "of faking it every day, and taking it as it comes." It's a credo you have to accept to appreciate the Kaiser Chiefs as purveyors of immense, if insubstantial, fun.

Touring to 30 April ( www.kaiserchiefs.co.uk/gigs)

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