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Last Updated: Monday, 3 January, 2005, 08:07 GMT
Sound of 2005: Kaiser Chiefs
By Ian Youngs
BBC News entertainment reporter

Leeds band Kaiser Chiefs, who want to lead a Britpop revival, have come fifth in the BBC News website's Sound of 2005 survey to find the best new music talent.

Kaiser Chiefs
Tips from more than 100 influential music critics and broadcasters have been compiled into a list of artists to watch in the next 12 months.

We will reveal one artist from the top five every day this week until Friday, when the winner and full top 10 will be announced.

Singer Ricky Wilson takes issue with the suggestion Kaiser Chiefs are at the forefront of Britpop mark II.

"It's not mark II mate, it never stopped," he says. "We're just reviving it, we've got the electric shock things out and they're on the chest.

The British have always done it best - from Franz Ferdinand all the way back to The Beatles
Ricky Wilson
Kaiser Chiefs
Wilson, 25, describes Britpop as "the best thing that happened in British music for the last 20 years".

"I was pretty young when that started off and it just gave me so much pride to be British and pride to be a music-lover."

The frontman says Kaiser Chiefs will merely be the next name on the list of great British songwriters from The Kinks to Blur via The Clash and Madness.

The UK's music scene has lost its way in recent years because bands are trying to copy American styles, he argues.

'Spooky pop'

"There's some great bands that have come out of America and Australia, but we don't have to rely on them to give us our music, to fill our charts.

"The British have always done it best - from Franz Ferdinand all the way back to The Beatles."

Kaiser Chiefs
Kaiser Chiefs say Britpop was British music's best era for 20 years
Kaiser Chiefs were born out of the ashes of Wilson's old band Parva who, he says, "were trying to fit in and be like an American garage band".

But he had an epiphany when he started writing about things closer to home.

Kaiser Chiefs' songs are about "life in Leeds and being British and young and hip", he says, describing their music as "British, quirky, sometimes spooky pop".

That formula got them to number 22 in the UK chart in November with single I Predict a Riot.

It was a punk-pop chronicle of Saturday night on the town with blokes who are "drunk, try and put their hand up a girl's skirt and have a fight at the end of the night".

Writing about everyday English life has not been in fashion since the days of Pulp and Blur. "I do love that kind of songwriting - getting under the skin of the British people," Wilson says.

Drummer Nick Hodgson comes up with ideas for songs before Wilson finishes the lyrics and the rest of the band develop the music.

'Number three'

"You could say he's the boss," Wilson says, reeling off a list of other acts with songwriting drummers.

"Slipknot, Genesis, erm, French Kicks.

When I looked at my itinerary for next year, my girlfriend wept
Ricky Wilson
"It's not weird that he plays the drums because when we're in practice, he acts very much like kind of a conductor. He can point at us with his big sticks."

Wilson says it would be his "ultimate dream" to have a number one album and a number three single.

Not a number one single? "No, that would be the death of a band like us.

"Coldplay got a number three, Franz Ferdinand got a number three, I think Keane got number three," he says, not entirely accurately.

"It's kind of the indie seal of approval."


If his dream comes true, it would be a remarkable rise for a band whose first gig was in October 2003.

"When I looked at my itinerary for next year, my girlfriend wept," he says. "We are booked up pretty solid for a long time now.

"But it's going to be exciting and it's what I've been wanting to do since I was 10.

"So there's no point complaining now that I don't get a day off here and there. It's the best job in the world."

  • The Sound of 2005 survey was compiled from the tips of more than 100 impartial music critics and broadcasters, who were asked to give three names of artists they thought would be successful in 2005. The artists with the most tips were then ranked to compile the Sound of 2005 list.

    Kaiser Chiefs: I Predict a Riot


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