Not knowing a huge amount about Zulu Winter, the Kaiser Chief’s support act, I was excited to see what was in store to get the crowd going for the main event. Having found out that the band had played with the likes of Friendly Fires, The Horrors and Keane I was expecting something good and was definitely not disappointed. As the five members of the group descended upon the stage they immediately looked professional and well put together, an initial response undoubtedly influenced by This Many Boyfriends’ previous performance which was comparatively a little amateurish. Having said this their performance was also very enjoyable, with catchy guitar riffs and entertaining lyrics, a compliment frontman Richard Brooke received with endearing gratitude when my friend and I spoke to him quickly post performance.
After introducing themselves and wholeheartedly thanking the Kaiser Chiefs for generally being awesome guys, Zulu Winter kicked off with the track ‘Never Leave’ from their 2012 album Language. This was a great choice with its upbeat percussion and ethereal synth; it showed off frontman Will Daunt’s great voice which sounded at moments a little like Chris Martin. Having grabbed the attention of the crowd they churned out more of the same keeping up the pace for the ever increasing crowd.
Then came ‘Small Pieces’ and ‘Let’s Move Back to Front’ both with chanty vocals and a good beat, sounding a bit like Foals, these songs received a warm reception from the audience who were at this point very much into their performance. Thinking that this had been their last songs there was a big cheer as we were enthusiastically told there was in fact time for one more. They ended with ‘Moment’s Drift’, a romantic and atmospheric number that again showed off Daunt’s captivating range and falsetto brilliantly giving the audience a chance to relax and re-group before the Kaiser Chiefs’ performance.
Whilst an enthusiastic performance was given by all I do think that the band could have interacted with the audience more, a talent Ricky Wilson later brought out in spades which really was a definitive part of the Chiefs’ overall performance. However Zulu Winter all appeared post performance to greet the audience as they were leaving which was nice to see. Although perhaps not presenting a radically distinctive or new sound I very much enjoyed Zulu Winter and feel they deserve their spot with the Kaiser Chiefs on their spring tour. Having found out that the band only formed in early 2011 the slick and impressive performance they gave no doubt explains their fast-paced ascent supporting a number of big names.