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Curating an Eden mini-festival is like a homecoming gig for Kaiser Chiefs

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: June 28, 2013

Kaiser Chiefs headline a whole day of music at the Eden Project tomorrow – left to right, Vijay Mistry, Andrew White, Ricky Wilson and Nick 'Peanut' Baines

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It's going to be something of a homecoming gig when pop-fuelled indie rock giants Kaiser Chiefs leap up on stage at the Eden Sessions tomorrow.

Since their last sell-out performance in front of the iconic biomes five summers ago, both singer and frontman Ricky Wilson (whose girlfriend is from Falmouth) and keyboard maestro Nick "Peanut" Baines have bought homes in Cornwall.

"I'm going down to be staying at Ricky's," says bassist Simon Rix, who was heading down from the band's hometown of Leeds yesterday "to get in the spirit".

Devon and Cornwall have shown up frequently in the band's gig lists. Two years ago they chose to play a pair of modest warm-up shows at Princess Pavilion in Falmouth to run through of material from their most recent album The Future is Medieval.

"You can tell we like it down here, can't you?" says Simon.

On this occasion the guys are not simply topping the bill, they have curated a whole day mini-festival.

"We thought it would be a cool thing to do and we've all been involved; it's always a group thing with us," he says. "It's a year when we're concentrating on songwriting so we're not playing as many shows, so finding time was easier."

The carte-blanche invitation to choose the line-up came from an old friend who helped Kaiser Chiefs take their first tentative step up the music ladder – Sessions promoter John Empson.

"He was the very first person who signed us back in 2002, and he holds a special place for us," adds Simon. "John spotted our potential, but probably three years too early. Even when we were dropped by the record label he always said he thought we were going to be brilliant."

He wasn't wrong; all four of their studio albums charted in the top ten, with their 2005 debut Employment selling two million copies alone.

Songs like Ruby, I Predict a Riot and Oh My God are stalwarts of the modern British soundtrack.

So who have they chosen for their Eden extravaganza?

Two of the their favourite American artists, Tom Tom Club (and Deap Vally, top the main stage support list – one a blast from the past and the other a burgeoning new Los Angeles duo.

"Tom Tom Club are cool. We listened to them a lot growing up – and Talking Heads too. Deap Valley are pretty new and managed by the same people as us, so we wanted to give them a chance," says Simon.

Demonstrating the massive surge of homegrown Westcountry talent on the main stage will be Exeter's The Computers, who have just released their soul-tinged second album Love Triangles Hate Squares. Extraordinary alt indie trio The Patrick James Pearson Band open proceedings with a blast of tunes from their outstanding debut long player And So It Goes. There are also sets from Thought Forms ( favourite of guitarist Andrew White), and Cornwall folk rockers Brother and Bones.

Inside the Mediterranean Biome prolific, boundary-pushing Devon singer songwriter and film maker Cosmo Jarvis heads a line-up that features Scottish folk singer Michael Cassidy and up-and-coming Cornish acoustic artists Kezia and duo Lily and Meg.

The Kaisers will be in slightly different format following the amicable departure of drummer, vocalist and chief songwriter Nick Hodgson last year. Vijay Mistry has joined the fold as tour drummer.

Expect to hear at least one new song from the five or six they have already penned for the next album.

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