Fans of the Kaiser Chiefs have expressed concern and disappointment after the band’s lead singer Ricky Wilson delivered a below-par performance at a gig over the weekend.
The guitar band were playing the O2 Arena in London when the incident happened, with support coming from fellow indie bands The Fratellis and The Sherlocks.
Kaiser Chiefs are currently on a major UK tour in support of their first new music since 2019, with dates in Hull, Liverpool, Glasgow and Leeds set to come this week. It comes just weeks after they unwittingly crashed Rishi Sunak’s first speech as Prime Minister in Downing Street.
So, what happened to Ricky Wilson at the London tour date? Here’s what you need to know.
Who is Ricky Wilson?
Ricky Wilson, 44, is the lead singer of the Kaiser Chiefs - a band he co-founded in West Yorkshire in 2000.
Known for its big guitar sound, the group scored a string of hits in the noughties, including ‘Ruby’ and ‘I Predict A Riot’. While their newer music has not reached the same heights, the band continues to be a popular live act.
Wilson is its charismatic frontman, and has become famous for his energetic stage presence. He often jumps into the crowd and climbs stage infrastructure during gigs.
As well as being a part of Kaiser Chiefs, the singer has been a judge on talent reality TV show The Voice, and has appeared in several TV shows and theatre productions. In recent years, he has also become a stand-in host on BBC Radio 2.
In 2021, Wilson married his long-term partner Grace Zito, whom he met while working as a judge on The Voice in 2015 where she worked as a stylist.
What did Ricky Wilson do on Kaiser Chiefs tour?
Kaiser Chiefs played the biggest date of their tour at the O2 Arena in London on Saturday (5 November). The gig saw them play hits including ‘Everyday I Love You Less And Less’ and ‘Oh My God’.
But instead of the live renditions of these songs grabbing the attention of their fans, it was Ricky Wilson’s bizarre behaviour. Far from his usual energetic self, the star appeared to be drunk.
Videos shared on social media appear to show Wilson forgetting lyrics, slurring his words and dancing in a bizarre way. Some fans expressed concern for the singer, while others said they were disappointed by his performance.
Wilson has previously revealed he suffers from stress and anxiety, particularly when Kaiser Chiefs are releasing new music.
He has said he has used alcohol to help him cope with these mental health issues - although he has also insisted he has never been dependent on it. He suggested in a 2019 Guardian interview that he had quit drinking entirely, with Kaiser Chiefs no longer requesting booze in their rider (i.e. the food, drink and other requirements bands ask venues for when doing live shows).
Ricky Wilson and the Kaiser Chiefs have not yet commented publicly on what happened at the O2 Arena.