Music fans are being urged to do their bit to propel Leeds band Kaiser Chiefs all the way to number one in the charts.
The Kaisers have been on course this week to hit the top spot in tomorrow’s album chart with Education, Education, Education & War, which came out on Monday.
But official sales figures yesterday showed they were just 44 copies ahead of their nearest rival, X Factor winner Sam Bailey.
And today fans of the Ricky Wilson-fronted indie rockers who have yet to buy the album were encouraged to snap one up and back the Kaisers cause.
Ian De-Whytell, who runs Leeds-based store Crash Records, told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “It has been our biggest selling album of the year by some distance.
“We have Kaiser Chiefs fans and relatives of the band who always buy their new releases from us.
“But the new album seems to be selling to much more than their dedicated fanbase. I think this is definitely due to Ricky Wilson being on [TV show] The Voice which has increased his and the band’s profile.
“The music still has to be good, though, for people to want to buy the album and I think it certainly passes that test. Buy it on CD, vinyl or download today and help get them to number one on the charts.”
Kaiser Chiefs ‘superfan’ Emma Burnell, 32, from Gildersome, said: “I think as many people as possible should go out and buy the album because it’s brilliant! It would be great to see them at number one tomorrow but, whatever happens, it’s safe to say they are well and truly back.”
Official Charts Company chief executive Martin Talbot described the race as “incredibly tight”, adding: “I wouldn’t put any money on a winner right now.” Education, Education, Education & War is the fifth Kaisers album but the first to be released since the departure of founder member and drummer Nick Hodgson.
Speaking to the YEP last month, Ricky revealed he felt it was even better than their debut record, Employment, which sold two million copies and spawned hit singles such as I Predict a Riot and Oh My God.
“I wouldn’t have made it if I didn’t,” said the singer.
“No one should make anything if they don’t think they’re improving. Even if no one agrees, I think it’s important as the artist you should think that.”
This week’s chart will be decided by sales up to and including midnight tonight.
The race for top spot has been billed in some quarters as a battle between two of TV’s biggest singing contests.
In one corner is Ricky Wilson, who has been combining his day job in the Kaisers with a role as a mentor on BBC1’s The Voice.
Sam Bailey, meanwhile, is flying the flag for ITV’s X Factor, which she won at the end of last year.
Ricky is on screen tonight for the final of The Voice, which starts at 7pm.
The contestant he is hoping to guide to glory is 20-year-old Christina Marie Wickens, from Bristol.