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On the road with…Ricky Wilson

Dip: Diving into the
Trafalgar Square fountains
is illegal... but a Kaiser Chief
can get away with it

What is your favourite on-the-road moment?

Whitey, our guitarist, is a grumpy sod most of the time but every day on tour he and I laugh until we cry. I could try and pinpoint a specific favourite experience, like bungee jumping off a bridge in Canberra, but when you break it down we’re all in our forties and we’ve been doing this for nearly 20 years now. So for me it’s more to do with laughing, which is undoubtedly a main factor in why the band is still going.

Do you have a favourite city?

Buenos Aires instantly de‑stresses me. The Feria de San Telmo flea market is packed full of hundreds of stalls selling incredible antiques like ornate chandeliers rescued from nearby crumbling mansions — beautiful things that are far too big to ever bring home. Perón’s tomb in the Recoleta Cemetery is pretty cool too. I visited it with our bassist, Simon Rix, who stood there looking like he was taking it all in but then said: ‘I tell you what this place could do with: wi-fi.’ He decided he wanted a router installed by his own grave and the words ‘free wi-fi’ inscribed on his headstone so loads of people would hang out there.

Pop: Ricky once showered in fizz

What keeps you sane on the road?

When the band started we drank ridiculous amounts of alcohol. Then laptops came in so it was DVDs of shows like Midsomer Murders that make us feel at home. Now I run around cities, which has been a real revelation — it helps me get my bearings.

What have you ever taken from a hotel room?

I arrive and leave with hand luggage so can’t take much away with me. Once, in Paris, a hotel left me a magnum of champagne. I only had one night there and was alone so I thought sod it, got in the shower cubicle, shook it up and sprayed it all over myself.

What is the best souvenir you’ve come home with?

I have two bronze busts of airmen from a shop in Porto. They were the first people to fly across the Atlantic from mainland Europe to South America. One of them is a guy called Gago Coutinho, who was a Portuguese naval officer. I’ve become a bit obsessed with him and have since bought a coin dedicated to him.

Fair winds: Eva Perón’s grave in Buenos Aires

Where’s the strangest place you’ve spent the night?

Spending the night in Norway above the Arctic Circle is weird. You’re in a bar at 2am thinking you should probably go to bed yet it’s bright daylight.

Bargains: The buzzing Feria de San Telmo antiques market which is full of rare treasures

Have you ever come close to being arrested?

We were headlining the F1 Live In London event and I climbed into one of the fountains in Trafalgar Square while singing, not knowing it’s illegal to do so. When I came off stage, the police pulled me over and said they’d let me off in exchange for a selfie.

Kaiser Chiefs will be performing at Llanfest, part of the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod on July 8,