Tuesday, 13 October 2009

56: Kaiser Chiefs - I Predict A Riot

Despite it being this decade's equivalent of 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' or 'Jump Around' (massively overplayed on radio, churned out by DJs at pop club nights to appease the rock fans dragged along by their friends), and despite the Kaiser Chiefs being this decade's Oasis (lad-rock, shouty, repetitive lyrics, lots of 'na-na-na' vocals), somehow, 'I Predict A Riot' still retains a certain charm. That's probably largely down to the Yorkshire-isms of the song. The second line of the song uses the word "thee", whilst revered civil engineer, John Smeaton gets name-checked.

The Leeds band released their debut album, 'Employment' in March 2005, and it went to #2 in the UK albums chart, and five times platinum, selling over 1.5million copies, no doubt helped by the presence on the album of 'I Predict A Riot'. Actually, the song performed surprisingly poorly in the charts four months earlier, when it was released, failing to even crack the Top 20.

The lyrics detail a disorderly night out in their home town, and as such, provide a direct link with their Yorkshire peers, the Arctic Monkeys. But where the Sheffield lads paint a grim picture of urban life, the 'Chiefs' seem to revel in the bad behaviour of the ASBO generation. "I predict a riot and I want to join in" seems to be the message of the song. For rebellious teenagers, this was the UK's answer to America's burgeoning emo scene; for balding mid-lifers, it was a chance to relive past glories. Its universal appeal is unquestioned.

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