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I Predict A Riot by Kaiser Chiefs

Album: EmploymentReleased: 2005Charted:
  • This song refers to closing time (11pm) in pubs in the UK, which means people being very drunk and lots of fights. Closing time was eventually moved back in the UK, which spread out the drunkenness.
  • The song depicts some colorful British characters; "Man in a tracksuit attacks me," "Girls run around with no clothes on, to borrow a pound for a condom, if it wasn't for chip fat, well they'd be frozen."
  • "Lairy" is British slang for rough and abusive. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    rachel - London, England, for all above
  • The line, "Would never have happened to Smeaton" refers to John Smeaton High School in Leeds, where the band comes from. John Smeaton (1724-1792) was a civil engineer from Leeds. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Nico - Berlin, Germany
  • The Kaiser Chiefs are from Leeds and as Leeds United supporters they named themselves after former Leeds player Lucas Radebbe's club in South Africa. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Mark - Irvine, Scotland
  • Kaiser Chiefs played this at Live 8, where they opened the US show. Live 8 was a series of concerts Bob Geldof put together to spur activism in light of the G8 Summit.
  • In the Guardian newspaper, February 24 2006, Kaiser Chiefs drummer Nick Hodgson said: "I used to DJ with my friend Nick at the Cockpit in Leeds. We'd drive home past a big nightclub and there were always lots of police and people fighting. I went home and wrote the riff on the piano and started singing some words. It says: 'A friend of a friend, he got beaten.' That was a friend of Nick the DJ. At our club night, Pigs, we had a band on, Black Wire. They were going mad and so were the crowd. You could see the bouncers moving in and I said to the club's boss, 'I predict a riot.' The structure was there, then everyone invented their own parts. Ricky [Wilson] wrote the second verse. Smeaton was John Smeaton, a leading figure in the development of Leeds; an 'Old Leodensian' is someone from Leeds. We thought maybe it was too punky but our manager thought it sounded like 10cc meets the Clash. I was pleased with that. When you play a song to other people you can tell if it's good or bad." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Edward Pearce - Ashford, Kent, England
  • In an interview with NME, lead singer Ricky Wilson explained the only way to write a universal song is to not try to write a universal song: "It's weird because people get it when you write personally. If we'd have tried to write a song about being at a club and having a time, it wouldn't work because it wouldn't be us. So, we've gone back to that on this record, which is don't worry about the outside world; be yourself, and the rest will fall into place."
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Comments: 18

The song refers to John Smeaton who was indeed a civil engineer from Leeds. The reference however, comes from the fact that some of the band members were in Smeaton House at Leeds Grammar School. Non of the Kaiser Chiefs attended John Smeaton high School. I can confirm that because I went to John Smeaton High School and I'm the same age and they definitely weren't in my year at school - unfortunately!Vick - Leeds
Kaiser Chiefs Leeds Utd player was Lucas Radebe but Philomon Masinga came as part of the same deal from another club ,so the band could have been named Mamelodi Sundowns ....Supermanfriday - Wigan, United Kingdom
Love this. One of their best songs.Louise - Newcastle, --
"He looked the wrong way at a policeman
Would never have happened to smeaton"
This song was written before John Smeaton (June 30th 2007 GLASGOW AIRPORT ALKIEDA HAVE a go HERO interview link below) could this have been an Unconscious Prophesy. McDELBOY
Derek - Glasgow, Scotland
Wasn't the Kaiser Chief a truck that was built in South America in the 1960s with an extensively modified Willys Jeep pickup chassis? Please tell me if I am right or wrong.Darrell - Eugene
Im from Leeds and live about 5 mins away from the Grammar school where Ricky went. Yes a leodensian is a person from LeedsDavid - Leeds, England
1) I think the whole 'thee' thing is just a way of adding character to the song and giving the Kaiser Chiefs something of a signature move
2) Britain isn't ALWAYS like this you know! Britain rocks, the people described in this song just give the place some colour and the rest of us an edge :p
Lexie - London, England
It is very interesting that this song features the use of the archaic form 'thee'. Whilst it is true that this is used in Yorkshire, it is almost unheard of amongst young people. I have lived in Yorkshire for the last 16 years (within 20 miles of Leeds) and I have never heard it used routinely by anyone. It is still more current in South Yorkshire (Barnsley, Sheffield area) but largely amongst the older generation. I wonder why Kaiser Chiefs decided to use it here (other than the fact that it rhymes - sort of)?Colin - Bradford, England
Interesting! I always just thought this song was about the way Britain is in general. LOLMyss - Arvada, Co
Yep. According to my Concise Oxford dictionary, "lairy" is an alternative form of the word "leery".Stu - Fife, Scotland
Is it not: "Watching the people get leery; It's not very pretty, I tell thee", because leery means looking sly, as if plotting something. For our foreign readers, the archaic form "thee" is still used instead of "you" in the north of England, especially in Yorkshire, where Leeds is.Stu - Fife, Scotland
there are now 24 hour pub opening hours in britainMr Ond - East Sussex - Almost Brighton, England
tried to get in my taxi
A man in a tracksuit attacked me

Almost certain those lines, refer to a common thug in britain, code name a chav.
Sarah - Sunderland
Yah Leodensian is a person from leeds.Sarah - Sunderland
Nick Hodgson said this song was written about a typical saturday night in Leeds.Mel - Stockton On Tees, England
"Would never have happened to Smeaton" refers to John Smeaton, a highly regarded civil engineer from Leeds (where the band are from). Whilst at junior school, lead singer Ricky Wilson was in the school house 'Smeaton'. Though there is a high School named after John Smeaton (I went there!), Wilson did not attend there. he went to Leeds Grammer School.Mel - Stockton On Tees, England
Great timing from Kaiser Chiefs - they might not have predicted the circumstances but the riots in France are on and its not long after the release of this album :)

Awesome song, but I think the best song on this album is "Oh my God" or "You can have it all"... great music
Rico - Melbourne, Australia
A leodensian is a person from Leeds, or so I have read ;)Alexander - Einbeck, Germany
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