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World’s On Fire – Film review

Those of us who have been visiting the official Prodigy web site over the last years (and who hasn’t…admittedly things have been a little slow on nekosite sometimes…) would have noticed frequent small movie clips, captured during the band’s live shows; capturing the band both on- and offstage. It didn’t take long for us to start guessing there may be a DVD or film in the making sometimes soon. But it wasn’t to be too “soon” and in true Prodigy fashion it has been a few years now since the first of these clips has appeared. The time has come though and Prodigy are showing their live film ‘World’s on Fire’ in cinemas for one night only on Thursday 31st March. [Listings]

Nekosite had the chance to watch a preview today – so here the details….
The film is advertised as capturing the band’s biggest show ever, in Milton Keynes last summer; however it does actually start with footage from their shows in Brazil in late 2009, starting with the band discussing their experiences when touring – using live footage and sound from Spitfire as backdrop, very similar in style to the clips we have seen on the band’s web site. There are scenes from their surroundings, Rio and Sao Paolo, intense scenes from the live show, clips of their crew setting up the stage, the band talking about touring – all on big screen in the cinema! My first thought was this is a must for each Prodigy fan, it’s so different to see this in this environment! Brazil continues with Mescaline. Yes, the b-side track that is a live favorite of many fans. But cut back to the band and Keith is showing us their no expenses spared tour bus, which is definitely the funniest part of the whole film. It’s an old van and they call it ‘Bluey’. Memories of Electronic Punks…?

Soon we realize Brazil was an opener and the main part, the Milton Keynes show is due to start. It begins with the trailer we have seen online before the actual show last year, with the woman from the Milton Keynes tourist office discussing ‘the arts’ in MK and the huge contrast to the band’s live show.
The live show starts with Breathe. We get full live sound, multiple camera angles in quick succession, views of the huge audience in the bowl as well as the band. Omen, then Colours, Thunder follow and the sound is good, makes me notice elements of tracks I can’t always hear in a live environment. It’s all edited, but not too over-edited; each effect has a point and supports the live show rather than trying to change it.
The film continues through the live show and unlike in Electronic Punks and on the previous clips on the band’s site there are no further interruptions, no more shenanigans, its all about the band’s live show now from start to end.
Warriors Dance next; it’s great, but it’s weird, sitting in our seats in the cinema, drink in hand, sitting quietly watching this intense live show. I keep catching myself wanting to tap my feet and after each track I instinctively want to clap my hands and jump up; but then notice in the last minute I’m actually in a cinema in Portobello Road.
Firestarter is followed by Run with the Wolves – a live favourite of mine and the recording doesn’t disappoint. Just like when I was at the actual live show in Milton Keynes, Weather Experience is fantastic. I remember this being the first time it was played in a long time and it felt special – and still does in the recording.
Voodoo People is followed by Omen Reprise and Invaders, the latter another live favourite that works well on the screen too. Throughout the film we see shots of the audience from different angles, both close up and capturing the entire bowl and if the objective of the video is to make you feel like you missed a good party if you weren’t there it definitely achieves this. SMBU is another fantastic live track, but in this show Take me to the Hospital works especially well, one of the highlights for me. The show closes with Everybody is in the Place (yay!), Their Law and Out Of Space.
The show is finished; Milton Keynes Bowl experienced The Prodigy. The closing credits come on screen and are followed by one last clip; one we have seen online before of Keith running through Brixton Academy to SMBU being followed by his security guards, bringing the film to an end with a glimpse into the band’s excellent shows in Brixton Academy.

Overall seeing the film makes me want more. It is fantastic and good enough to make me remember what a great live band they are, but at the same time doesn’t quite satisfy in the same way as attending an actual show – nothing ever will – it makes me want to go see the band live now.
Those who expected more of the offstage scenes with the band, these are limited to the first part of the film in Brazil – after that the focus is on what the band is really all about; their music, their live show and the immense energy they create when playing live.

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