"I Predict a Riot" is a song by Kaiser Chiefs, appearing on their debut album Employment. It was originally released as their second single on 1 November 2004, and was the band's first release on the B-Unique label. It entered at #22 on the UK singles chart, a move which started the band's rise to popularity. It was soon re-released on 22 August 2005 as a double A-side with new song, "Sink that Ship". This time, it peaked at #9 in the charts.
Portraying a rowdy night out in their native Leeds with members from the former band Blackwire, "I Predict a Riot" is possibly the group's best-known song, as well as being their signature hit. It is one of the three tracks the band played when they opened Live 8 in Philadelphia, alongside "Everyday I Love You Less and Less" and "Oh My God". The song makes a reference to John Smeaton ("an old Leodiensian"), an architect, born in Austhorpe, Leeds after whom the school house of Ricky Wilson was named, as well as the East Leeds school; John Smeaton Community High School. The song thrives on its Yorkshire heritage with the use of pronouns such as "thee", a nod to the band's origins, for "thee" and "thou" survived in Yorkshire dialect, and are still used to an extent today . Both "I Predict a Riot" and "Sink that Ship" were featured on the soundtrack to the video game Gran Turismo 4. "Take My Temperature", a B-side on the initial release, is a live favourite, notably at earlier gigs. Also, the guitar riff after "who wants to be up there" is overdubbed with Hammond organ, played by Peanut. In live performances, the song begins with a drum solo played by Nick and Ricky around the same kit. This song is heard at Madison Square Garden when the New York Rangers are losing the hockey game.
McFly and Bedouin Soundclash have also covered the song on Radio 1's Live Lounge. More unusual cover versions have included a choral version from The Cheshire Chord all female choir and a salsa version (Predigo un alboroto) from the Swanvesta Social Club. The song was also covered by Girls Aloud on their 2006 Chemistry arena tour. They changed the lyric "borrow a pound for a condom" to "borrow a pound for the bus home", which the band appeared to take offence to. Furthermore, The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band covered the song on their 2007 reunion album Pour L'Amour Des Chiens.
The song is played in many clubs across Britain, and receives a generally enthusiastic response. However, the timorous tone of the lyrics led to the group being dubbed "the weeds from Leeds" by Boris Johnson and drawing unfavourable comparisons with "White Riot" by The Clash (Daily Telegraph, 12 January 2006)
In May 2007, NME magazine placed "I Predict a Riot" at number 36 in its' list of the 50 Greatest Indie Anthems Ever.
However, it was the second video, directed by Swedish collective StyleWar, that earned more attention. The main plotline for the sepia promo features the band wandering and performing in an Edwardian town, catching the attention of a mysterious freak show owner. The climax of the clip features the band performing on the stage of a crowded replica of The Globe Theatre.