This gloriously ragged document of the Stones’ 1965 Irish tour from countercultural icon
spearheads the access-all-areas shakycam style that DA Pennebaker’s ‘Don’t Look Back’ doc would perfect a year later. We’re used to seeing Mick, Keith and the boys presenting themselves as media-savvy rock royalty, so it’s hugely charming and oddly moving to see them as young, restless and entirely unguarded, mugging for the camera on a series of planes, trains and theatre stages.
The live footage is phenomenal, scuzzy and raw but poundingly soulful, while the backstage scenes range from genuinely funny – Mick’s goofy American drawl, Charlie’s constant expression of total boredom – to the disarmingly sweet – a shot of all five draped sleepily over one another on the back row of a flight. The crowd shots are remarkable too: gangs of guiless but intensely committed Irish girls swarm past Whitehead’s camera, determined to get that autograph, that lock of hair, that peck on the cheek any way they can, up to and including an eye-popping stage invasion. A remarkable rediscovery.