Right now, The White Stripes and live intimacy aren’t synonymous with each other. So, Carruthers’ film of this year’s Empress Ballroom gig in Blackpool offers a much-welcomed close-up audience with the band. Famed for directing Oasis’ ‘Familiar To Millions’, he displays The White Stripes’ stripped-down riot of feral, bluesy rock ’n’ roll in simplistic and aptly retro fashion. The grainy Super 8 footage lends a classic feel as the duo tear through their back catalogue, delivering 26 songs in just under 80 minutes, including impassioned covers of Dolly’s ‘Jolene’ and Dylan’s ‘Outlaw Blues’.
The duo’s onstage personae are explored too. Meg’s beehive shakes wildly while she rests her hand seductively on the stool, her barefeet tapping away at the drum pedals. Across the stage, Jack smirks (possibly at the effect his tight trousers are having on the women in the audience) and the kinetic energy of his ferocious riffing becomes a multicoloured blur. Enthralling stuff – the huge stage looks feeble next to their imposing presence.