The film is a personal tribute from me to Robert from me. He was a great friend and compadre from the many campaigns undertaken across the world with Primal Scream during the 90's and early noughties, when I was their de facto official photographer. Not forgetting being a partner-in-crime in the partying in every last dark corner of this planet, for which the Throb also has a legendary reputation. I've been known to give anyone a good run for their money but this fella was on another level, and on more than one occasion had to scrape me off the floor - and that's what I will remember him the most for, when it was time to stand up and be counted, he'd be there. And of course (rightly so) known to anyone who came across him as an all-round good guy - I didn't have to work hard to find all those clips of him right on the thick of it - that's the kind of person he was, people gravitated to him, and not just because he was great company on a night out, believe me.
Whilst heading for a writing sojourn in early September last year I grabbed a bunch of tapes of the Scream I'd shot when I first got a digital video camera in Melbourne back in 2000. I was actually on the Big Day Out tour with them, the Chemicals, Goldie, Beth Orton and Joe Strummer (and the legendary tour for me, when he named me Granty Rio) doing a pictures and words piece for loaded in fact. On seeing some of the footage they invited me to Japan, and subsequently that year the US and Canada. So this is where most of the images in the film come from, along with a couple of Glastonburys and a Reading Festival, some Brixton nights there too.
The plan was to have a look-through and maybe start a rough edit, to go with the vast archive of film & photography of my favourite group of all-time that I'm both fortunate and proud to be the gate-keeper of. But 3 days in I get the dreaded call - Throb has gone.
Shock, sadness and all those emotions that we all surely have gone through on hearing such news, and when the tears had eased a little Andrew and Bobby asked me to send over some pictures if I had some with me, for the service and the family, which of course I did by return. His passing then became the catalyst for getting right into the edit, but deciding right there that I wanted every shot to be of Throb. And Jailbird was just the perfect tune for the job. I didn't complete it before I made the long trek back for the funeral as I'd wished so I could show him in all his glory at the 'after-party' (in true Throb fashion there just had to be - it's definitely what he would have wanted) but that didn't matter, attending and paying respects was more important and we're here now a little way down the line and I felt compelled to finish it, and I'm glad I did. I hope I did him proud, I certainly feel proud of it and personally to me it means a real lot. Unforgettable memories of amazing times and of a truly wonderful man.
So as both myself and Robert toured less with the Scream in the last 10 years or so, and things happen and life drifts you apart but when we ran into each other side of stage at the afore-mentioned Brixton Academy during the Screamadelica 20th anniversary tour it was a very special moment, and we hugged and danced side by side to the white-hot new renditions of those ground-breaking original tunes of which he played an integral part - and he was jumping as high as anyone in the room, so proud of his group, and friends he'd known since school.
RIP The Throb - a complete one-off, and a bona-fide legend.