IT HAS BEEN a long time since we had the pleasure of watching this priceless footage of The Velvet Underground And Nico shot at The Factory and designed to be screened during one of Andy Warhol's Exploding Plastic Inevitable events in New York in the summer 1966. Our re-discovery of this 53-minute jam confirms the Velvets as the most discordant, drone-heavy band of their generation. Indeed, we invite you to brave the tuning-up section – which some have previously mistaken as the start of the actual performance – and enjoy the camera de-focusing on the glacially cool Nico whose maracas-and-tambourine interplay is fantastically detached.
Her young son Ari sits at her feet, jabbing his finger in his ears on occasion, then joins in, matching his mother’s ennui by waving a maracas stoically as the tension mounts, and feedback break into the non-tune. And then the cops arrive following a complaint about the noise. Warhol looks unimpressed at their arrival, Lou Reed wipes off beads of sweat and Nico smiles coyly. A remarkable document of a band that still sound extreme close to five decades on.