Tuesday last week Radiohead were in town, with Beck in support. We arrived at the stadium just as Beck began playing Loser. The first time I saw Beck perform was when he supported Radiohead at South Park, Oxford. It was just him and his guitar. He’s a good artist but I don’t think his songs work with just him. His voice isn’t the best in the world. I’m happy to report that this time, here in Edinburgh, he had his full band plus a puppet version of the band. The puppets certainly added something to the performance. But this was nothing compared to…
Radiohead came on around 8:30pm and opened with Airbag. Steinunn and I were up the front, in the heart of action, then moments later Jen joined us. God knows how she found usas we were deep in a human sea. It was pretty hairy up the front, especially for Steinunn who had never experienced anything like it before. When I was a teenager I went through a metal phase. Yeap, I had a black leather biker’s jacket and long hair. The violent moshpits were expected at metal moshpits. If one didn’t want to get bashed one headbanged to the side or behind the hardcore element of the crowd in the centre. I never knew Radiohead attracted this type of crowd. I’ve been to 3 previous Radiohead gigs and none had ever been this mad. Thom Yorke stopped mid-song to tell the crowd to calm down. I think he directed it at one particular idiot who must have been on some substance or other.
The gig was great once the crowd had calmed down a bit. I could actually listen to the performances rather than fight for mine and Steinunn’s life. Steinunn lasted about 6 songs before she and Jen headed to the back. I followed and subsequently lost them. I took a breather up in stand A4 for 10 minutes. Then I raced back to the front for some more carnage. I got a few good pics with Jen’s camera.
All in all it was a great gig. They finished by playing Creep (here’s the setlist), which they sort of messed up at the end. Either Johnny or Thom got it wrong as they both looked quizically at each other, then laughed.
Below are a few pics Radiohead themselves took of Meadowbank.
It looks like they’ve got a new toy as there’s some weird effects going on in all the recent pics they’ve posted to Dead Air Space.
By the way, Jen stumbled across an OK Computer covers album. It’s pretty damn good. If Radiohead is not your cup of tea, you may like Radiodread’s re-interpretation. Here’s a quote from the Time Out review:
This isn’t some internet-level prank by a couple of bored musicstudents, either – the album features appearances from some of reggae’sbiggest names, including Sugar Minnott (‘Exit Music’), Morgan Heritage(a superb organ-driven ‘Electioneering’) and Toots Hibbert and hisMaytals, who invented the word ‘reggae’ in 1968. You don’t get muchmore authentic than that.
The band have endorsed the album too:
Michael and Eric decided the best thing to do was to let the ’Headhear what they were trying to do, and so sent a CD of ‘Lucky’ (as sungby Frankie Paul) and the legendary Horace Andy’s take on ‘Airbag’ tothe band along with, according to Eric ‘an impassioned letter’ to seeif it might change their erudite Oxford minds.
‘And within 48hours we heard back from them saying they loved what we did,’ saysEric, with raw relief still evident in his voice. ‘The fact that theysaid yes after hearing it is actually a better endorsement than ifthey’d just let us do it at the start.’
I’ve nearly convinced myself to buy it.
Update: Here’s a video I took of my walk from the front to the back of the crowd, trying to follow Steinunn.
Update 2: Here some professionally taken photos of the gig in Edinburgh.