Thom Yorke and co kick off the UK leg of their world tour in Victoria Park, London (June 24)
[a]Radiohead[/a] kicked off the UK leg of their world tour in London last night (June 24).
The band played Victoria Park in the east of the capital, performing a set that showcased their most recent album ‘In Rainbows’ as well as mixing in selections from across their whole career – although frontman Thom Yorke joked his lyrics to a classic ‘The Bends’ track were “fucking nonsense”.
Kicking off with ’15 Step’, the band used the same carbon-saving, LED lights that they unveiled on the US dates earlier in the year, while their amps and equipment remained adorned with Tibetan flags.
Pausing for a simple “Alright?”, frontman Yorke made his first big equipment switch of the night several songs in, taking to the piano for ‘All I Need’.
Then, over a mash-up of their own conversation, the band dipped back into their catalogue for the first time, performing an aggressive, beat-driven version of ‘Kid A’ track ‘The National Anthem’.
Barely pausing between songs the band then mixed the likes of ‘Pyramid Song’ with a spirited ‘Weird Fishes/Arpeggi’ and ‘The Gloaming’, which saw Yorke dancing enthuastically alone at the front of the stage.
Later Yorke and guitarist Ed O’Brien strapped on acoustic guitars performing a stripped down version of ‘Faust Arp’ as a duo.
The whole band returned as O’Brien and Jonny Greenwood swapped their guitars for drums on 2003 single ‘There There’.
With ‘Just’ following hot on its heels, the band then triggered the first big singalong in Victoria Park.
Over more sampled voices the band then followed that with ‘Climbing Up The Walls’, masterly transforming the atmosphere from stadium rock to something more eerie, yet equally crowd pleasing.
“That was kind of our peace tune,” Yorke told the crowd after ‘Reckoner’, “or a ‘please not let it be the end of everything’ song. This is another one.”
The singer then lead the crowd in a chant of “free Tibet” with the country’s flagged draped across his piano, before kicking into ‘Everything In Its Right Place’.
Having wrapped the first set up with ‘Jigsaw Falling Into Place’ the band returned, starting their encore with ‘Videotape’.
Yorke then had a miniature drumkit set up on the front of the stage.
“Someone is now going to hit this drumkit, me,” explained the singer doing his best impression of Spinal Tap‘s Nigel Tufnell. “This a tricky number, this one, it’s ‘Bangers + Mash’.
Following that the band played ‘Planet Telex’ with Yorke warning the crowd: “I always forget the words of this one, it doesn’t matter though because they’re fucking nonsense!”
As the band concluded with ‘The Tourist’ their frontman admitted: “I was terrified today, thanks for the good vibes!”
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Yorke returned for the final encore alone, explaining that they were “running out of time, the pumpkin leaves at 10.30” as he played ‘Cymbal Rush’ solo.
The whole band returned for ‘You And Whose Army’, before they wrapped the show up with ‘Idioteque’.
‘All I Need’
‘The National Anthem’
‘Dollars And Cents’
‘Climbing Up The Walls’
‘Everything In Its Right Place’
‘How To Disappear Completely’
‘Jigsaw Falling Into Place’
‘Bangers + Mash’
‘You And Whose Army’
Earlier support had come from [a]Bat For Lashes[/a] and several DJs. [a]Radiohead[/a] play the same venue tomorrow (June 25) before moving to Manchester and then Glasgow.