Turner discussed the subject of artists playing their hits versus full albums in a recent interview, praising Iron Maiden‘s live show but attacking Radiohead for so rarely playing ‘Creep’.
Writing on his blog about the reaction he received from fans of the band, whom he refers to as “indie Beliebers,” Turner states that “the comment was lazily put” and says he is a huge fan of the Oxford band, citing ‘Kid A’ and ‘Amnesiac’ as his two favourite albums of theirs.
However, looking to clarify the point he made in the original interview, Turner continues: “When you’re playing a live show and charging money for people to come, you’re also an entertainer, whether you like it or not. My frustration is with bands who see that description, ‘entertainer’, as some kind of slight.”
He continues: “In some cases it’s almost like the audience is an imposition on their sacred creative act. If that’s how you feel, don’t play shows and charge people to come to them, stick to the studio. Perhaps a better example than Radiohead and ‘Creep’ is Bob Dylan. When I saw him play it was just shit, and he was pretty openly trying to piss the audience off.”
He concluded the post with: “I guess what I’m saying is, there’s a middle way between being slavishly populist in your setlist choices, and only playing weird obscure B-sides. Dropping a song that everyone in the room wants to hear every now and again isn’t ‘selling out’ or whatever, it’s entertaining, and that’s at least part of the job description.”
Radiohead first released ‘Creep’, their debut single, in 1992 and performed it regularly until 1998. They then dropped it from their set until 2001 and played it sporadically until Reading Festival in 2009, the song’s last outing.