Oxford's favourite band plans a year of writing, recording and road-testing new stuff on foreign stages...

RADIOHEAD have confirmed that they won’t be playing any live shows in the UK until 2003.

The group will play Spain and Portugal during July and August, but have no plans to extend the tour, according to a spokesperson for the band.

The shows are aimed at road-testing new material recorded in studio sessions booked to start later this month. The intention is to play to hardcore fans, rather than what they see would be a larger, potentially more apathetic festival audience. It’s something they’ve done before – prior to the release of ‘Kid A’ they played unusual venues such as amphitheatres across Europe.

The spokesperson commented: “The band will only be doing these shows in Spain and Portugal this year. 2002 is pretty much dedicated to writing and recording new material. Part of this process involves playing in the new stuff in front of an audience, hence the shows. But also they do enjoy playing in great settings and interesting venues, hence the routing.”

Guitarist Jonny Greenwood previously said that the gigs are “to let [Radiohead] get their shit together” and allow the songs the chance to evolve, while fellow band member Ed O’Brien explained that they want to be “pretty self-indulgent” – avoiding large events like Glastonbury or last year’s charity homecoming at South Park in Oxford.

He said: “The idea is that we don’t want to do anything big. The idea is to be pretty self-indulgent – that means we’ll play new material. And I don’t think playing Glastonbury, or any festival, is conducive to that.”