American fans who haven't got tickets for the chart-toppers' gigs finally get to see the band play 'Kid A' material live...

US chart-toppers Radiohead appeared on long-running AMERICAN sketch-comedy programme ‘SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE’ last night (October 14).

The band performed two songs during the course of the hour-and-a-half show, ‘The National Anthem’ and ‘Idioteque’.

Many fans expected to see a live version of ‘Kid A’‘s ‘Optimistic’, as it has been receiving plenty airplay in the States of late. However, the band played two less radio-friendly songs instead, with the second showing just how much their live dynamic has changed since the ‘OK Computer’ tour of 97/98.


During ‘Idioteque’ drummer Phil Selway was the only member of the band performing in his traditional role, as bassist Colin Greenwood played a small keyboard, guitarist Jonny Greenwood operated a giant console of wires and keys and Ed O’Brien spent more time shaking a maraca-like instrument than playing his guitar. Meanwhile, vocalist Thom Yorke writhed and shook spasmodically as he performed.

‘The National Anthem’ featured a full live horn section, as the band has been using at recent shows.

At the end of the programme, the group joined the cast and crew of the programme on stage, where Thom briefly held up a sign reading ‘Let Ralph Debate’ before tossing it away.

The sign was in reference to Green Party US presidential candidate Ralph Nader, who has been excluded from the presidential debates, as he is running on an independent platform. Nader was also supported by celebrities from the music world at a rally at New York‘s Madison Square Garden on Friday (October 13), which featured performances from Eddie Vedder, Ben Harper and Ani DiFranco, among others.

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