Radiohead have already debuted a new track as they play their first gig of the millennium at the Arles Theatre Antique in France.
Taking to the stage half an hour late, shaven-headed lead singer Thom Yorke greeted the crowd with a French “Bon soir, tout le monde!” – “Good evening, the world!” in English – before striking up the first song ‘Talk Show Host’.
The band then played ‘Bones’ from their second album ‘The Bends’ before debuting a new track ‘Optimistic’ from their eagerly-anticipated and as yet untitled forthcoming album, due out later this year.
The new song started out with a swamp-rock Dr John-style rhythm on guitar, before descending into even darker terrain, complete with Thom trademark yowls and screams.
After the onstage angst of the song, a seemingly happy Thom, who grinned at the crowd and even took photos of them after the second song, then declared: “You like it dark, don’t you?” and launched into ‘Karma Police’, from the band’s last album ‘OK Computer’.
So far so good – although there are worries about the weather. The heavens opened before the gig, and although clement conditions have returned to Arles, it’s not certain what would happen if the rain return, as the band are entirely out in the open and at the mercy of the elements.
Whatever the news, nme.com will bring it to you first. Come back later for the full gig report.