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Thom Yorke writes foreword for book on Andi Watson’s stage design

‘Andi, can we turn on the lights so we can see the people’, said Thom Yorke at Radiohead’s epic performance at Glastonbury 1997. He was talking to their lighting and staging director, Andi Watson.

Also that night, after the band came back on stage for their encore: ‘Now these two lights, here and here: off!’ It wasn’t Thom complaining about the light show, but because the Radiohead frontman couldn’t see the large crowd. The band have spoken out about their fantastic crew before and Andi Watson is surely one of them, as the stage designs and lighting really stand out on all of Radiohead’s tours. Now, Thom Yorke has written the foreword for the book on Andi Watson’s work over the years. Thom reveals the relationship between the band and the lighting designer.

Named after song from Radiohead’s second album ‘The Bends’ a new book is titled ‘Bullet Proof…I Wish I Was’, written by Christopher Scoates and features the work of Andi Watson. The stage designer has worked for Radiohead since the mid-90’s as well as for artists like Vanessa Paradis, Counting Crows and Oasis.

The New York Times write: On tour, Watson functions as the sixth member of Radiohead, reacting to changes in songs and structures from the lighting booth. This is only after months of planning — after absorbing the band’s music and having conservations with its members and concocting a vision. “I get pictures in my head of what should be going on while the band is playing — of the ideal color, and the dynamic and where light should be coming from,” he said.

He said he’s already working on the next Radiohead tour, which hasn’t been announced yet, in the sense that he’s always working on the next Radiohead tour. The difference? “This time ’round I probably didn’t get the record earlier than anyone else,” he said. (The band released last month’s “The King of Limbs” only four days after revealing its existence. Watson’s favorite tracks are the low-sizzle groove of “Lotus Flower” and the womblike ballad “Give Up the Ghost.”)

The book ‘Bullet Proof…I Wish I Was’ is available here.

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  • There is definitely an art to good lighting at a concert. It’s kind of like a good picture frame: the good ones are the ones you don’t readily notice because instead of drawing attention to themselves, they make what’s already there look even better.

    I saw RH in Boston many years ago and the stage lighting was just beautiful. Must be because Thom went to art school, he knows how to pick the right people for this kind of stuff.

  • ColoUr

  • haha!
    “This is only after months of planning — after absorbing the band’s music and having conservations with its members”

    they said conservations instead of conversations!!

    new york times is stuuuuuuppiddddd!!

  • Oh gosh, I hope there’s no tour before another massive release. I’d rather the band concentrate on recording than do an exhausting tour and then not be around each other for a whole year. I want my “Present Tense” and “Burn the Witch”!

  • The lighting that always impress me more is for THE GLOAMING and LUCKY. The rest is good, but hey: it’s not the 360° tour!!

  • Dream on Muldfeld… they are going to tour their mediocre new album to death, because that’s how bands make their money now.

  • @Fastnet

    With ‘In Rainbows,’ there wasn’t any middle men, and they made more off that album than all their past albums combined, and I’d bet it’s the same for ‘The King of Limbs.’ So touring might not be as much of a priority with Radiohead as it is with other bands.

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