adriaan@ateaseweb.com

07-07-01

South Park, Oxford, UK



01 national anthem
02 airbag
03 morning bell
04 lucky
05 packt like sardines in a crushd tin box
05 my iron lung
06 exit music (for a film)
07 knives out
08 no surprises
09 dollars and cents
10 street spirit
11 i might be wrong
12 pyramid song
13 paranoid android
14 idioteque
15 everything in it's right place
16 fake plastic trees
17 karma police
18 you and whose army
19 how to disappear
20 talk show host
21 the bends
22 creep [the intro of 'motion picture soundtrack' was played, but then they played creep instead]

Airbag- they stopped after about 10 seconds- jonny was VERY nervous. restarted, and it went ok. Morning Bell- "this song is about trying to find somewhere to park.." :) No Surprises- "This song is for Tony [presumably Blair]" Pyramid Song- "Only UK gig this year- no pressure" Paranoid Android- "This one's for that blonde one who used to be in the spice girls- Geri- she was on the same train as me coming back from Paris" MPS- "here's a song for you all to go home to..." [first few notes- then thom stops] "Bugger!- Ish ist Caput- yes? Ive got a better idea- this is quite an old song"- then, CREEP [thanks Simon]



by Simon Pawley

Having been in South Park for 3 hours, when they finally opened the gates at
exactly 1pm, everyone was clearly getting excited- this was going to be
something really special. We rushed down to the inner barrier, to get in
with the first 1000, and got our places on the right of the stage. We waited
around for about an hour, before the first support band came on.
The Rock of Travolta came out to a fitter happier-spoof. they are an
instrumental band, with 2 bassists, 1 guitarist, 1 keyboard player, a
cellist and a violinist. their music was quite good, but most of the people
in the crowd wanted something with vocals- it did get slightly boring by the
end. Next came Hester Thrale, the other band from oxford. They did have a
vocalist, but they werent very good. no one seemed to be able to remember
their name, and most people seemed to think that the short set couldnt end
soon enough. And then, came Humphrey Lyttleton and his band. As they came
out, most of the crowd seemed quite surprised- they didnt really know what
to expect. but 30 minutes later, he had the whole crowd shouting for more.
his badn truly were incredible.
At exactly 5pm, Lard from Radio 1 came on and introduced Sigur Ros - who
some members of the crowd seemed to know, and like, and others had not heard
of. their music was very interesting- singing in to guitars at one point-
but some found it quite difficult. their set was also quite short- about 30
mins.
Supergrass came on at 6pm, and the crowd really began to liven up.
particularly during the more famous songs- moving, alright etc. It was quite
a good set, and they really got the crowd warmed up.
Next came Beck, who played acoustic, with some nice harmonica solos. he
didnt play very much of the famous stuff though. As Beck left, we all knew
that it was only a few minutes before Radiohead would come out.
At about 8.30, i spotted colin through a gap in the staging. I screamed at
him "hi colin" but i dont think he heard. i also spotted Ed. And then they
came out- the crowd went absoultely wild. They all looked quite nervous-
jonny looked terrified as he played "the national anthem". Huge cheers came
at the end of that. Then they began to play airbag. after about 10 seconds,
jonny just stopped. thom looked round at him with a face that said "what are
you doing??? not bloody Canal+ again PLEASE!". they restarted, and apart
from Ed's guitar being a bit quiet, it was an excellent performance of it.
Morning Bell was introduced as "a song about trying to find somewhere to
park"- which seemed quite pertinant :). The next one was Lucky- really
atmospheric- very cool. Then Packt like sardines- a great live version with
fuzz bass and guitars- no electric piano. Next came My Iron Lung- and the
crowd really got going. a lot of energy in the heavy parts. then came the
ultimate contrast- a very atmospheric rendition of Exit Music, with people
singing along.
Next was knives out, which went down pretty well, and then no surprises-
which was dedicated to Tony [Blair???]. next was dollars and cents- which
was an excellent version- pulsing bassline- beautiful. Then Street Spirit,
which everyone sang along to- really getting in to the mood of the gig.
Next, I might be Wrong- rockin, got the crowd jumping a bit. Then a great
version of Pyramid Song, which thom dedicated to Geri Haliwell. Paranoid
Android was incredible- everything was just perfect- great performance.
Idioteque featured some very amusing dancing from thom. he came to the sides
of the stage, right at the front, and made everyone cheer.
Then it was everything in its right place. something was wrong with jonnys
kaoss pad at first, but that was sorted out, and thom walked around a bit,
then went off stage. then colin and phil went off. and it was just ed and
jonny, with his kaoss pad, with thom's sampled vocals- very cool.
Next came the [first] encore: fake plastic trees got a huge cheer, everyone
sang along to karma police, and you and whose army, and how to dissapear was
really really good- atmospheric double-bass playing from colin. Then they
went off again, to even louder cheers.
They came back and did Talk Show Host and The Bends, which everyone loved.
Then they went off once more, and came back again. thom had a keyboard out,
and played the first few notes of MPS. he suddenly stopped and said "BUGGER!
ish est Kaput- yes? [although the keyboard didnt LOOK broken!] - ok, ive got
a better idea- this is a very old song". They then played a really amazing
version of creep. By this time it was pouring with rain, but no one cared-
it was incredible- everyone sang along and jumped up and down a lot- that
rounded off a really great gig-something really really special.



by Jonathan James

I saw Radiohead in London during the tent tour last year and this night was
completely uncomparable - it was the most amazing live performance I've seen
and I doubt it will be bettered!
My friends and I left at a particularly stupid hour of the morning to make
the long trip up to Oxford but we still managed to miss out on getting into
the front pen! WHOOPS!! The first act, The Rock of Travolta, started off with
an interesting(!) version of fitter happier which had most of the 40000 crowd
laughing. The only line that stuck in my head was 'Wheatus can f*ck off
home!' EXCELLENT!! They had some good guitarists and their cellist fitted in
to their instrumental rock suprisingly well but without a singer, they became
boring far too quickly!!
Nobody seemed to know the name of the second act but they weren't too
exciting anyway. My friends thought they were a bit of a radiohead tribute
band, which is a bit kind to them really!!
Humphrey Littleton and his band got a great reception from the crowd and they
were really cool. Humph was a real showman and he got some crowd
participation going which was fun!!
He was followed by a bizarre interlude by Lard from radio 1 as he did a poor
job of introducing Sigur Ros with a broken microphone!! Sigur Ros might be a
good recorded band but they were pretty awful live, incredibly slow sounds
and some screeching vocals, the atmosphere in the crowd died for a bit after
them!!
But then Supergrass came on and the crowd went barmy!! Gaz introduced their
set by saying 'this is a local show for local people' in his best League of
Gentlemen impression and I think they started off with Caught by the Fuzz,
although I'm probably wrong!! They were really impressive live even with a
pretty short set. They played most of their major hits and one new track
which was 'as yet unfinished' according to Gaz. The tracks they played
included Caught By the Fuzz, Strange Ones, Mary, Sick, People, Moving,
Richard III and some others!!
I didnt really pay much attention to Beck's set, I'd have rather have seen
him live with his full band because it wasn't very engaging, but maybe that
was because I was really starting to think about what was to come!!
At about 8.35 Radiohead came on to stage to one of the hugest roars I've
heard!! They started as they have done on the rest of the tour with the
National Anthem which boomed out and seemed even more invigorating than the
album version. The new tracks definately sound even better live, it adds a
totally new dimension to them. Next came Airbag but something was muffed up
with the guitars during the intro, so Thom cried 'bugger' and started off
again. Morning Bell followed, great drumming from Phil and back-up vocals
from Ed. Lucky sounded as beautiful as ever and Packt like Sardines is very
very funky live with Colins distorted bass blurting out. Somewhere along the
line Thom said 'As you might be able to tell, we are very nervous...only UK
gig this year this one....ARGH!!' They didnt sound it though!!
The fifth track started off with Ed's screeching guitar line and the crowd
knew that My Iron Lung was coming. The crowd loved it and was jumping all
over the place, I think I flew about 20 metres further forward during one
chorus!! Exit Music was another great performance although the crowd seemed
to talk through most of it because it was so familiar to them!! Knives out
was very cool with its twisting guitar lines and no suprises was absolutely
gorgeous, Jonny looking as cool as ever hunched over the glockenspiel.
Dollars and Cents roared out at a quicker tempo than the recorded version,
the purple light show made it even better as did the extended ending as Ed
seemed to jam with himself!! Street spirit made everyone sing along, it was
perfect and very beautiful. The crowd returned to its crazy mood during I
might be wrong and then became soulful again during a soothing pyramid song.
Its amazing how a band can make the crowd go mad with excitement with one
song and then change the mood with such great effect with the next. Thom
dedicated Paranoid Android to 'that blonde one from the Spice Girls.....whats
her name?!?!.....Geri, yeah thats it.....well its because I got the same
train as her back from Paris' to which the crowd made loads of smutty noises
and naughty-naughty remarks!!! Paranoid Android was faultless and brought the
house down. Then came my personal favourite of the night, Idioteque. It was
frenetic and it was quite an experience to imitate Thom's worm dance 5 feet
in the air as the crowd basically moshed their way through the beat!! It
rocked beyond belief!! Everything in its right place started with one or two
lines of a song that I didnt recognise, I guess it was to get Jonnys machine
to start working properly. The live version of this is very cool with phils
kicking drum beat and the extended outro ending the main set as each band
member left the stage to their own round of applause.
Fake plastic trees started the first encore, every member of the crowd
attempted to reach Thoms high notes near the end and by the sound of things,
every one of them failed! Karma Police came next and it was sung almost like
a hymn by all 40000 of the onlookers. You and Whose Army was very good, Thom
tried to get the crowd going by raising his arms during the first half of the
song and it really took off when the whole band joined in. The first encore
ended with an exquisite How to Disappear Completely which was really nice to
hear.
Talk Show host was the first track of the second encore and it was really
really funky, the audience loved it. The Bends came next and Thom stopped
singing and let the crowd do the hard work for him near the end!! Some
thought that was the end but the crowd still chanted for more. After a few
minutes the little organ came on stage and Thom came out for an amazing third
encore saying, 'We're hoping this is gonna send you home' and he started
Motion Picture Soundtrack despite the crowds chant of Creep. But just as he
was about to start singing, the organ cut out, maybe because of the rain or
maybe he happened on purpose as Thom had a better idea!! He cried 'bugger'
again and then in his best German accent he said 'Es ist kaputt, ya??!! Oh
well, I think I've got a better idea....This is quite an old one' and then to
everyone's complete disbelief they belted out a really really really great
Creep which ended the night perfectly!! On the way back home, the general
topic of conversation with everyone seemed to be: 'I can't believe they
played creep!! WOW!!'
It was just so so so so so so brilliant, I can't wait till Radiohead come
back to the UK, they are by far the best live band on the planet, what an
experience!!! I'll never forget that!!!
Jon


by David Wiles

Last night Radiohead played their only night in the UK in their hometown of
Oxford. The day started with a local band called "the rock of Travolta" with I
would describe as a more upbeat version of "Godspeed You Black Emperor", really
quite good, definetly above average (many people noted the guy on Keyboards
looking Like the tennis player Tim Hennman). This was shortly followed by
another band from oxford which will sadly be remembered because not many people
can remember their name. These started out a bit average but certainly evolved
through their set to grow on the people their though it could be felt that most
people here were there to see Radiohead. Humphrey Littleton then came on to the
delight of all the jazz lovers there. We expected them to stay on to play Life
In A Glass House but ended up disappointed that this was not so. The set was
marked by a fantastic solo on the alto in which most people wondered if the
soloist would die as he did not seem to have time to breathe.
This performance was then followed by a very highly emotional set by Sigur Ros
at their best. The singer's voice just has this marvelous effect on people.
Next up was local britpop superstars Supergrass who got the crowd going at
their best with a short set including a completely new song. This gets us to
Beck which was by far the coolest performance of the day, not only because of
the first drops of rain that fell that evening but also because of Beck's
ultimately chilled attitude on stage. How often does a guy walk on stage in
front of crowd this big and start with a chilled 'howdy'?
By now the crowd who had waited all afternoon to hear Radiohead was getting
impatient but quite ready to forgive them as soon as they got on stage and
started off with the National Anthem. At the end, Thom went 'oh bugger',
probably disapointed because they were really nervous about this being their
only gig in the UK. This showed in Airbag where the band had to restart because
they missed the start. The band then went on to play Morning bell, introducing
it by saying 'this one is about finding a place to park'.The show went on and
by the time they got to Pakt, the whole band was feeling more confident and
Thom finished it with a 'that's better'. Still as the show went on Thom was
still nervous and said it after knives out. During Street spirit Thom was
really playing with the audience as he turned towards us with his arms
outstreched. By now they were really beggining to losen up and YThom joked
about it saying 'Ok, this is our only gig in the UK...no pressure though'.
The next song was dedicated to Geri from the spice girls as they traveled on
the train together from Paris. Idioteque was fantastic and Thom was all over
the stage, jumping and runing like a mad man. At the end of Everything in its
right place thom held the microphone to the crowd before he walked of with the
rest of the band, leaving Ed and Jonny alone on stage to finish off.
The first encore started oof with Fake Plastic trees and was shortly followed
by the ultimate singalong to Karma Police. During You and whose Army thom
played with the audience which was now quite litteraly at his fingertips and
obviously already quite satisfied with the performance. To finish this off they
played a beautiful How to Dissappear completely, not unlike the radio1 session
last december.
They then came back on for a second encore to paly talk show host and the
bends which were really crowd favourites before going off againg. Then Thom
came back on and started on Motion Picture Soundtrack saying 'this one is to
send you home', but the keyboard broke after three chords and everybody was
quite disapointed but when thom decided to play creep, all was quite forgiven
and everybody went home completly satistfied. It was a great day despite the
pouring rain in the last half hour and all the way back home and my only
disapointment was that they played neither climbing up the walls not motion
picture soundtrack though the latter was purely by accident.

by Ken Okumura

Woke up about 8:30 on the day before the gig, and drove up to my flat to
pick up my big coat which I planned to spend the night in. Met a friend who
I gave a lift up to Oxford, and then we set off around 1. We got off the
motorway and somehow found our way to South Park directly without having a
map - I knew it was near Headington and so we found our way after asking a
couple of people.
We got there around 2:30 and Radiohead had just started soundchecking. A few
Radiohead message boarders were already there, and so I found a place to
park and we joined them as quickly as we could, taking my sandwiches and
coat with me.
It was a beautiful sunny day and there were quite a few people in the park
just lying down and listening.
I climbed a tree so I could see over the 15 foot high fence they had erected
all around the area, and got my first view of what was inside...I could see
a fenced off area right at the front which I presumed was for the first few
thousand people only...and the stage where they were putting up the massive
crying minotaur banners at the time.

Did some shopping for snacks and supplies. Loitered around the production
entrance and managed to catch Phil walking out after the soundcheck, and he
stopped and talked for a while - looked very happy. Then Jonny drove out in
his car, Thom was driven out in a car with tinted windows - very rock and
roll, and then Ed got driven out and waved at the 4 of us outside with a
manic grin on his face.
We never saw Colin leave, so we suspect that either he snuck out in disguise
or stayed in there for ages..
We popped off to the nearest pub and had a drink before coming back and
sitting in the park until about 9 when we went to the pub for our only hot
meal of the two days we were there.
About 10, my friend and I went back into the park and set ourselves up by
the entrance fence and settled down for the night. At that point we were the
only people there...
About 11:30 to midnight people started turning up, although most only to
check the place out after the pubs closed. Two girls settled down for the
night, and there a bunch of drunk people further down in the park who it
turned out had got a tin of Dulux paint and painted "Nation" in huge letters
on the fence. The reason why eludes me.

People carried on arriving in dribs and drabs all night, and by about 5 am
there were about 40 people in the line up.
The crowds really started arriving from about 10 am onwards in anticipation
of the gates opening at 1.
By the time the gates opened there were several thousand people there, and
when they did open it was chaos...everyone ran forward to get their tickets
checked and then were sprinting to get to the front. It was a longer run
than I thought, and then when we got in we saw that the other entrance gate
had been opened for (apparently I was told later) an HOUR before ours...
Fortunately very few people were there, and so there were about 20 people
who had got in line for the front boxed off section. The rest of us sprinted
down and somehow my legs and lungs carried me to the front centre of the
crowd barrier, right smack bang in the middle.

We sat down with our backs to the fence and recovered slowly.

Around 1:30 I think, The Rock of Travolta came on stage an Oxford 7/8-piece
(I forget now)...It was strange, the only member of the band that seemed
daunted by the fact there were over 42,000 people staring at them was the
violinist who looked distinctly pale.

They were pretty good - they were basically an instrumental band, and their
opening pre-entrance music was extremely amusing...
they had parodied Fitter Happier and done pretty much the opposite of what
it says..."Fitter, unhealthier, unproductive. Drinking too much. No
excercise at the gym (8 days a week)" "Enjoy a drink now and then - get
pissed all the time" etc etc...
it was absolutely hilarious, and set the stage brilliantly for their
entrance.
Great set, and got the crowd going.

Hester Thrale were up next and didn't get the crowd going at all...they
played a rather lacklustre set and tended to avoid eye contact with the
crowd at all. I suppose when there's only 3 of you versus 42,000 people or
more, it would get kind of scary.

Next came quite a highlight - Humphrey Lyttleton and his band...
I think the security guards were kind of surprised by the appearance of a
bunch of people old enough to be their parents on stage with jazz equipment,
playing to a huge crowd of (for the most part) young people.
They were absolutely brilliant and the crowd loved them. Humphrey is quite a
witty guy, and he really got the crowd going...
The highlight of the set was (if I remember rightly - bear in mind no sleep
in 48 hours) a piece by Duke Ellington which involved the saxophonist
circular breathing and playing for aover 5 minutes straight without a break
in the music.
The cheers and the applause from the crowd were deafening when he
finished...

Sigur Ros - I love their music, but it can sometimes be unsuited to live
gigs - well especially for me after I'd been up all night etc...their album
is incredible, but they are really more suited to relaxing in your favourite
easy-chair and settling down with a mug of hot chocolate. Having said that I
still thought it was a great set...although it was embarassing with the
idiots in the crowd making rude comments.

Supergrass - they were pretty good, although there was a whole bunch of
morons who were really violently moshing around which kind of spoiled it and
made the whole set an excercise in staying upright and intact. The song that
they played which they said wasn't finished yet was really good...as was the
rest of the set when you had a chance to pay attention.

Beck - I didn't realise until I was told the day before that it was only an
acoustic set, and apparently nor did a lot of the people who came. The woman
DJ on Xfm while I was driving back the next day (today as I am writing this)
was pretty negative about the set - saying it was too sombre...
Now forgive me for sounding out of line, but I thought the set was
absolutely brilliant. I think far too many people like Beck because he has
gained a foothold in popular culture for being zany and having crazy stage
shows. I've seen him twice like that - once at Wembley arena, and once at
the Leeds Festival last year. DJ Swamp is incredible, as is the full
performance, but South Park was more about going back to roots and he proved
he can sing with the best of them. He did quite a few covers and wasn't on
for long (mainly I think due to Supergrass running overtime). I, and most of
the people around me at the front, really enjoyed it, and I think it is not
deserving of the criticism he got.

Radiohead - what can I say? They were full of energy, they played perfectly
with only a couple of glitches - Jonny having the wrong guitar in Airbag,
and the organ cutting out in MPS (THANK GOD!), and they played Creep! The
set was absolutely flawless, and the pouring rain near the end just added to
the atmosphere...the crowd were well mannered then, and there was only a
little jostling during My Iron Lung and Paranoid Android. If you want the
song-by-song breakdown then there are plenty of people who've done that, but
I just aim to give you an idea of the atmosphere on the day...
We got out from the front pretty sharpish before people started clamouring
for setlists, picks, Jonny's Kaoss Pad etc. Headed over to the sound desk
and got a setlist for my ex-girlfriend and went to the waste tent and bought
all the t-shirts that were new since last year, then headed out where some
of the 40/50,000 people were causing traffic chaos.

After that I drove some of the way back to London listening to Xfm doing
their radiohead special - went in and out of reception and came back in to
hear the bootleg of Thom singing Nobody Does it Better - quite a fitting
song to end an unforgettable weekend.

Ken (Enigma) ken@lostway.co.uk

by Paul K Doughty

Just wanted to give my impressions of the day.... so that i myself can
remember them before they become a distant memory.

My overall impression of the day was that I found the
gig too big and rather impersonal. Maybe that's because I went
to the Stoke concert back in 1997 - when the attendance was
only a mere 5,000 compared to 42,000!

I got the feeling that most of the 42,000 people weren't real
Radiohead fans. A lot of them were teens - brought up on the OK
Computer album.

Talk about Packt like Sardines in a Crushd Tin Box - everyone was
pushing to get to the front. Views were limited. Which, for me, was
a real shame. I managed to get a good space though - just to the
left of the stage behind the mosh (sic) pit.

Radiohead, as ever, were absolutely amazing. It was obvious
to see that they were all up for the gig big time. Thom really got
the crowd going. Jonny hammed up his guitar solos by coming upto
the front of the stage (something that I feel he should do more
often). Colin and Ed jumped about all over the place. Phil was
Phil - a really nice fella. Who I had the pleasure of meeting earlier
in the day as he walked back from the Samaritans tent.
It was clear to see that they were nervous - especially during the
first few songs of the set.
They ran onto the stage and broke into The National Anthem with
blinding speed. I was surprised to see Thom playing guitar on that
song. Normally he just dances around a bit. Maybe it was because
there was no horn section...

Before they began Airbag, Thom tried to say something to the crowd.
But he just was lost for words at the sight of 42,000
people in front of him. It must've looked amazing - reminiscient
of the Glastonbury gig they did.

To be honest, Airbag was terrible! They messed it up first time
(Thom: 'Bugger'). They started again.
Jonny completely lost the plot on the intro (yes, he is human
after all) and Colins bass distortion pedal was still on from
The National Anthem. It probably was faulty. Anyway I could see him
frantically waving on the roadies for some help!
But they managed to get it together by the second verse.

No Surprises was dedicated to 'Tony' - Mr Blair for everyone else.

Before starting the Pyramid Song, Thom expressed the bands'
nervousness by saying 'Only gig in the UK this year. No pressure though',

Paranoid Android was dedicated to Geri Halliwel (Thom: 'The blonde
from the Spice Girls? - Geri. She was on the same train as me
coming back from Paris and this one's dedicated to her'). A lot
of audience tried to make fun of Thom by trying to make out that
him and Geri had been upto something on that train. To which
Thom empathically shook his head!

Thom really got the audience going for Idioteque, Everything In Its
Right Place, and You And Whose Army. I was well impressed with his
showmanship. He was really up for the gig and it telled. I knew he
would be, which is why I came to this gig in the first place.

The heavens really opened during How To Disappear. Everyone got
absolutely soaked! But it just added to unite the fans in singing
and enjoying the day.
And I think Radiohead understood that as well.

For the second encore, the band went into Talk Show Host (Thom: Do
you want us to play another song then?) and The Bends (Thom: Quick!
quick!! Another song! Quick!), letting the audience sing the bridge
while he hummed along.

For the the final encore, Thom and Jonny came out to perform Motion
Picture Soundtrack. Now, I (as i'm sure that others do) remember the
old version of this song. So I was quite pleased when the synth he
was playing packed up, to which Thom promptly said 'Bugger'. Then he went
round the back of it and playfully started hitting it with his fist.

'Das ist kaputz, yah?'

At which point, I hoped that he would play MPS on guitar like in the
old days. I didn't expect what was coming next. Although I did hear a
webcast of an interview with Thom Yorke in San Francisco a couple
weeks ago where they were going to play Creep, but chickened out.

So, the roadies wheeled off the disfunctional synth and Thom asked
for Ed and Phil to come back on stage saying 'I've got a better idea.
This is an old song, I think'.
I think it must've caught Ed by surprise because he was smoking a
fag at the time and quickly had to put it out!

Somehow, I knew they were going to play Creep. And as soon as I saw
Ed with his fingers fretted on the G bar chord, my hopes were
confirmed.

I've never heard Jonny perform that song better.

I hope that the performance of Creep was just a one-off. It definitely
made the whole day very special. I did have an all too brief conversation
with this girl who said that they shouldn't of played it. I can see her
point (if you're reading this, please email me at the address below!!).

But the way I see it is, if they want to play it, then play it. I for
one wasn't shouting for Creep to be played. Nor was anyone else around
me. They wanted to play it for us. It was Thoms idea! And I didn't see
any of the other members of the group complaining. But I sincerely do hope
that it is just a one-off.

It capped off the perfect end to a perfect day. Radiohead played a blinder.

Absolute traffic choas and a complete nightmare getting home though. They
(the organisers) should've opened the venues exits as well. Instead, we
all had to go out the same way we came in. It was so dark, we couldn't
see a bloody thing!

Paul K Doughty (p_doughty@hotmail.com)


by Dom Thomas

well, it has taken 24 hours to get my head screwed back on again and i'm still in a daze. noone could literally believe it and i shall refrain from boring anyone unlucky enough not to have attended the event in person (those of you who were 'lucky' will have a fair indication of the impossible task it is to place the feelings roused from last night into coherant sentances...). I can only say that there were only highs from the 40,000 odd people at South Park last night when opener National Anthem kicked off in a loud, fast and uncontrolable performance (Colin has problems with distortion on his bass as roadies run about like headless chickens - when finally sorted out it felt too composed and the band began to settle down) - Yorke and co. confessing to be falling victims to nerves was only highlighted when Airbag had to be restarted as Jonny's guitar packd in...later it would be Thom's organ for the 3rd encore in Motion Picture Soundtrack, which was aborted and jacked up the audience with the airing of Creep.

what a night! the set covered creep (ye olde track to be played) through the Bends (bends/fake plastic trees/my iron lung/street spirit) OK Computer (airbag/paranoid android/lucky/no surprises/exit music) KID A (eiirplace/national anthem/how to disappear/idioteque>no motion pic sndtrk) Amnesiac (packt.../pyramid song/might b wrong/$&C/u&?army) my memory falters but u can check it out elsewhere:

BEST TRACKS in no order:

packt - not many recognised the guitar riff replacing the metalic/tribal drum loop as the intro but we got there in the end...storming stuff as the guitars were recusitated (i'm not against electronic though guys) and matched in I Might B Wrong with Jonny really letting it wail through the mid section

idioteque - if u heard the parisian version you know what a menacing difference the 2 xtra notes per bar make...people start to ease up and the words are belted with such force that throughout this and Paranoid Yorke must have felt like we did: hairs on the back of our necks standing up (nothing to do with the rain) during Fake Plastic/Street Spirit.

if u like guitars then you couldnt ask for more than the Bends - pyrotechnics were ace throughout with subtle greens for a sea-like mirage for Pyramid for example - here however oranges and reds and whites lit up the band and their followers with such force that you forgot you were in a field in the middle of oxford. this feeling was surpassed only by creep from an historic point of view and made an apt 'thank you very very much for coming' for the bands hometown. sound quality was second to none and those of you who went on the tent tour for KID A will know what a technical mission that would have been to recreate outside in a park... it was moments like these that you felt like you were in the right place; with the guys on autopilot there was no stopping them coming back for a 3rd encore (no way anyone was leaving til it happened!) - no one can accuse the gig of loosing any of its 'personal' relationship with the audience (a matter of key importance in the last tour), it was only hightened by the massed experience of sharing time witht the best band in the world. where on earth do we all go from here???????>

from Dom

by Paul McCabe

Living in wembley, took a while to get up there on the coach, but once you get in and get the little blue INNER BARRIER band, u can easily go arround the whole ground,and make your way back to the 5th roe of people. First act (hester thrimes) and the second were ok, but Humphries jaz was the the second best back-up ive ever seen (went to a jaz concert in the tate the other week which was cool too) beaten olnly by SIGOR ROSS and the amaseingly beutiful sounds they made. Beck and Supergrass were adveragely good, but as the silver foil trees were rolled out, u knew radiohead would outstage all. amaseing entrance, crowd screeming, radiohead enter, and start with national anthem. Johnys guitar fucks wen they try to play airbag, so he switches to his second telecaster (a sound bloke came on stage later to find out what was wrong). Once they got underway, they were unstopable, and it was like they comanded the wheather. just as thom sings "im not here, this isnt happening" rain beats down upon the crowd. euphoria sets in as johny does his amaseingness (i know its not a word) during fake plastic trees heavy part, and then, the coupe de grace. I dont know if it was set up or not, but thoms keyboard broke when they tried to play motion picture soundtrack. so thoms goe's off has a chat with johny and some sound guys, the band mingle for a moment, and i looked to my friend Josh, and said "If there is a G-d, they will play creep." And as they did, my heart exploded. I never thaught i would hear it live, and i rejoiced as i heard thoes first few notes. It was what still fuells me. The fact that i was drenched and still had to spend 3hr getting home ddnt matter, it added to the feeling of imence greatness that was in all the people i knew round me. We were huging, and on the brink of tears of joy. I feelso glad to share this experiance with others. Paul McCabe. Thankyou Radiohead. Sorry for the spelling mistakes, im a dislexick GCSE student who has been awake for the past 37 hr.

by Philip Rowley

Oxford. This city of the gleaming spires has been responsible for the education of many students over the years - some even famous : Tony Blair, Bill Clinton and, of course, Fox Mulder. But whilst educating the masses is one thing, entertaining the masses is an entirely different matter. On Saturday, around 40,000 people descended on South Park in Oxford for the express purpose of being entertained. Ironically, as it turned out, not only were they entertained but also educated. Read on to find out why.

I arrived about 3.30 pm to see a local band struggling to keep the largely seated crowd from falling into an apathy-induced trance. Shame, since they were actually quite good; nifty tunes and some solid playing. By 4.30, jazz grandad Humphry Lyttleton's band were enthusiastically parping their way through some cooooool jazz numbers. The set ended on a big bang - literally; the final note coincided with a huge thunderclap, leaving some people in the crowd thinking "Wow, I wonder how they did that." But this was a portent of doom. We knew we were going to get a soaking, it was just a question of when.

Sigur Ros were up next. I love Sigur Ros but for some reason their ocean of sound singularly failed to get people off their arses. Some even seemed to find the lead singer's dolphin-like voice jolly amusing. Never mind.

Next up Supergrass. Good tight set, and people were really beginning to rev their internal engines now. Then an acoustic set from Beck, at which point the crowd went off the boil. Beck and Supergrass should have been the other way round, really.

Then at 8.30 the crowds began gathering. No rain yet, but that didn't stop someone about 30 feet away opening their umbrella, obscuring the stage in the process. With about 5 minutes to run, and after ignoring jeers of "Put the f__king umbrella down", he was duly pelted with all manner of objects until he finally put it down. Good job too, because about 45 seconds later Radiohead entered stage left. And then…..

Kerblamm! The National Anthem's impossibly heavy bassline landed like a mile wide block of concrete. Instantly, the crowd was on fire. DERRRRR-Derr-Derr Da-DERRRRR-Derr-Derr. Come on! Thom replaced the sax-solo with a snarling improvised vocal whilst Jonny squeezed a whale noises out of his special contraption. Then an aborted Airbag. Jonny's guitar sounded wrong, as if it was submerged in jelly. The band ground to a halt, with Thom uttering a countryfied "Oh Bugger". They were more successful second time round.

Next up Morning Bell, which seemed to pass me by due to the fact that I was now staring at some guy's back. In fact I couldn't see anything; I'm only a wee chap, you see. One repositioning later, and I could see Thom begin strumming the open ringing chords to Lucky. A beauty, and incidentally up until about 6 weeks ago my favourite Radiohead track (Pyramid Song now in first place). Ed's backing was unexpectedly powerful, but Jonny was the star, reworking the main chorus riff. This is the key. Nothing is sacrosanct in Radiohead Land, nothing remains untouched. Songs are constantly being revised, updated and improved. Vocal melodies are chopped and changed, solo's are turned upside down and new effects are added to old tracks. Very much the theme for the concert.

Pakt followed; nice and tight and good effects. Then Iron Lung. Nasty, brutish and rasping. Jonny looked as if he would be better off wearing a straight-jacket as he attempted to break his guitar in two using only his plectrum. Then a tambourine-tastic Dollars and Cents, followed by No Surprises camply dedicated to "Tony" (Blair). A hushed Exit Music gave way to chiming Knives Out accompanied by azure blue lighting before I Might Be Wrong re-ignited the crowd. Live, IMBW comes into its own; it rocks 50% more than your standard Amnesiac version. It actually makes you want widdle on your air-guitar and rock your head like some demented eighties tosser.

As the light began to fail, an Eastern piano chord sequence hailed the arrival Pyramid Song, with Jonny recreating the string section on his box-of-tricks. Street Spirit was excellent. Obviously. And then the band powered through Paranoid Android, once again Thom adding new twists to the vocal melody whilst Jonny was given free reign on his flanged guitar. As Thom opened up with "Rain down…" it was if the clouds could do nothing but obey, and it started drizzling.

Idioteque was the best track of the evening. As "Ice age comin'….." cut in, I duly flailed about like an idiot (perhaps where the song received its title). It's such an intense track, and the effects just kept piling up until the electronic cacaphony collapsed in on itself. Thom didn't pause for the breath once.

EIIRP is one of those tracks that didn't do much for me in album form. Live however, there's something special going on, although I can't quite work out what. Thoms voice reflected and splintered a thousand times, before he went on a quick walkabout around the stage egging on the crowd.

Then a brief lull, before Radiohead returned for their first encore. Fake Plastic Trees, once a nice little puppy was transformed into a gnarling, angry warthog, and the ensuing You and Whose Army was rocked up with the distorted guitar surging the fore. Once again, Ed provided a new vocal idea on the "We ride tonight" line.

By the time the effects-laden Disappear began, the rain was hammering down. I was slowly, but surely, getting a sound soaking. Encore 2 began with Thom enquiring "Would you like us to play another song?" before ripping into Talk Show Host. Karma Police was next, followed by a plodding, slowed down, beefed up The Bends which witnessed Jonny finally losing it, torturing his fretboard until it screamed for mercy.

Before Encore 3 a stage hand wheeled out a small keyboard, and I knew it was going to be Motion Picture Soundtrack. But two chords in and the thing packed up, prompting another "Oh Bugger" from Thom. "Hang on" he added "I've got an idea". Seconds later the full band had returned. "This is an older song" he said, and at that moment I knew what it was going to be. As the opening arpeggio of Creep tumbled out of Eds guitar, the crowd went ballistic. But there was something different. Thom sang it like he was detached from the meaning; like he was a casual observer at his own birth. It was as if he was saying, "look how far we've come". I felt it, I don't know if anybody else did. And that is the point at which Radiohead educated their fans. They were saying "We've come so far, don't ask us to play this again".
Shame, because even if it no longer fits in with their neo-prog-electronica manifesto, it still rocks live.

I will try to refrain from spewing meaningless hyperbole on to the screen, but it was a great concert and proof that Radiohead has no equal.

At the end of the concert, Thom said " Thankyou very, very, very, very, very much". No, Thom. Thank YOU.