Chimpomatic

Radiohead

Victoria Park, London

June 24th, 2008

In our recent interview with Silver Jews front man David Berman, he described festivals as a form of mass date-rape, where you get a load of willing victims into a field and rob them of what they think they hold dear. He also directed a few comments towards Radiohead, so while I stood for hours in a queue for beer in Victoria Park for the first night of the Radiohead extravaganza, my thoughts turned towards Berman's comments and what he might make of this. The band had turned Victoria Park into their own festival and it was huge. Swarms of people queued for food and drink, Berman would have puked. When the band started up, my intentions of getting near to the front were seriously downgraded so I had to settle for 80 meters back catching a fleeting glimpse of the pin prick on the horizon that I presumed was Thom Yorke.

So the venue was way too big, there were way too many dickheads in the crowd who had clearly come to chat to one-another rather than watch the show and I was way too far away for my liking. But, the music was sensational. I realised that night that Radiohead's music needs to be heard under an open sky. In this context it doesn't matter where you are standing as simply turning your gaze skyward releases this music into infinity where it belongs. It was such a still night and the sound drifted across to me perfectly. Set-wise it was a different story to the Hammersmith gig in 2006, with pretty much all of In Rainbows getting a thorough airing along with many choice morsels from Kid Amnesiac. Hail To The Thief was severely neglected with only There There representing and when any of the older songs cropped up they were not your usual choices. But this was the story of the night for me. I've heard Karma Police, Paranoid Android, The Bends and Fake Plastic Trees countless times live, but tonight it was a case of rediscovering under appreciated gems. Jonny Greenwood excelled himself on many occasions but his layered sampling on Climbing Up The Walls was truly stunning and coupled with Yorke's hauntingly lazy vocals this emerged as a surprising high point.

With each Radiohead gig I attend, I crave less and less these old favorites as the new songs - whether released or not - are so fresh and live. In Rainbows doubled in size under this still night sky with songs like Reckoner, Jigsaw and the chilling atmospherics of Videotape beaming up into the air with euphoric majesty. As Yorke retreated to the second drum kit for Bangers & Mash, Jonny Greenwood was left unattended up the front - an opportunity he seized with both hands providing a seriously fucked up, twisted version of this already raw track with avant guard screeches darting from his contorted guitar like a modern-day Coltrane. The whole evening was brought to an all too early close with one of the best moments of the night. The two big screens that flanked the stage displayed some multi angle camera work split into 4 sections, but as the opening chords of You And Who's Army? crept into view the whole screen was filled with a huge Yorke eye as he stretched up to pear into the lens. This minimal song with it's weary vocals accompanied by this all-seeing eye was mesmerising and as it gave way to the frenetic beats of Idioteque the night was complete.

Outdoor gigs always take shape as night falls and never has this been more true than here. As Yorke emerged after the encore and played a stripped down piano version of The Eraser's Cymbal Rush you could have heard a pin drop out there in that park. The shear size of the venue occasionally diluted the experience, as it's hard to feel connected to a band when you're so far away - but for a long term fan like myself to be reintroduced to songs I know so well is a treat and an unexpected delight. This band have all bases covered, from the light show to the live video art that attempts to do way more than simply show the people at the back what's going on. I would have to disagree with Mr. Berman, as on leaving the park I was buoyant with having been in the presence of greatness and though I strained to see anything and queued for an eternity in my own personal headspace I was flying.


Links

Radiohead
Last FM

Tags

#BC
#Music
#Gig

27th Jun 2008 - Tumblr

4

News

Reviews

Articles

Surveillance

Related

Radiohead

In Rainbows (Disc 2)

Best of 2007

Harris Pilton

Radiohead

Hammersmith Apollo, London

Stuart A. Staples

Bush Hall, London

Neil Young

Living With War

Flight Of The Conchords

Flight Of The Conchords

The Deer Hunter

Beautifully imagined and lovingly restored, but it still alternates between a snail’… https://t.co/6bZj694rnx.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

12th Aug 2020

Read more star reviews

Search

21 Bridges

Surprisingly enjoyable plane movie, though it owes a lot to the magnificent Copland.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

8th Aug 2020

Read more 3 star reviews

The Switch

Tension-free Bateman rom com. Lacking rom and com.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

8th Aug 2020

Read more 2 star reviews

Ad Astra

Incredibly stylish and wannabe cerebral sci-fi, that’s ultimately a little thin.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

19th Jul 2020

Read more 3.5 star reviews

First Man

Underwhelming space drama that’s a bit too intimate and not very epic.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

5th Jul 2020

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Blue Story

Dire, tension-free postcode gang drama. Just add drama.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

21st Jun 2020

Read more 1 star reviews

Apollo 11

Magnificent documentary, re-assembling the moon landing from beautifully remastered footage.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

14th Jun 2020

Read more 4 star reviews

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

The 8th slow-paced Tarantino pic. Literally half entertaining / boring.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

24th May 2020

Read more 2.5 star reviews

Yesterday

Entertaining Brit-com, though it’s a bit on-the-beaten-path for Danny Boyle.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

13th Apr 2020

Read more 3 star reviews

Juliet, Naked

Mildly enjoyable, thoroughly forgettable Nick Hornby pic ...once you get past the contrived set up.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

4th Apr 2020

Read more 3 star reviews

Shazam

Kid-friendly(ish), super fun superhero movie.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

23rd Mar 2020

Read more 3.5 star reviews

The Lion King

Impeccably realised remake, but it’s emotionally flat.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

15th Mar 2020

Read more 3 star reviews

Galveston

Standard festival thriller, with some style and decent moments - but it’s all a bit thin.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

10th Mar 2020

Read more 3 star reviews

Alladin

Surprisingly enjoyable, Guy Ritchie-fied Disney remake.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

10th Mar 2020

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Mapplethorpe

Cookie cutter biography that could literally have been written from his Wikipedia page.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

7th Mar 2020

Read more 1.5 star reviews

Horse Girl

Text book indie, literally days out of Sundance. Interesting until it gets a bit too wacky.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

9th Feb 2020

Read more 3 star reviews

Mid90s

Strong slice of 90s skate nostalgia. Slow and subtle.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

8th Feb 2020

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Phantom Thread

Considered character study that strays into pretentiousness here and there.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

25th Jan 2020

Read more 3 star reviews

Rocketman

Enthusiasticly directed sequence of unrelated musical set pieces.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

31st Dec 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Avengers

Endgame

Yet another biggest-battle-yet, with more than a passing nod to BTTF2.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

30th Dec 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Mystify

Michael Hutchence

Thoughtfully assembled montage doc.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

30th Dec 2019

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Captain Marvel

Decent origin story, with charm and some 90s nostalgia.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

27th Dec 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Star Wars

The Rise of Skywalker

Freestyle bouillabaisse with all the ingredients, but no chef.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

27th Dec 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Marriage Story

Quintessential indie movie ...funded by Netflix. Great perfs, lovely camera work and solid direction.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

22nd Dec 2019

Read more 4 star reviews

Widows

Superior modern thriller. Smart script and accomplished direction.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

15th Dec 2019

Read more 4 star reviews

The Irishman

Long, slow, thoroughly enjoyable loose jam through Scorsese/DeNiro/Pacino/Pesci/Keitel’s greatest hits.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

2nd Dec 2019

Read more 4 star reviews

Joker

Batman via Scorsese, in impeccably art directed, neatly packaged origin story.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

28th Nov 2019

Read more 4 star reviews

Frozen 2

Surprisingly strong sequel that gets going after a convoluted start.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

24th Nov 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

The Mule

Casual drama from Clint Eastwood, with the man himself anchoring things through a charming turn.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

16th Nov 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

The King

Luscious period drama. Beautifully put together - like Wolf Hall+.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

3rd Nov 2019

Read more 3.5 star reviews

El Camino

Throw away Breaking Bad expansion piece with little tension or jeopardy.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

13th Oct 2019

Read more 2.5 star reviews

Vice

Stylish but incoherent Cheney biopic, hampered by another one-note turn from Bale.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

5th Oct 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Bohemian Rhapsody

Mind numbingingly basic biopic, saved by the nostalgia for the music and moments.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

5th Oct 2019

Read more 2 star reviews

Minding the Gap

Interesting doc following the lives of 3 teens becoming adults, tied together by skateboarding.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

28th Sep 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Manchester by the Sea

Painful, occasionally uplifting viewing with a grief stricken central performance.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

28th Sep 2019

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Spider-Man

Into the Spider-Verse

Stylish, trippy concept animated superhero flick with some great moments.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

21st Sep 2019

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Dora & the Lost City of Gold

Young adult upgrade, with just enough Conchords humour to keep it enjoyable.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

22nd Aug 2019

Read more 2.5 star reviews

Breath

Decent Aussie surf drama, that nostalgically investigates the soul of surfing before losing its way a little.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

14th Aug 2019

Read more 3.5 star reviews

A Star is Born

Somewhat unremarkable, but enjoyable music drama. Bit long.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

13th Jul 2019

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Two For Joy

Predictably grim seaside coming-of-age indie. Decent enough, but you’ve seen it before


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

13th Jul 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Mary Poppins Returns

Stylish sequel, hampered in places by some authentic 1960s pacing.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

30th Jun 2019

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Coraline

Out-there kids fable with an old school Tim Burton vibe.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

16th Jun 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Blackkklansman

Rock solid 90s style indie movie. Beautifully assembled at all levels.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

31st May 2019

Read more 4 star reviews

Can’t Stand Losing You

Fairly one-sided Police doc about the seemingly dislikeable trio.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

7th May 2019

Read more 2.5 star reviews

Tallulah

Decent, but slightly muddled parenting indie.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

28th Apr 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Dumbo

Forgettable re-imagining of a not totally unforgettable Disney classic.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

27th Apr 2019

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Missing Link

Solid stop-motion animation that’s light on plot, but high on charm.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

12th Apr 2019

Read more 2.5 star reviews

Sicario 2

Soldaro

Surprisingly stylish sequel that drops the ball in classic straight-to-VHS style halfway through.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

6th Apr 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Hold the Dark

Opaque Alaskan thriller from Jeremy Saulnier, with little regard for convention.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

1st Apr 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Leave No Trace

Low key indie spin on Rambo, as a father and daughter try and live off grid.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

28th Mar 2019

Read more 3.5 star reviews