The Night Vibe #635

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The Night Vibe #635

The lights dimmed on the stage and the legendary Oxford outfit came out to play a ball-tearing set. This feels so familiar yet so strange, I have one of my best friends to my left hand side and my brother to my right. The last time this band toured was on the back of their highly successful third album Kid A. Opening with the ever energetic ‘Everything In Its Right Place’, Kid A is an album that right from the beginning pushes the boundaries of music. Like so many other tracks that have come afterwards, the masterful maybe even legendary, work on that album is what makes them one of the most influential bands of our time. For those playing along at home, that haven’t really picked up who I am talking about, it is none other than the one, the only, the legendary Radiohead. 

In thinking back for the purposes of writing this week’s column, it’s hard to remember when I first actively heard Radiohead for the first time. Being born in the early ’90s I didn’t quite appreciate the whole amazement of their back catalogue until I was in my early teen years. I know I could reminisce about those times and how they were simpler. Those were the days whereby ABC2 was just first starting out and on a  Sunday  afternoon they would, from about midday ’till  8pm, just play music documentaries and concerts from all over the shop and all throughout music history. I know that our mum and dads all talk about avidly tuning into Countdown every week however this was what got me into really loving music and the head. My brother and I bonded over a few Radiohead concerts and documentaries. I’ve spent countless hours since watching different bits and pieces on YouTube and there are some fantastic concerts on there. One in particular was in Paris   in either 1997 or 2001. The band played the majority off their ‘OK Computer’ album – which my brother had played to me at the time but its impact on me hadn’t really sunk in yet. Two pieces from that particular concert that I have never been able to find on the internet again was ‘Exit Music (for a film)’ and ‘Karma Police’. There is just something special about a slow melodic strum of the acoustic guitar on a studio recording. Maybe it’s the reverb on Thom Yorke’s vocal or the build up into the third verse, but in my humble opinion, it is one of their greatest songs ever written. 

It’s no wonder that Baz Luhrmann decided to use it in his 1997 adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. Having had to study it in high school I think that some of the concepts were a fair bit far fetched, but by God did it have an amazing soundtrack. Of course I was the only in class to stand up and identify Radiohead as on the soundtrack. But that album just has such a cinematic sound and it definitely fits all the moments of the film brilliantly. Even if you hate the film, try going back and just listening to the end credits. You’ll soon agree that it was a perfect choice. 

You may be questioning, why I am writing to inform now about one of the greatest live bands I’ve ever seen, well purely because they have their ninth studio album coming out any minute now. They have released tickets to shows and are headlining some of the biggest festivals around so they are definitely back. I don’t really have many details about the new album, but if ‘Spectre’ is anything to go by, then it is going to be yet another classic. They have a knack of just producing records that sound very out there and strange but after a few listens you are able to grasp what’s going on. Hopefully they return to our shores soon enough because 2012 was so bloody excellent that this little Radiohead fan truly cannot wait. 

Written by Tex Miller