Friday, 26 February 2010

Thom Yorke - Cambridge Corn Exchange 25/02/10

When this one-off show (a fund-raiser for Tony Juniper's run for parliament) was announced, a couple of work colleagues were bemoaning the fact that it was taking place in Cambridge, the city from which I endure a daily commute to London. They asked if I would be going, leading me to talk about how I'd given up on Radiohead following 'Kid A' (I was quite ambivalent about 'OK Computer' as well, but its follow-up really was the last straw).

So I felt rather hypocritical when I received an email that same day from a friend offering me a spare ticket that I duly accepted. Hey, I rarely get out these days .....

But even then I almost didn't make it along. I got within a few minutes of the venue and found that my ticket, which I double-checked was in my pocket after leaving my house, was no longer about my person. Cue panic (including a phone call to my friend, asking if he ordered via the box office thus opening the possibility of getting a replacement - he hadn't), followed by the re-tracing of my steps only to spot the damn thing, face down in a puddle half-way across Parkers Piece, a park/square that was thankfully very dark and not used that heavily at night. I have no idea how this happened. And if I'd dropped it anywhere else on route, or if it had landed face up, or not landed in a puddle and instead blown away, then I would have had to have consoled myself with the knowledge that I had at least contributed towards a worthy cause.

Onto the show itself. My lack of awareness of Yorke's output was rendered partly irrelevant by a smattering of new material that featured in his set. Whether these songs are intended for new band, Atoms for Peace, featuring the likes of Flea and Nigel Godrich remains to be seen. As dangerous a statement as this may be, but as much as I enjoyed the performance (Yorke was relaxed enough to joke between songs, and even laugh off frequent mistakes he made, something I didn't expect) I didn't much rate the songs. This clearly goes against the audience reaction, the majority of which were mesmerised. I'm still intrigued enough to intend to drop by at Spotify sometime to take another listen to both his solo work and the lost (to me) Radiohead back catalogue, but last night I truly did feel I was in a minority of one.

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