Monday, 31 August 2009

2+2=5 (Remix)

So - I watched Radiohead tonight, live from Leeds.

Headphones on LOUD. (BBC iPlayer is truly a beautiful thing - thanks Mr Murdoch but I think we'll be okay with what we have.)

I saw Thome Yorke and his fellow men play this set live three times last year, in Paris once and London twice. Lucky me.

But listening again (again!) I still find myself moved to move, compelled to jump and drawn to write.

It's not fashionable to like Radiohead (anymore) but that makes it much easier for me to love them.

They've been touring for nearly two years now and if like me you watch and listen (courtesy of Youtube) to how the songs have changed as they travel round the globe, you can't help but notice how as four musicians they constantly re-invent, re-discover and re-mash the structure and the content of their material.

I've not heard one single instance of fatigue, boredom or 'phoning it in.' They keep their oldies tight, and they try out their new stuff way before it's polished.

As a group of musicians they're as tight as a string quartet, as joyful as a newly formed garage band and yet their musical structure and rhythmic patterns owe as much to Steve Reich, Miles Davis and John Cage as their harmonies do to such unlikely companions as JS Bach, Stravinksy and Arvo Part.

They're not beyond a sing song (and there's nothing wrong with that - we could do with more community singing.)

Their lyrics are unashamedly political one minute, psychological the next and then they have the guts to be romantic.

They're not gods, but they rock.

And they're heroes of mine.

And I don't care who knows it.

2+2=5 is one of the best songs of the century so far.

(If you don't know it, you have not been paying attention.)

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