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Radiohead Live At Malahide Castle
Radiohead fans rock. Here are some of the things they do...
Patrick Freyne, 19 Jun 2008
...they cheer when the DART arrives in the station (I mean, I expected it to arrive in the station, as is a DART's wont, so I forgot to be pleased). They pretend they’re at the gig by mistake. “Are Bon Jovi on now?” shouts one (Bon Jovi are playing over in Kildare). “Play ‘Living On A Prayer’!” yells another. “You were brilliant in Ally McBeal!” cries a third. It never gets old, for the whole duration of the gig.
You see, many of these fun-loving people just want a good old-fashioned stadium concert, with lovely Malahide Castle in the background, a sausage from one of Radiohead’s economic partners in one hand, and a cool glass of Heineken in the other. If they just played ‘Fake Plastic Trees’ they might even get a snog. Radiohead, of course, have other plans. They want us to pretend we’re actually in the basement of some dingy club in Berlin watching the support band for Can.
Booo! Can I stop pretending I like the last four Radiohead albums now? I mean, I’ve earned it. I watched the noodling and I stroked my beard along with every other music critic. I appreciated the ‘experimentation’ even though there was much better experimentation elsewhere. I put up with the No Logo-influenced marketing ploys. I even bought the ridiculous assertion that you could cut carbon credits by making your fans take the train while you all rolled about in big lorries. It made no sense, but I ran with it.
And all I wanted in return was that you play ‘High And Dry’, you bastards. But no, Radiohead play nowt before OK Computer and only two songs from that. Those sanctimonious prog-rock dinosaurs. God dammnit Radiohead! You’re why punk rock happened. I actually saw The Ramones, Iggy Pop and Johnny Thunders watch your vaguely melodic, wrong-headed noodling with looks of absolute horror on their faces, then jump in a time-machine to head back to 1973.
Now, I don’t want you to play Pablo Honey in its entirety. And I know that this is a tour in support of In Rainbows. But your newer stuff isn’t designed for big outdoor gigs, and there are loads of people here who love The Bends and OK Computer. It would be respectful to play some of the early hits. And if not, here’s an ethical No Logo-style advertising campaign – advertise that you won’t be playing anything from the first three albums and see how many people come along. I mean, it’d even be good if you played someone else’s hits? How about ‘Living On A Prayer’ for example? By the way, you were great in Ally McBeal. Oh, I see where they’re coming from now...