Victoria Park, London
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.
27th Jun 2008 - Tumblr4
In Rainbows (Disc 2)
Flight Of The Conchords
Dir. Paul Thomas Anderson
(dir Garth Jennings 2008)
Pacey, emotional, old-fashioned indie pic. Beautifully observed.
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Surprisingly underwhelming biopic that doesn’t find its feet until 20m from the end.
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Utterly derivative / thoroughly enjoyable ‘Heat’ rip off.
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Well crafted character study, with some nice touches.
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Brutal revenge thriller. Stylish and violent, with plenty of explanation… https://t.co/VfjHjpveUJ.
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Intense indie drama from Netflix. Impeccably acted and directed.
27th Oct 2018Read more 4 star reviews
Disappointingly unoriginal superhero movie, complete with dull CGI action.
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Continually clichéd rock romance that never breaks into originality.
13th Oct 2018Read more 1.5 star reviews
Dry Morrissey biopic that gets arty by avoiding using any Smiths songs.
7th Oct 2018Read more 3 star reviews
Decent rehash of vintage indie movie tropes.
7th Oct 2018Read more 3 star reviews
Mumblingly wordy western that’s big on self-importance and low on drama and tension.
25th Sep 2018Read more 2.5 star reviews
Muddled biopic with occasional moments of eccentric comedy madness.
22nd Sep 2018Read more 2.5 star reviews
Like a long episode of Girls that’s all about one of the more boring characters.
16th Sep 2018Read more 2 star reviews
Slightly confused slice of post-Michael Mann LA crime.
7th Sep 2018Read more 2.5 star reviews
Sympathetic retread of Single White Female, with added #hashtags.
26th Aug 2018Read more 3 star reviews
Welcome to the Jungle
Fun updated reboot with added Breakfast Club.
26th Aug 2018Read more 3 star reviews
Low-tide mark for super hero movies. I only finished watching to see how bad it could get.
14th Aug 2018Read more 1 star reviews
It’s a cover version of every other Mallick pic, but the setting is inspired and the improv from Gosling is enjoyably enthusiastic.
8th Aug 2018Read more 3 star reviews
Well written, well paced sequel. Surprisingly competent and heartwarming.
4th Aug 2018Read more 3.5 star reviews
70s pot boiler that lazily meanders through a series of mediocre set pieces.
23rd Jul 2018Read more 2.5 star reviews
Enjoyable change of pace for the super hero genre. Comedy wins.
21st Jul 2018Read more 3.5 star reviews
Great concept, but shoddily directed and utterly devoid of jeopardy.
17th Jul 2018Read more 2 star reviews
Small scale wartime espionage flick. Decent, but a bit laboured.
15th Jul 2018Read more 3 star reviews
Sub Roland Emmerich swill, with Gerard Butler saving the world from crazy weather.
13th Jul 2018Read more 2 star reviews
Derivative but fun romp through 80s CIA drug and gun running.
12th Jul 2018Read more 3 star reviews
Brutally sincere, painfully thin yakuza flick. Jared Leto goes full Gaijin.
6th Jul 2018Read more 2 star reviews
Huge misfire from Tomas Alfredson, with a multitude of bizarre choices. Like a bad 80's VHS rental.
6th Jul 2018Read more 1.5 star reviews
Brutally violent, post-Tarantino western. It’s all a bit mechanical.
2nd Jun 2018Read more 3 star reviews
A Star Wars Story
Reasonable, forgettable addition. Overfilling that mysterious back story.
1st Jun 2018Read more 3 star reviews
Lazy double-crossing spy drama, directed with a certain amount of swagger.
24th May 2018Read more 2.5 star reviews
Stylish, incredibly depressing portrait of life on the margins.
12th May 2018Read more 3.5 star reviews
Minimally written and confidently directed, with a brutally violent third act. Starring thin Vince Vaughn.
4th May 2018Read more 3.5 star reviews
Unofficial sequel to The Last Detail. Surprisingly slight effort from Linklater.
29th Apr 2018Read more 3 star reviews
Another tired entry, trotting out the same old tropes, plus new nonsensical gibberish.
13th Apr 2018Read more 2.5 star reviews
The Last Jedi
Every moment is undermined by a gag and the few serious scenes are sloppily handled.
13th Apr 2018Read more 2 star reviews
A third crack at Spider-man. Fun-ish, but it’s zero-stakes, zero-jeopardy. Bit smug too.
31st Mar 2018Read more 3 star reviews
Another garish super-hero flick. Slightly above average, mainly by being more old-fashioned.
30th Mar 2018Read more 3 star reviews
Overly dry, eccentric western. Jarmuschian overtones.
16th Mar 2018Read more 3 star reviews
Incredible, tense, original thriller. A western with snowmobiles.
14th Mar 2018Read more 4 star reviews
Career retrospective doc that keeps it fun and doesn’t outstay it’s welcome.
11th Mar 2018Read more 3 star reviews
Blockbuster-by-numbers as Universal clumsily attempt to build a franchise.
24th Feb 2018Read more 2 star reviews
The Story of Mudhoney
Unsurprising history run-down, enlivened by the band’s ferociously DIY attitude.
21st Feb 2018Read more 2.5 star reviews
Some good ideas, buried by shambolic direction and storytelling.
20th Feb 2018Read more 2 star reviews
Intense, eerie thriller that’s surprisingly straightforward and a little old-fashioned.
30th Jan 2018Read more 3.5 star reviews
Disappointingly slow, underdeveloped and literal monster metaphor from Nacho Vigalondo.
27th Jan 2018Read more 2.5 star reviews
Long, but moving and stylishly directed period drama. Fantastic cinematography.
15th Jan 2018Read more 3.5 star reviews
Grown-up superhero flick. Handled far better than most, but ridiculously violent.
6th Jan 2018Read more 3.5 star reviews
Slated by the critics, this is a stylish, slight, small movie - with two massive stars in it.
6th Jan 2018Read more 3 star reviews
Fun, original take on an otherwise ageing property. Apocalypse Now meets Watchmen.
5th Jan 2018Read more 3 star reviews