A day at the Edinburgh festival with Radiohead and Franz Ferdinand 22nd August 2006
The Edinburgh festival is an amazingly broad all-encompassing set of events, and we often find ourselves going along to one or two. In August 2006 we spent a day up in Edinburgh, and managed to take in two musical events, each of a different sort. David, Laura and I drove up to Edinburgh in the late morning, to make sure that we arrived for our first event, which was part of the Edinburgh International Book Festival.Alex Kapranos and Nick McCarthy of Franz Ferdinand were due to discuss lyric writing, as part of the children’s programme. Speaking at the time Kapranos said: “We are looking forward to performing for, and talking to, the kids at such a great event. We might even give a few secrets away”, and the director of the children’s programme at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, Karen Mountney, added “We wanted to create a family event where young people could be inspired by the best in the business.” The event started at 4.30pm in a small theatre on the book festival village. It had sold out very quickly and the place was packed with 500 young people eager to meet some musical heroes close up. Frontman Alex Kapranos and guitarist Nick McCarthy spent an hour telling the young fans all about their songs and how they write them. They sat on a small stage surrounded by guitars and a piano, which the duo used to illustrate their points and play short pieces from their songs. Kapranos: “I have always felt that songwriting and lyrics were seen as the poorer cousins of the literature world, but that’s not necessarily the case. The greatest figure in Scottish literature was not primarily known for his poetry, but for his song-writing – Robert Burns – and there has been a longevity to what he says. Lyrics are another side of literature.” He added: “When it comes to song writing, there are not any distinct rules – there isn’t any right of wrong way to go about it. Some of the best things you do are mistakes. I didn’t have any music training – most of song writing is messing about till it sounds good.” (from a review on http://www.gigwise.com/ at the time). I like intimate events like this one, where you get the chance to hear musicians speak, and always find them very interesting and enlightening. After the event Laura and David joined a line to get their festival brochures signed by the two guys. I had to go and move the car…The next part of our day was very different; we were going to see Radiohead in concert at Meadowbank stadium. Support came from Beck, who we sadly missed because of our trip to the book festival (still, it was worth it). Radiohead took to the stage shortly after we arrived, and from opener ‘Airbag’ the crowd were simply enthralled. This was the first time I saw Radiohead, and to be honest I didn’t really get them at the time, although Laura and David were, and still are, massive fans of the band. The stage backdrop featured a large and fractured image of Thom Yorke, in front of which he wriggled around squeezing perfect vocals and emotion from his wiry frame. The set included classics like ‘Karma Police’ and ‘Paranoid Android’ and tracks which were new at the time such as ‘Videotape’ and ‘Bodysnatchers’. The magnificent ‘Creep’ ended their two-hour set and was the anthem of the evening. The large crowd was pretty unruly at times, with Thom having to stop the show at one point. A good gig, and a great ending to the day. Laura thought it was one of the best gigs she had been to, and was knocked out by Yorke’s vocals. I’ve seen Radiohead a couple of times since then, and I am beginning to count myself a fan now.
Setlist: Airbag; 2+2=5; The National Anthem; My Iron Lung; Morning Bell; Videotape; Nude; Lucky; The Gloaming; Where I End And You Begin; Paranoid Android; All I Need; Pyramid Song; Fake Plastic Trees; I Might Be Wrong; Idioteque; How To Disappear Completely. Encore 1: You And Whose Army?; Bodysnatchers; Just; Karma Police. Encore 2: There There; True Love Waits/Everything In Its Right Place; Creep.
It seemed to take forever before we were allowed out of the car park; they held us back until the crowds cleared. We then had a couple of hour drive home, arriving back in the early hours of the morning after a long, tiring, but exciting day.
Archive for the ‘Radiohead’ Category
A day at the Edinburgh festival with Radiohead and Franz Ferdinand (well two of them) 22nd August 2006
A day at the Edinburgh festival with Radiohead and Franz Ferdinand 22nd August 2006
Radiohead Manchester Arena Oct 6th 2012
Went to see Radiohead last night at Manchester Arena. It was a great gig; Laura thought it was the best gig she has ever been to :). Last night I started to “get” Radiohead, after some time of sitting on the fence wondering why all my family rave about them. I’ve seen them twice before, both in massive open air venues (Edinburgh Meadowbank, Lancashire Cricket Ground) and it all passed me by at those gigs. The sound wasn’t great at those big shows and we were some way from the stage. Last night was different. Laura and I had great seats (bought through WASTE; many thanks) in the front row of the first side block, just to the left of the stage. We arrived around 7pm to collect our wrist bands from the Waste area outside the arena, had a look at the merchandise (Laura bought a vinyl copy of King of Limbs, and I bought a badge: no programmes 😦 ), and took our seats around 8.15pm, having missed support act Caribou, who Laura told me good things about. Radiohead took to the stage shortly before 9pm. From the start I found myself being transfixed by Thom Yorke, who was whirling about, arms flailing and just took command of the audience. Although to my shame, none of the material was familiar to me (unlike Laura who knew every line of every song) I could appreciate the beauty and complexity of the songs this time. The light show was also just amazing, with individual screens moving up and down from the roof. The sound was crisp and clear from where we sat, perhaps the best I have heard for a large arena gig. It was Thom Yorke’s birthday and at one point the crowd sang Happy Birthday to him. Truly a great gig. Next time I really must get into their material so I know the songs which, I guess, would help me fully get into Radiohead. Setlist: Lotus Flower; Airbag; Bloom; The Daily Mail; Myxomatosis; The Gloaming; Separator; These Are My Twisted Words; Pyramid Song; Nude; Weird Fishes/Arpeggi; Reckoner; There There; The National Anthem; Feral; Paranoid Android. Encore 1: You and Whose Army? (Crowd sing Happy Birthday to Thom); Full Stop; Morning Mr. Magpie; Planet Telex; How to Disappear Completely. Encore 2: Give Up the Ghost; Everything In Its Right Place. Encore 3: Idioteque.
I’ve taken a long time to get round to writing anything about this Glastonbury; I seem to have been catching up on things at work and home since we got back.
We (Me, Marie, Laura and David) all made the journey to Pilton Farm this year, again hiring a campervan. This year’s weather was quite a bit different from last year, with lots of rain earlier in the week, making the site very muddy. Our van got stuck deep in the mud on arrival and, after lots of pushes from staff and others, we were finally towed into the field by a giant tractor. As last year, we studied the clashfinder and made lots of plans of who we were all going to see; however the reality was very difficult, with the mud making it very difficult to make great trecks across the whole site from stage to stage. I’d particularly wanted to see the old-timers on the 71 stage, but in the event, didn’t get much of a chance to do so.
Friday was pretty wet and all of the walkways were deep in mood. It was really hard work walking through the mud which was very sticky; wellies were coming off and people were falling over…..
71 stage: managed to wander over through the mud and saw Martin Stone playing some pretty solid blues/rock. David was over there earlier and caught Noel Harrison singing Windmills of my Mind.
B B King: Some great guitar from a legend. Much better than I thought he might be.
Radiohead: Laura and David went over to the Park stage to see Radiohead do their special guest spot. They returned quite disappointed; apparently the sound wasn’t great, and the set focussed on the more recent albums.
Morrissey: Marie and I watched Morrissey’s set while David and Laura were at the Park seeing Radiohead. He was pretty good, although he didn’t seem in a great mood, telling the crowd “I know you’re all waiting for U2; I’ll sing fast”
U2: By now the rain was really coming down. The set had a good selection of old favourites, and Bono was out to impress. Fraid the rain got the better of us in the end, and we retired to the van.
Saturday was much better weather wise with no rain at all. The mud was drying out, but still very deep and sticky on the walkways over to the Other Stage and Arcadia.
Pulp: The highlight for us. When we heard Pulp were reforming I promised Laura (and myself) that we must see them. So when we heard that they might be Saturday’s special guest at the Park stage, we had to go over and see. And Javis and crew didn’t let us down. The field was rammed; they had to close the gates. Everyone was singing along, and I was surprised how many songs I knew. Started with Do You Remember the First Time? The whole field went mental and sang Disco 2000 and Common People like their lives depended on it.
Coldplay: OK; not my favourite band but seemed to go down well with the crowd.
Chemical Brothers: Laura and David went across to the Other Stage for The Chemical Brothers and seemed to have a great time too.
Sunday was red hot.
The Wombles: This was the highlight for Laura. Mike Batt and co played Avalon in their suits. Started with Remember you’re a Womble and finished with the Wombling Song. The tent was packed; everyone determined to have a great sing-a-long. Shame we missed out on getting a Wombles mask, but Laura bought a t-shirt.
Paul Simon: A good set.
Beyonce: I just didn’t get this. Laura thought she was great, but Marie and I weren’t too impressed. Yet when I got home, the first thing everyone I saw said to me was “did you see Beyonce?” and then told me how great she was on the TV coverage. It seems to me that it may have looked better on TV than from the field itself. Everyone around us didn’t seem to be getting into it.
We left straight after Beyonce and, after getting the van pushed out of the mud by a group of friendly guys, we drove all through the night and were back home at 8am on Monday. It took Marie and I 3 hours to clean the mud from the van, before we returned it to the hire company….
Lancashire Cricket Ground, Old Trafford, Machester Sun 29 June
Support Acts: MGMT, Bat for Lashes
I don’t get Radiohead. I’ve tried really hard to get into them, but still can’t see it. I’ve listened to their albums, and been to see them before in Edinburgh (mainly due to pressure from David and Laura and some curiosity). I’ve read about them being the best band in the world, and started to believe it; but its no good, they are just a bit too new for me.
Anyway, it was time to go and see them again. This time Laura, David, Mari and I were travelling to Manchester to see Radiohead at Old Trafford Cricket Ground. The journey took longer than expected due to an accident on the road to Wetherby. We took a diversion through Harrogateand Leeds; passing Harewood House where Eric Clapton was playing (as I passed I was wishing that I was amongst the queueing crowds for that concert). The extended journey gave us a chance to listen to OK Computer and In Rainbows in their entirety. I still didn’t get it.
We arrive at Old Trafford, having missed MGMT the first support act. Mari has a spare ticket which David and her attempt to sell outside. However, even the touts can’t shift tickets today, so they give up (mental note; next time don’t buy a ticket; buy one outside for less than face value). When we get into the ground David and Mari go onto the pitch and try to make their way to the front. Laura and I have a walk around during Bat for Lashes set which sounds OKish. Laura buys a t-shirt which claims to be made from recycled bottle tops and bears a quote from one of Radiohead’s songs. We eventually go and find seats in the family area where we sat for the Arctic Monkeys gig almost a year ago.
Radiohead come on stage to a great welcome from the crowd. Everyone is singing along and are word-perfect in every song. They recognise each song within a split second (unlike me who vaguely recognises three songs form the entire set). I am finding it to comment on the set, because they are quite beyond me. However, David, Laura and Mari assured me that it was a great setlist, fantastic atmosphere and Tom Yhorke’s voice is outstanding.
Towards the end David and Mari come over to the seated area and join us. We all watch the 3 sets of encores from there, and even I manage to sing along during Karma Police. When they finally leave the stage we go over to the car park, where we have to wait almost an hour before leaving. The car next to us is blasting out Raidohead from its speaker system. I personally opted for Radio 2 for the journey back to the hotel.
1 15 Step
3 There There
4 All I Need
7 The Gloaming
8 The National Anthem
9 Faust Arp
10 No Surprises
11 Jigsaw Falling Into Place
14 Bangers + Mash
15 Everything in Its Right Place
16 Fake Plastic Trees
19 Paranoid Android
22 Karma Police
23 Pyramid Song
Website : http://www.radiohead.com/deadairspace/