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Radiohead: Doncaster Dome
by Robin Bresnark


YOU'LL have heard this already, of course, but, if Radiohead aren't the best band on the planet, then Elvis is alive, rain is dry and lead floats.
You'll also have heard how singer Thom E Yorke is the most miserable bugger this side, that side or any side of Morrissey, how their debut album, "Pablo Honey", was a lamentable disaster and how they are the leaders of this year's pack of none-more-black new-gravers. Radiohead, you'll have heard, are a tad depressing. Clean your ears out - you've been hearing utter gibberish.
Some things you need to know about Radiohead before going to this show:
Radiohead do not sound like U2. Radiohead sound like U2's wettest, wildest dream, gone to heaven then discovering a five-star cloud pre-booked kitted out with free drugs and nubile swedes. Radiohead know a good tune when they hear one. U2 don't. Radiohead have reinvented rock music, taken its familiar verse-chorus-verse format and squeezed the juice from it. Radiohead play bottled, liquid emotion. U2 fanny about in shades.
Thom Yorke is not the be-all-and-end-all of Radiohead. Take a look at Jonny Greenwood this time. Look at the way he twists and pulls his body into shapes that seem to play his guitar for him. He's a remote control, blipping sound out of nowhere, a machine turned human. A tasmanian devil on uppers, wound-up and let loose. He's where you'll want to plant your eyes during this show and you won't be able to blink for weeks afterwards.
Radiohead are neither dull nor earnest. As demonstrated at their recent, already legendary show at Dublin's RDS and at their emotive Glastonbury headliner, Radiohead rock bigger, louder and better live than any other band in the world today. Their shows contain the kind of sonic explosions which would shame the most dedicated of pyromaniacs. Remember the vicious crashes throughout "Paranoid Android" or the baseball bat violence of "Creep"? Well, couple them with the elegiac beauty of spine-melting songs like "No Surprises" and "Fake Plastic Trees" and you have everything, perfection improved. These are sounds and motions, expressions, sentiments and outpourings which no other band has ever managed to squeeze from five blokes stood together on a stage before. Take an extra set of ears because your customary two just won't believe what's going on.
On this, the opening date of their UK tour, you can expect a set comprised largely from their current, ground-breaking album, "OK Computer", and their second, inspirational album, "The Bends", plus a smattering of early singles and obscurities. Expect the pace to never drop. Expect to dance as you weep. Radiohead, you see, are a miracle.