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Transistors of mercy mission

RADIOHEAD, whose reissued 'Creep' single crashed into the charts this week at Number 11, are to support James on their forthcoming European tour.

The Oxford five-piece have delayed pans for a new single and LP this year because of the current success in the States.

A spokesperson for the band said singer Thom has finished writing the album, which was due to be recorded last month. They plan to begin recording after the December dates and hope to have a single out in January or February.

The slots supporting James are at Glasgow Barrowlands (December 1), Yorke Barbican (2), Manchester G-Mex (4), Wolverhampton Civic Hall (5), Derby Assembly Rooms (7), Gloucester Leisure Centre (8), London Brixton Academy (9), Portsmouth Guildhall (11), Norwich UEA (12) and Newport Centre (13). Tickets are £11 in all venues bar London and Manchester where they are £12.

by John Harris

(Presentation of the article in the NME Originals issue about Radiohead from 2003)

“HAVE YOU heard?" they whisper, conspiratorially. And then the stories start.

There are people at the bar chewing over statistics that have been snaking around the capital for several weeks. Firstly: In the USA, Radiohead are outselling Suede FIFTEEN TO ONE. Next: they are also more popular than Rage Against The Machine. Oh, and ‘Pablo Honey’- that rather cobbled-together debut album that received reviews whose usual subtext was “sturdy but slightly disappointing, let's see how it goes” has sold HALF A MILLION OOPIES.

Of course, the cynics say that it's all down to one song; to the fact that ‘Creep’ - which was continually pushed by MTV - strikes a chord among the disaffected American adolescents who are always moved by the requisite amount of self-loathing. It will be a blip, Radiohead will soon be crawling home.

Now, despite the fact that tonight feels extra-special due the simple ruse of sticking Radiohead in a venue that's sufficiently small to make this feel like an event (a wall of heat hits you as you go in; spates of minor stage-diving look like outbreaks of frenzied anarchy); and despite the way that a handful of cosmetic changes - longer hair, more arrogant posturing - deliver signals that, in the case of lesser talents, can be laughably illusory, there are about 19 moments tonight when 1) the stories all make sense, and 2) You know that Radiohead have It in them to sustain all the hysteria, to MAKE IT, period - and in Britain, too.

There's a new song called ‘The Benz’ that's lull of scrawled guitar lines, cooed vocals, crunching chords and a real sense of newly-discovered confidence. There are the Radiohead staples - ‘Anyone Can Play Guitar’, ‘Pop is Deed’, Prove Yourself, the inevitable ‘Creep’ - all of them taut, streaked with streamlined noise that can suddenly snap to a close leaving Thom carrying the song alone. This a common Radiohead trick and it works - better than ever. Every number is sung along with, note perfect, by a pool of devotees at the front, who include a noticeable smattering of girls. This, someone tells me, is always a good sign.

The upshot of all this? Well, they are assuredly not a one-trick pony; and they've slipped out of the straitjackets that are de rigeur at venues Ike this, transcended being left-field, alternative, indie, and are looking ever more like a crunching rock band; one that your dicky uncle will come home raving about, one that you'll expect to see on news stands when you go abroad, one that will be here for a while.

...Which, thinking back to when they were an ugly duckling band who supported The Frank And Walters, maybe seems weird. But look around: look at the band, look at those lunatics at the front, look at the gaggle of Japanese girls pressed into a corner. It's all there… so we don't talk about all those statistics on the way out. Most of us just know.