Still, there’s one band who know even less about doing ‘ironic’ than Alanis, and that’s RADIOHEAD, who finally prod proceedings to a healthy seven on the Festival Memorability Richter Scale with a heroically unambiguous performance. True, t’Head don’t exactly make any radical departures from the trad-rock format either, but that’s because we are dealing here with The Last Great Sincere Rock GroupTM.
“I guess you’re pissed and wet,” pronounces Thom, correctly. “So here’s a song called ‘High And…’ Nah, I can’t say that, it’s too corny.” Indeed, corny is the last thing you could ever accuse Radiohead of being: they soar through the pick of ‘The Bends’ with red-raw emotion and even break the First Law of Festivals by debuting plenty of new material that actually sounds fantastic. Not to mention the most immediate and – yikes! – chirpy stuff they’ve ever done.
All of which means the new, dark-haired Thom Yorke is no longer ginger or a whinger. But, as he returns for an encore of ‘Fake Plastic Trees’ so heart-breakingly intense even that The Prodigy fans start contemplating hoary old ‘lighters aloft!’-type manoeuvres, you realise Thom’s done what his more conventionally spelt namesake did recently at the box office.
He’s saved the day. He’s pulled off Mission Impossible. In short, he’s stopped the tradness.