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The Radiohead leader on why he turned down an invite from the Prime Minister

The full Radiohead tour will open in Copenhagen on May 6, and the group will play across America in June, but before that Thom and Jonny Greenwood will play at London Camden KOKO (May1) at a benefit show for Friends Of The Earth’s The Big Ask Campaign. The show sold out in minutes, leading to some ticket holders deciding to sell on their tickets for profit – despite the fact that the gig is for charity.
A spokesperson for the charity told NME they had done everything within their power to ensure that fans had access to the tickets at cost price – for example, by limiting purchases to two tickets per person.
“It is extremely disappointing to find that some people are selling on tickets for personal gain,” the spokesperson said, “particularly as this is a charity event.”
Thom is an ambassador for the charity, who recently asked him to meet Prime Minister Tony Blair to discuss climate change. For the Radiohead singer deciding whether or not to attend the meeting was one of the hardest decisions he’d ever had to make.
“Luckily, in the end the decision was kind of made for me,” Thom told NME. “There’s this whole thing going on at the moment with Blair and the nuclear thing. This all started kicking off about two or three weeks before I was supposed to meet with Blair, which I was not happy about anyway for obviously reasons, ie Iraq.
“It was, ‘If we could just have a meeting beforehand where we could go through how it would proceed…’ it was like talking to Blair’s spin doctors. It was all getting fucking weird. It was just obvious there was no point in meeting him anyway and I didn’t want to. That was the illest I’d ever got. I got so stressed out and so freaked out about it. Initially when it came up I tried to be pragmatic. But Blair has no environmental credibility as far as I’m concerned.
“I came out of that whole period just thinking, ‘I don’t want to get involved directly, it’s poison. I’ll just shout my mouth off from the sidelines.’ It’s a nasty business. It’s up to people with pure integrity who know what they’re talking about. Like Friends Of The Earth.”
Thom also revealed that songs set to feature on Radiohead’s new album include ‘House Of Cards’, ‘Arpeggi’ and ‘Nude’. A release date is yet to be confirmed, although there’s talk of a download-only EP around the time of the shows.


If you’ve got a ticket to V Festival and want someone to thank for getting Radiohead on board, speak to Dizzee Rascal.
After seeing Franz’s and Dizzee Rascal’s performances at the event last year, Thom was turned on to the event – although not the more corporate side of it.
“I based [our decision to do it] on seeing Franz Ferdinand last year, just watching it on TV. I thought they were good, and Dizzee Rascal was the best thing – he was fucking bonkers,” Thom told NME. “It’s a British festival. I obviously don’t necessarily agree with the sponsorship but Glastonbury’s not happening this year. I was thinking at the time it’d be good to remind ourselves of what we’ve done. To play lots of old stuff and get into that mode and see what it feels like, rather than rejecting it wholesale forever more. V was the first thing that came up, in a way. We starting thinking it’d be good to get out a bit!”
This year’s festival also features Beck and Morissey and takes place at Hylands Park in Chelmsford and Weston Park in Stafford over the weekend of August 19-20. The event has sold out.