This last weekend saw me at the Rock Werchter Festival (the official site seems to be bust) just outside Brussels, for my best mate’s stag do. We were only there for the Saturday and the headliners were Radiohead. They’re a band I’ve sort of drifted away from recently as they explored the furthest reaches of modern rock, but I’d been assured by people who’d seen them at their recent Victoria Park gigs that I’d be in for a treat. Boy were they right.
They’d also told me that much of the set-list was made up of tracks from their most recent album, In Rainbows and in anticipation of this I’d finally gotten round to buying the album. Yet, for a variety of reasons, I didn’t actually get round to listening to it in advance of the gig. Despite this, when the opening chords to Weird Fishes, one of the tracks off of In Rainbows, rang out across the packed crowd, I could have sworn that I’d heard it before.
In fact I hadn’t but, having listened to the album almost non-stop since getting back from Brussels, I’ve realised that it’s simply that Weird Fishes is such an amazing song that as soon as you hear it it feels like an old friend. It’s got to be one of the best things that Radiohead have done in years and as such was undoubtedly one of the highlights of the festival. The delicately picked guitar, fevered drumming and Thom Yorke’s pained vocals were perfectly set off by the immense wall of blue lights which were all I could see from our spot about half-way back in the crowd.
I realise that it’s probably vaguely sacrilegious, but I have to admit that I didn’t actually stick around for the whole of Radiohead’s set, as we decided we needed something a bit more lively; unfortunately the DJ sound-system where we’d spent a lot of the night had closed by this point, so we ended up just heading home. Still, having seen Gnarls Barkley play Crazy earlier in the day, danced as the DJ dropped The Eurythmics’ Here Comes The Rain Again just as the skies opened, and discovered Radiohead’s Weird Fishes, I really can’t moan.
See you at Rock Werchter ’09? Here’s the Scotch Mist version of Weird Fishes whilst you think about it.