Thursday, March 19, 2020

[Roll Your Own Life] The Music That Shaped Me (part 13)

Radiohead - The Bends (1995)

I'd left Uni, and there was little on the horizon - I mean, my art wasn't brilliant, and I really didn't want to be an animator, despite getting a degree in it. Debs was working in graphic design, and I really wanted to get into publishing my own comic. I remember listening to MTV2 (as it was, before it became MTVRocks) where they played all the rock and indie music, and being fascinated by Radiohead. Creep was always on, the anthem of every weirdo like myself, and the cool new singles from their second album were getting a lot of air-play. My Iron Lung and Fake Plastic Trees were amazing, and I marvelled at Thom Yorke's vocals, but the video for Just was absolutely mesmerising.

I remember we bought The Bends on CD and played it in our little rented house for the first time and loved it. It played constantly, and I went out and bought their first album (Pablo Honey) soon afterwards.

One song on The Bends really resonated with me - Street Spirit (Fade Out). I don't know why, but it really stuck with me. When I put together the first issue of my comic, Missing, that I self published back in '98, the opening scene was set to that song.

When OK Computer came out in 1997, Radiohead did a tour with big festivals and arenas - but to warm up, they toured some of the smallest venues they could find. One was a little seaside town just up the coast from my hometown, and the moment I saw the announcement I was on the phone to book tickets.

September 4th 1997, at Bridlington Spa, Radiohead played a blisteringly amazing set. We were sat in the balcony, right in the middle, second row, and we were incredibly close to the band in such a small venue. The strobe lighting was intense. I think it was during Climbing Up The Walls or Planet Telex that I honestly thought something had flicked a switch in my brain and I was just going to go into seizures.

One of the best gigs ever. Second only to Nine Inch Nails. Phenomenal.

I still listen to a lot of Radiohead, and have always said that, come that fateful day, at my funeral I'd like How to Disappear Completely to be played. I hope that's a while off yet.

Stay Safe everyone.

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