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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Radiohead - The King Of Limbs Live From The Basement review

Filmed last summer in the intimate, velvet curtain-lined, setting of long-time producer Nigel Godrich’s studio, this performance shows Oxford’s cerebral rockers very much in their element.


The casual asides, tension-breaking chat, instrumental doodling and grinning between songs all add to the impression that this is a fly-on-the-wall insight to their inner world.


Charismatic Thom Yorke is the centre of gravity as he flounces at the mic with maracas in a head-shaking trance dance or presides magisterially at the piano. A complex often elusive work, Limbs is a challenging beast to recreate live and the claustrophobic nature of Feral and Bloom are underlined as an army of extra horn players who give considerable heft and colour where required.


Of the two new songs added to the original album, The Daily Mail proves to be a riveting stand out. The intensity of the interchange between the band increases, accentuated by some spectacularly attuned film editing, as they hit the home straight and reach a mesmerising peak on the accelerated Morning Mister Magpie.


A sharp contrast is provided by baleful but beautiful acoustic Give Up The Ghost while hidden track Supercollider lives up to its title, uniting both the internal dreaminess and questing attack that are the extremes of the Radiohead sound. From the basement all the way up to the stars.

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