Sunday 18th May 2003
The Olympia Theatre

Radiohead at the Olympia. We were there…

Jeez. Can I actually type this in work??? It’s lunchtime, but can I think in the manner required for this trivial and irrelevant task.

Radiohead Start:

Dr. J got the tickets, and he told me about them weeks ago on a sunny day in town.
We walked about, and even tried telling strangers of the gig (so they might also get tickets, and then be happy).

Beck came and went. Now we can go out in the evening and it’s still bright. It seems to rain more.

We all met up in town and went to Wagamama’s. There were four in the Dr. J party, four in the Ling/Mansfield party (yes, real names for once). There would be a total of eight in attendance. The Wagamama table consisted of:

dr. j
ms. cats (ling)
seinfeld (mansfield)
dave beard (david mcgloughlin is his bona fide name)
lady beard (no ticket so goodbye in a while)

After a Chicken Katsu Curry/Fruit Juice we went to HaagenDazLand (two scoops with toppings). Pradeep joined us, and the final guests arrived pre gig - Beard’s friend Bowie and the other Doctor, who we shall simply refer to as “Kevin”.

So. The seats were a bit crap. It feels wrong to be looking down on a concert from the top floor of the Olympia, and always seems to detract from the experience a bit (see Air). But they were seats, and it was better than sitting at home (although I would actually have been playing the piano with Addy in the Sugar Club).

Support was twee. It might have been ok in different circumstances, but I think we’d all been there and done that. He was actually a friend of Bowie’s, which makes me a bad person for being honest. And don’t worry – I’m going to get positive soon…

Radiohead were good. Once more I can only skip around the specifics, since I’ll never really manage to convey what it was like. They had an awful lot of gear with them, and from our lofty perch the stage resembled different areas of a complex musical space. The band members were confined within these spaces.

What they played was fascinating. I was going first-listen on the new stuff, and it all held my attention extremely well (bearing in mind I have no span). Radiohead fans probably want me to go nutso and hail them for three paragraphs. I’m not going to. They were a genuinely excellent modern band. They played a selection of good/excellent songs extremely well. They were unlike any other band I’ve seen, probably surpassing most in terms of what they were trying to do and how they were doing it. So I guess that’s good. They were good. They would have been better if we hadn’t been so bloody far away and so damned high up. But I’m not (really) complaining.

Like all bands they eventually went home. We filed down the stairs and made our way to Eddie Rocket’s (because we apparently needed more food). We lost Beard and Bowie in the Diner, and settled to a large table to absorb the fake suburban comfort grub. Time came to go fully home, and Seinfeld did the honour of dropping me to the Luas Bridge in Dundrum. I bought a last pint of milk through a hatch in a shop and went home to bed.

here's an mp3 Dr.J made with his little sony clio...
(copyright to radiohead obviously, and if anyone really wants I'll take it down)

fantasyjackpalance tickets