Glastonbury 2017

Everything is in its right place for Radiohead’s Glastonbury headline set

Fans are rewarded for their patience with a greatest hits-packed double-encore.

Since the afternoon, a bright orange flag has been pitched up at the Pyramid Stage by a fan with an axe to grind - ‘Play The Fucking Bends’ it says. Their sweary request is understandable given Radiohead’s history of neglecting their most famous songs, but the latter half of tonight’s set, it turns out, plays more like a Greatest Hits than a time-warping swerve into obscure deep-cuts, and the more electronic end of their massive back-catalogue. ‘Everything in its Right Place’ stutters and swells, the band’s faces glitching on purple screens, ‘Idioteque’ turns into a spacey onslaught, and ending the first gigantic - and admittedly later-leaning - portion of the set, a field-wide sing-along of ‘Street Spirit (Fade Out) gives a fairly good hint of what’s to come next. Messing about and making occasional scathing remarks about Theresa May, Thom Yorke’s a smiley chap this evening. You don’t exactly have to be Nancy Drew to work out that Radiohead are just about to reward their fans for a whole lot of patience. Almost drowned out by drunken bawling, ‘No Surprises’ - usually down the tracks of ‘Pet Sounds’ if it was very, very dark - becomes an unexpected button for full-on rowdiness, and by ‘2+2=5’ there are mass breakouts of air guitar. And then, they only bloody go and play ‘Creep’ - a song it’s fair to say Thom Yorke isn’t the biggest fan of. Being meticulously protective of their artistry has got Radiohead to the point of being one of the greatest bands in the world, but now, it appears they’re embracing the stepping stones that got them on the Pyramid, too. What the hell are they doing here? Radiohead belong here.
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