Radiohead at Victoria Park

Spent a fantastic day last Wednesday in London with a friend of ours. We met up around lunchtime, heading to a cafe in a dance school, where it was very pleasant to sit out in the sun surrounded by fit dancers (us stuffing our faces with cake, of course). Will then took us on a wander over to Victoria Park heading along a canal path, and it really didn’t feel like we were in London. We spent a couple of hours in a great pub just by Victoria Park, chatting and catching up and generally agreeing that it’s good to have time off work. The reason for the visit was the Radiohead concert that evening in Victoria Park, which was absolutely phenomenal – Radiohead varied their set to please fans of just about every album, and the crowd were surprisingly good-natured and crush-avoiding.

Radiohead played karma Police, which really took me back – I think it was one of the first tracks of theirs I’d heard, when my Dad introduced me to one of the few bands I’ve remained a purchasing fan of. Parents introducing children to cool music seemed to be regarded as rare. When it comes to it, I feel very old and ‘out of the loop’ these days regarding new music, and I was racking my brain to figure out how I used to keep abreast of new bands and music news, and the conclusion I came to was that though I bought Kerrang sporadically, it was really my Dad that kept me informed, and he certainly deserves the credit for introducing me to most of my favourite bands.

There’s a funny play off here: I always knew my Dad was cool, and that I was not, and in a sense, Dad was my lifeline into popular culture; whereas Mum seemed much less governed by the new, introducing me to old masters and modern painters – not one of whom was contemporary (for contemporary, read alive!). It makes sense to me that Radiohead probably come top in my favourite bands: they are both old and new, and like me they’ve changed their stripes a few times.

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