Radiohead @ MCR Arena, Manchester

RadioheadManchester Arena, Oct 2012

Opening night of their first headline UK tour since 2008. Pinch me. hard.

Radiohead have always been on my bucket list, but I never thought that I'd be crossing them off. Sure, I've been lucky enough to shoot some pretty big names in the past, but Radiohead NEVER tour. And even when they do tour, you'd imagine the photopasses would be hot property - full-on Rocking-Horse shit. Maybe if the northern date was towards the end of the tour I might have stood a slim chance, but opening night - when all the national press and agencies are bound to be swarming - I was far from optimistic to get a pass. I was even less optimistic that the lighting would be any good, or that the band would move around much. I'm obviously too much of a pessimist!

I'm not gonna lie - it was a pretty special occasion. The lighting was pretty good and Thom was fairly animated on stage - despite looking like his aged about 20 years since their last major appearance at Reading Festival 3 years ago. He was greeted with a welcoming roar from the sold out MEN - sorry - MCR Arena (still not used to it..) and with a coy "Hi. I'm Lady Gaga." the band took their places. Part of me was hoping they'd open with Just or Creep, but it appeared my luck ended at 'pretty good' lighting. The days of The Bends and Pablo Honey on the setlist are probably distant memories, teething problems to the true Radiohead literati who savour in the more elaborate and intricate offerings that started from OK Computer. Sadly, only Airbag, Parnoid Android and Planet Telex were the only pre-Kid A tracks to make the cut, but I guess when you have such an extensive back catalogue of ground-breaking music, it's impossible to squeeze them all in. Still a bloody good gig, mind.