Radiohead, 02, London
Cheryl, 02, London

Radiohead have chosen a venue that represents everything they wail against, whereas fist-chewingly dull Cheryl Cole seems right at home

If Radiohead are a band of contradictions – creators of challenging, "difficult" music who have enough fans to play two nights at a 20,000 seater hangar – then at least they're thorough about it.

As thorough, indeed, as the security at the 02. Before I even reach the auditorium my bag is searched twice and my body scanned with a metal detector. I also have to walk for half a mile past the fake plastic trees of the fake plastic boulevard which skirts the perimeter of the Millennium Dome, where fake plastic restaurants sell fake plastic food, till you reach the gig proper, by which time you're so demoralised that you don't mind paying £4.90 for 500ml of cider, and so obeisant that you don't even question it when a steward tells you off for daring to lean on a piece of fencing. Fall in line, sunshine, it's for your own good.

There's a monumental irony in the fact that Radiohead, a band who rail against soullessness, surveillance, commercialism and alienation, have chosen to perform in the most soulless, surveillance-happy, commercialised and alienating venue in Britain. When I hear the fourth song of the night, "The Daily Mail", with lines such as "We're here to keep your prices down" and "Paid off security and got through the gate", I become convinced Thom Yorke must be having a secret smirk at us all.

I've seen that smirk before. It's the one he did on Top of the Pops at the end of "Pyramid Song", oozing self-satisfaction at having whined and wailed like nails on a blackboard for four minutes and still had a hit single with it. I swear I catch it again tonight, fleetingly, on one of the dozen tile-shaped screens.

Radiohead are, of course, brilliant and awful at the same time. They excel at what they do. And what they do repels me. The combination of glitch and nu-prog they've been fine-tuning since the late Nineties is the intellectual option, the Radio 4 of arena rock, and everyone goes home feeling improved. But if it has to be admitted that "Myxomatosis" rocks, then it has to be added that "The Gloaming", on which Yorke squawks like a spoilt toddler, is bloody stupid. And any thought of engaging with us to bridge the divide, actually talking to us from inside their special laboratory, is apparently beneath their dignity.

Until tonight, if you'd told me that Radiohead's light show included QR codes, I'd assume they were doing so to make a subversive statement. After tonight, I wouldn't be surprised if, when you scan it with your smartphone, it gives you a "25 per cent off" token for Nando's. And I'm not the only one troubled by the callous juxtaposition of high art and low commerce on show. I see one person squatting with a cagoule over their head like a tent, sobbing gently. Admittedly, she may have had her own issues going on.

Even the band have a modicum of embarrassment about this massive mismatch. At the merchandise stall, among the T-shirts that are smugly made from recycled bottles, there's an "event litho" (a posh word for poster) claiming that the show is at "Peninsula Square, Greenwich" with no mention of mobile phone companies. Radiohead: having it both ways since 1992.

At least Cheryl, bleach-toothed L'Oréal mannequin, truly belongs here. Since her childhood in Stepford, a setting like this has surely been all she's dreamed of. Fakeness is her true element. The tabloids have been speculating that Cole has had a boob job. The question is moot: if she has, the falsies will be the most real thing about her.

Fakeness in pop, of course, can be wonderful, and the cyborg weirdness of "Promise This", with its hyper-speed "alouette-ette-ette" refrain, lifts spirits. But the Girls Aloud medley which follows only serves to remind you how great they were, and how fist-chewingly boring Cole's solo career has been, a point rammed home by the song that follows it, "Under the Sun", which I swear I could hear 100 times and still not remember how it goes.

A human dashboard doll flanked by dancers doing default pop-show choreography, and the owner of a voice that's weak as clock radio speakers; even her costumes are tedious: either aerobics clothes with glitter panels, or chiffon in billowing purple or clingy gold. What's even worse is her embarrassing belief that she's a down-and-dirty urban artist: see the sweary "Screw You", for which she's joined by Tinchy Stryder, the naff ersatz street slang of "Sexy Den a Mutha" and the duet with on "3 Words". She thinks she's Labelle when she's actually the Nolans.

Critic's Choice

Art-pop legends Sparks bring their Two Hands, One Mouth tour – essentially the Mael brothers performing the best of their four decades of material – to the UK, starting at Picture House, Edinburgh (next Sun). Bat for Lashes tours her excellent new album The Haunted Man, starting at the Ironworks, Inverness (Thu); Picture House, Edinburgh (Fri); ABC, Glasgow (next Sun); and Manchester Cathedral (Mon 22 Oct).

Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Reach for the sky: there are around 250 new buildings of 20-plus storeys planned for London alone, some 80 per cent of them residential
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
Arts and Entertainment
Shining star: Maika Monroe, with Jake Weary, in ‘It Follows’
filmReview: The ingenious film will intrigue, puzzle and trouble audiences by turns
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift won Best International Solo Female (Getty)

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment

Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants

Arts and Entertainment
The Oscar nominations are due to be announced today

Oscars 2015 Bringing you all the news from the 87th Academy Awards

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Lloyd-Hughes takes the leading role as Ralph Whelan in Channel 4's epic new 10-part drama, Indian Summers

TV Review

The intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Segal and Cameron Diaz star in Sex Tape

Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron

Arts and Entertainment
The Oscars ceremony 2015 will take place at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles
Oscars 2015A quiz to whet your appetite for tonight’s 87th Academy Awards
Arts and Entertainment
Sigourney Weaver, as Ripley, in Alien; critics have branded the naming of action movie network Movies4Men as “offensive” and “demographic box-ticking gone mad”.
TVNaming of action movie network Movies4Men sparks outrage
Arts and Entertainment
Sleater Kinney perform at the 6 Music Festival at the O2 Academy, Newcastle
musicReview: 6 Music Festival
Arts and Entertainment
Sleater Kinney perform at the 6 Music Festival at the O2 Academy, Newcastle
musicReview: 6 Music Festival
Kristen Stewart reacts after receiving the Best Actress in a Supporting Role award for her role in 'Sils Maria' at the 40th annual Cesar awards
A lost Sherlock Holmes story has been unearthed
arts + ents Walter Elliot, an 80-year-old historian, found it in his attic,
Arts and Entertainment
Margot Robbie rose to fame starring alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street

Film Hollywood's new leading lady talks about her Ramsay Street days

Arts and Entertainment
Right note: Sam Haywood with Simon Usborne page turning
musicSimon Usborne discovers it is under threat from the accursed iPad
Arts and Entertainment
A life-size sculpture by Nick Reynolds depicting singer Pete Doherty on a crucifix hangs in St Marylebone church
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Escalating tension: Tang Wei and Chris Hemsworth in ‘Blackhat’
filmReview: Chris Hemsworth stars as a convicted hacker in Blackhat
Arts and Entertainment

Oscar voter speaks out

Arts and Entertainment
The Oscars race for Best Picture will be the battle between Boyhood and Birdman

Arts and Entertainment
Anne Boleyn (Claire Foy), Thomas Cromwell (Mark Rylance)
tvReview: Wolf Hall
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Meighan of Kasabian collects the Best Album Award
Arts and Entertainment
Best supporting stylist: the late L’Wren Scott dressed Nicole Kidman in 1997
Arts and Entertainment
Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan as Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey


Arts and Entertainment
Mick Carter (Danny Dyer) and Peggy Mitchell (Barbara Windsor)
tv occurred in the crucial final scene
Arts and Entertainment
Glasgow wanted to demolish its Red Road flats last year
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
    How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

    Time to play God

    Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
    MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

    MacGyver returns, but with a difference

    Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
    Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

    Tunnel renaissance

    Why cities are hiding roads underground
    'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

    Boys to men

    The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
    Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

    Crufts 2015

    Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
    10 best projectors

    How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

    Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
    Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

    Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

    Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
    Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

    Monaco: the making of Wenger

    Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

    Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

    Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

    This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
    'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

    Homage or plagiarism?

    'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
    Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower