Tuned in

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The Independent Culture
Jeez, what a chorus. It's so big... Not the swollen guitars in the singalong bits in Radiohead's songs from new album The Bends but the howling one- voice praise it has come in for. Nobody sensible is prepared to risk once again underrating the Oxford band, which no-one gave tuppence for until they shifted several hundred thousand records in America on the back of the single "Creep". Now Radiohead are comfortable, respected by critics and confident that their hybrid way with epic tunesmithery is a winner. It goes like this: take post-Smiths indie boy inadequacy lyrics, add lite- metal orchestration (see single "My Iron Lung") and you stun all-comers into blustering laudatory mantras like "Radiohead are the next U2". The fact that singer Thom Yorke still looks like an anonymous "one of us" but yodels like an angel with leather kegs and tattered wings helps no end as well. Will we swoon to their anthems along with those by Bon Jovi in five years time? Who knows. The fact that Radiohead are a self-made, bona fide phenomenon rather than a six-month hype makes their sophisticate rock smell credible enough for now.

Radiohead, tonight at The Forum, NW5 (071-284 2200)

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