Watch Thom Yorke play The Smile’s ‘Free In The Knowledge’ at Royal Albert Hall
Written by ABR on 21/12/2021
Pro-shoot footage has emerged of Thom Yorke playing The Smile’s song ‘Free In The Knowledge’ at the Royal Albert Hall – see it below.
Back in October, the Radiohead frontman played his only post-COVID gig to date in London, as part of the Letters Live event.
During the solo show, he performed ‘Free In The Knowledge’, a song previously only heard as part of a rehearsal from The Smile shared on Instagram earlier this month.
Ahead of the performance, as captured in the video below, Yorke dedicated the song to his fellow UK musicians, and poked fun at Rishi Sunak’s notorious call for artists to retrain in other disciplines during the pandemic.
He told the crowd: “I’m a British musician and I was told during the pandemic, along with all British musicians, that we should consider retraining. And then after, uh, when we actually finally left, they told us we didn’t really need to tour anymore anyway, did we? Around Europe.
“So perhaps I’m one of a dying breed, who knows? I want to perform a song that I wrote with my new band the Smile during that period to all my fellow UK musicians. It’s called ‘Free In The Knowledge’.”
Watch it below:
The Smile is Yorke and Radiohead bandmate Jonny Greenwood, together with Sons of Kemet drummer Tom Skinner. The group were first unveiled at this year’s Glastonbury live-stream event in May, and surprised fans with a practice session on social media on their Instagram Live on December 2.
“The Smile came about from just wanting to work on music with Thom in lockdown,” Greenwood revealed in an interview with NME earlier this year.
“We didn’t have much time, but we just wanted to finish some songs together. It’s been very stop-start, but it’s felt a happy way to make music.”
Reviewing The Smile’s first ever show, as part of Glastonbury’s Live At Worthy Farm livestream, NME wrote: :While they’ve been known to put their name to atmospheric, floaty mood music more than anything else in recent years, The Smile sees the Radiohead pair go straight for the neck: the handful of songs they debut tonight find Yorke and Greenwood more melody focused, accessible and furious than either of them have been in years.”
Radiohead, meanwhile, recently re-released ‘Kid A and ‘Amnesiac’ together as a joint collection together in celebration of the albums’ 20th anniversaries, alongside an album titled ‘Kid Amnesiae’, consisting of unreleased material that didn’t make the final cut during the recording sessions of those two albums.
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