A day at the Edinburgh festival with Radiohead and Franz Ferdinand (well two of them) 22nd August 2006

A day at the Edinburgh festival with Radiohead and Franz Ferdinand 22nd August 2006
franztixThe Edinburgh festival is an amazingly broad all-encompassing set of events, and we often find ourselves going along to one or two. In August 2006 we spent a day up in Edinburgh, and managed to take in two musical events, each of a different sort. David, Laura and I drove up to Edinburgh in the late morning, to make sure that we arrived for our first event, which was part of the Edinburgh International Book Festival.Alex Kapranos and Nick McCarthy of Franz Ferdinand were due to discuss lyric writing, as part of the children’s programme. Speaking at the time Kapranos said: “We are looking forward to performing for, and talking to, the kids at such a great event. We might even give a few secrets away”, and the director of the children’s programme at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, Karen Mountney, added “We wanted to create a family event where young people could be inspired by the best in the business.” The event started at 4.30pm in a small theatre on the book festival village. It had sold out very quickly and the place was packed with 500 young people eager to meet some musical heroes close up. Frontman Alex Kapranos and guitarist Nick McCarthy spent an hour telling the young fans all about their songs and how they write them. They sat on a small stage surrounded by guitars and a piano, which the duo used to illustrate their points and play short pieces from their songs. Kapranos: “I have always felt that songwriting and lyrics were seen as the poorer cousins of the literature world, but that’s not necessarily the case. The greatest figure in Scottish literature was not primarily known for his poetry, but for his song-writing – Robert Burns – and there has been a longevity to what he says. Lyrics are another side of literature.” He added: “When it comes to song writing, there are not any distinct rules – there isn’t any right of wrong way to go about it. Some of the best things you do are mistakes. I didn’t have any music training – most of song writing is messing about till it sounds good.” (from a review on http://www.gigwise.com/ at the time). I like intimate events like this one, where you get the chance to hear musicians speak, and always find them very interesting and enlightening. After the event Laura and David joined a line to get their festival brochures signed by the two guys. I had to go and move the car…radioheadtixThe next part of our day was very different; we were going to see Radiohead in concert at Meadowbank stadium. Support came from Beck, who we sadly missed because of our trip to the book festival (still, it was worth it). Radiohead took to the stage shortly after we arrived, and from opener ‘Airbag’ the crowd were simply enthralled. This was the first time I saw Radiohead, and to be honest I didn’t really get them at the time, although Laura and David were, and still are, massive fans of the band. The stage backdrop featured a large and fractured image of Thom Yorke, in front of which he wriggled around squeezing perfect vocals and emotion from his wiry frame. The set included classics like ‘Karma Police’ and ‘Paranoid Android’ and tracks which were new at the time such as ‘Videotape’ and ‘Bodysnatchers’. The magnificent ‘Creep’ ended their two-hour set and was the anthem of the evening. The large crowd was pretty unruly at times, with Thom having to stop the show at one point. A good gig, and a great ending to the day. Laura thought it was one of the best gigs she had been to, and was knocked out by Yorke’s vocals. I’ve seen Radiohead a couple of times since then, and I am beginning to count myself a fan now.
Setlist: Airbag; 2+2=5; The National Anthem; My Iron Lung; Morning Bell; Videotape; Nude; Lucky; The Gloaming; Where I End And You Begin; Paranoid Android; All I Need; Pyramid Song; Fake Plastic Trees; I Might Be Wrong; Idioteque; How To Disappear Completely. Encore 1: You And Whose Army?; Bodysnatchers; Just; Karma Police. Encore 2: There There; True Love Waits/Everything In Its Right Place; Creep.
It seemed to take forever before we were allowed out of the car park; they held us back until the crowds cleared. We then had a couple of hour drive home, arriving back in the early hours of the morning after a long, tiring, but exciting day.

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