Well, This is a humdinger. Thom Yorke has been announced as the sub-headliner for Massive Attack’s day at All Points East. And not Yorke backed by Radiohead, nor his usual flashy setup. Just him, solo at sundown, with a guitar and a piano, and maybe a theremin if he’s in the mood.
So, a big coup for APE. And it makes sense. Yorke and Robert Del Naja have worked together on a film score, supported Extinction Rebellion and been de facto leaders of the left-leaning, dub-friendly electronic-rock movement for the last 30-odd years. Yorke has got form for this kind of outlier gig, too. Some might remember a similar bonus addition being made to Latitude Festival 2009. Back then, a bleary Sunday lunchtime crowd got a smattering of tunes from his solo debut, ‘The Eraser’, but mostly stripped-back Radiohead bits, including a deep cut called ‘True Love Waits’. Now, he’s got 2014’s glitchy ‘Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes’ and last year’s pastoral ‘Anima’ under his belt, as well as a horror soundtrack for ‘Suspiria’. He also once popped into an Oxford neighbour’s garden to do an impromptu acoustic gig in 2016. So Victoria Park will be a cinch.
Over time, his hair has grown scruffier, beard scraggier, voice craggier. But pretty much all his predictions of lurching autocracy, digital control and climate apocalyptica have come to pass. Which makes his solo outing at All Points East not just rare, but a fun chance to hear from the world’s première oracle about the next crises to befall humanity. And, if we’re lucky, we may get ‘Reckoner’ as an encore too.
Thom Yorke plays All Points East on May 24. For more London festival info, swing over here please.