At times, being a Radiohead fan feels a bit like being into obscure foreign films. Although most people can appreciate their grungy guitar-laden earlier work, they’re mystified at how anyone can bear listening to the not-so-easily accessible tracks on their later albums.
These same people will endeavour to watch Radiohead live because “didn’t they do that song Creep?” but then have to leave half-an-hour into their set because it sounds like some sort of schizophrenic, techno nightmare. Meanwhile, Radiohead fans like me readily believe that they’re up there with the greatest bands of all time (go watch Fake Plastic Trees at Glastonbury 2003, it’ll change your life). OK Computer, a new Radiohead tribute band from the Isle of Man, think just that, and are looking to bring Manx Radiohead fans out from the shadows… and maybe even create a few new ones.
The band is the brainchild of vocalist Dave Brew, who conjured up the idea after covering Radiohead’s songs with various other projects. Ian Astell (Lead Guitar) and Steve Leach (Drums) were the first to answer Dave’s advertisement for members, quickly joined by James Craig (Bass) and Jamie Christian (Rhythm Guitar) of Dave’s originals band In the Blood. Finally, Chris Honour (Lead Guitar) of 3 Million completes Ok Computer’s line up, and with all this in mind it’s fair to say that the band’s six members aren’t exactly void of talent. Their aim is to replicate the sounds of Radiohead as accurately as possible, and judging by the videos of their rehearsal footage, they’ve done an impressive job.
They already have a couple of big gigs lined up, one of which is at Dark Horse Festival – fast becoming the biggest musical event in the Manx calendar. Their debut gig will be on 9th March at the Mitre Pub in Ramsey, and they’re hoping for a big turn-out.
But what if you could never get into Radiohead? What if your 90s were more about Definitely, Maybe than The Bends, and you never really gave them a go? Well… they’re not an easy band to tackle. Radiohead have 9 studio albums, from Pablo Honey to A Moon Shaped Pool, and without a little help it’s easy to get lost in a maze of alt rock and experimental beats. But have no fear… It goes without saying that Ok Computer are massive Radiohead fans, so I asked them which albums stand out for them as their finest, and why everyone should give them a go.
Album: In Rainbows
Stand Out Track: Bodysnatchers
Chris: “I love this entire album, but I would say Bodysnatchers is my favourite track for the way the layers in the song build up and mesh together. The bridge is the melodic part, the verses are the driving rhythm behind the track, and it doesn’t have a chorus.”
Album: The Bends
Stand Out Track: Street Spirit (Fade Out)
Dave: “For me, it’s really hard to pick a stand out track on The Bends, but if I had to it would be Street Spirit (Fade Out). As the vocalist in the band I really appreciate the incredible vocal control in the song. The way it builds from verse to verse, ending with a powerful chorus and finally the soft ending of ‘immerse your soul in love’. Just beautiful dynamics, which is really what Radiohead are all about”.
Jamie: “This is literally the first Radiohead track that I learned to play, and it took me about a year to perfect it as I was only just learning to play guitar at the time. I love how it is simple but complicated to keep up with and the only way to truly play it is to close your eyes and just go with the flow, almost dream-like.”
Album: Kid A
Stand Out Track: How to Disappear Completely
Ian: “Thom wrote How to Disappear Completely about an out of body experience he had in Dublin, and the lyrics paint a wonderful picture of that sensation. Then you get the swooping Ondes Martonet lines, the strings and the Ostinato bass creating waves of soundscape that compliment that. After a key change, it ends in a perfect musical climax with all these elements pulled -together.”
OK Computer’s debut gig is on 9th March at the Mitre Pub in Ramsey.