‘You don’t look like Radiohead fans, lads,’ said the old fashioned Northern lady as she served Boy and me our post gig donuts and plastic cups of proper Tetley tea. I suspect that like us, but unlike most of Glastonbury, she had this time last year voted Brexit.
‘What do Radiohead fans look like?’ I asked.
She nodded towards a thirty-something walking past in chinos and one of those trendy woollen tops with the zip on the top.
Ah. She meant ‘wankers’.
And I did see her point. I felt it particularly strongly during that moment in one of the gaps in Radiohead’s Pyramid Stage set when their audience broke into a spontaneous chant of ‘Oh, Jeremy Corbyn’. And also when the initially friendly students who’d let me puff on some of their very strong hash stopped being quite so nice when I told them that socialism sucked, that Boy and I were both conservatives and that I wrote for the Spectator. Back in the day, these wouldn’t have been divisive issues. But people are becoming much more sectarian, unfortunately.
Anyway, I totally get people’s problem with Radiohead, as perfectly captured in an amusing spoof BBC story about how fans at Glastonbury mistook three minutes of guitar tuning for their latest avant-garde track.
But if you’re a sad aficionado like me you quite appreciate the odd longueur and relative obscurity you don’t recognise and the fact that the band have such an appalling rapport with their audience. The stage was lit in such a way that you couldn’t see them play – not even on the giant screens, which jumbled up blurry images of their faces, like in an old pop video. And the banter of Thom Yorke sounded like the backwoods axe murderer he increasingly resembles chuntering to himself in funny voices about ley lines and Theresa May.