The Smile Energizes London with a Jazz-Punk Experience Divergent from Radiohead

Published March 11, 2024

The Hammersmith Apollo was electrified with anticipation, as fans packed the venue for a sold-out show headlined by The Smile, featuring the Radiohead duo Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood, alongside Tom Skinner of Sons Of Kemet. Shedding the 'side-project' tag, The Smile has established itself with two impressive albums and a reputation for dynamic, jazz-infused performances that captivate audiences.

After a grand Manchester gig with the London Contemporary Orchestra, London fans experienced a more personal setup. The opening number 'Wall Of Eyes' showcased Yorke's acoustic finesse, setting the tone for an intimate musical voyage. Their set included 'The Opposite' from their first album 'A Light For Attracting Attention,' channeling a Radiohead-esque spirit but with a distinctive funk.

As the night progressed, the band's seamless instrument exchanges and enchanting jams echoed the feel of an impromptu GarageBand session, elevated by visceral clarinet solos and Greenwood's harp artistry. The audience was immersed in a transformative musical experience, complemented by the dazzling stage lighting that added to the enchanting ambiance.

New musical territories were explored with the debut of three unreleased tracks: the energetic 'Colours Fly,' the uplifting 'Instant Psalm,' and the frenetic 'Zero Sum.' The band revisited favorites and introduced new anthems, culminating in a main set finale with the cinematic 'Bending Hectic.' The encore presented a punk-infused rendition of Thom Yorke's solo track 'FeelingPulledApartByHorses', reinforcing The Smile's innovative and autonomous artistry.

The setlist for The Smile's London performance featured a mix of established hits and thrilling new material, driving home their independence from the traditional Radiohead sound and embracing a vibrant new musical direction.

London, performance, jazz-punk