Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood debuted their new band, The Smile at Glastonbury Festival’s Live at Worthy Farm live stream on Saturday. The band features prominent Jazz drummer Tom Skinner (Sons of Kemet, Matthew Herbert) and will collaborate with long-time Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich. They only revealed their existence hours before their surprise set. The band, it would seem, has taken their name from a Ted Hughes poem.
Introducing the band, frontman Yorke said, “Ladies and gentlemen, we are called ‘The Smile.’ Not the smile as in ‘ahh!’, more ‘the smile’ as in, the guy who lies to you every day.”
The trio started their set with unreleased Radiohead number ‘Skirting On The Surface’ and then launched into seven new pieces. The group shared a setlist on their Twitter account, with the other song titles listed as ‘The Smoke’, ‘You Will Never Work in Television Again’, ‘Opposites’, ‘Panavision’, ‘Just Eyes and Mouth’ ‘We Don’t Know What Tomorrow Brings’ and ‘The Thing’.
Sonically, The Smile’s sound contains post-punk, math rock and psychedelia. This is the most guitar-driven work we have heard from the Radiohead duo in quite some time.
Glastonbury boss Emily Eavis said she was “truly honoured” to have the trio debut at the show. She said: “This has all the makings on a special Glastonbury moment.”
At this point, the band’s plans remain unclear, but from what we have heard, it is certainly something to get excited about.
Watch a clip from The Smile’s set below.