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Oxegen 09 - TV on the Radio

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ATL | 22:25 UK time, Saturday, 11 July 2009

Heineken Stage, Saturday 11th July, 8.25pm

Describe in a Tweet:
  Rock and roll gets a long overdue reinvention.

What happened: From the second the first note explodes in our eardrums, it's obvious that this one is going to be personal. TV on the Radio are a band as inventive as they are divisive - this music is unlikely to ever reach mass acceptance. Not that it matters, as that tired old format of rock and roll gets dragged kicking and screaming into the future. As the polyrhythms and waves of sound overlap with each other, there's a distinct sense that TV on the Radio are so far ahead of the game that they might as well have come from the future.

The guitars of Kyp Malone and David Sitek blast forth from the stage, like sheet metal being catapulted directly beneath the lid of you skull, and then molding around the contours of your brain in perfect harmony. And whilst your brain struggles to adapt to this perfect melding of man and machine, the drums seem directly wired to your hips, causing all manner of contortions. It's an old cliche, but this truly is music for the brain and the body. Without sounding anything like them, TV on the Radio conjure the radical reinvention of Talking Heads in their prime, with frontman Tunde Adebimpe taking David Byrne's nerdish academic persona and twisting it into something much more visceral and funky. This guy can move!

And by goodness, we moved with him.

This is a high: Set closer 'Staring at the Sun' provided an anthemic blast from the past, and ably showed how far this band have come in a relatively short time. And it made s shake our funky asses.

This is a low: This tent is dark. Very dark. So it makes no sense for people to sit on the ground, wearing darkly coloured waterproof clothes. It's no wonder they get trod on.

Oxegen rating: 9/10


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