A few years ago, Radiohead recorded a prospective theme song for Spectre, the not-very-good James Bond movie that came out in 2015. The movie’s producers rejected the song. (Radiohead’s song wouldn’t have saved the movie or anything, but it would’ve been a lot better than the limp Sam Smith track that ended up becoming the movie’s theme.) In the end, Radiohead shared the song anyway, and the moody, intense track is one of their best of the past few years.
Lately, Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke has been playing solo shows, moving from guitar to keyboard and debuting new songs like “The Axe,” the one he played earlier this week in Florence. Last night, Yorke played at Fabrique, a venue in the Italian city of Milan. And for his second encore, he played “Spectre,” giving the song its live debut. (Radiohead, as a group, have never played the song live.)
Yorke’s solo version, played without anything replacing the strings on the recorded song, is even more spare and moody than what could’ve ended up in that Bond movie. In fact, it comes out sounding very much like a Thom Yorke solo song, one that it’s hard to imagine playing over a montage of women’s silhouettes and slo-mo gunfire. Watch a fan-made video below.
Yorke will play Zurich tonight, and if recent patterns hold, maybe he’ll debut something special there, too.