Take yourself back, if you will, to the winter of 2007, when online concerts by your favorite artists were still a fun occasional treat instead of a way of life.
Radiohead had just made one of the best albums of their career with In Rainbows, recorded over the preceding year at a crumbling mansion near their Oxford, England, hometown. Everyone was very excited about the fact that they’d released the album that October as a free, pay-what-you-want download (another innovation that’s since become commonplace).
On December 31st of that year, Radiohead gave their grateful fans an extra gift: a webcast called Scotch Mist, where they performed the songs from In Rainbows. Now, 13 years later, producer Nigel Godrich has shared his memories of the origins of Scotch Mist on Instagram, explaining that the special was filmed mostly before the album’s release.
“I was going slightly mad and needed a distraction to keep myself focused aside from producing the damn record,” Godrich recalls in the caption to his post. “So I bought a load of old TV cameras off eBay — the kind from the Eighties you would do local news reports — and I put them up around the studio. I started capturing what was going on as much as possible. … I made a little TV control room. By the end, I had 18 cameras around the place. I have all this footage that one day may surface … even if only over a glass of port after dinner.”
Godrich’s post includes a Scotch Mist clip of the band performing the jittery rocker “Jigsaw Falling Into Place,” which you can see above. It’s an awesomely dialed-in, energetic performance, capturing the band in peak form after the 2006 tour on which they’d perfected the In Rainbows songs.
“This amazing performance I treasure especially,” the producer writes. “A fly on the wall moment at a time when the pedal was full on the floor … I am like a hippo in a mud bath in the background — mixing the sound and also cutting the picture at the same time. So much fun. … so MUCH FUN! Why grow up when you can do things like this … ??”
In Rainbows recently appeared on our all-new list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. “Jigsaw Falling Into Place” is one of Radiohead’s best live songs from that era, but they’ve played it only 66 times in total, according to setlist.fm — way less than other favorites from In Rainbows, like “15 Step” (182 performances) and “Weird Fishes/Arpeggi” (189 performances) — and not at all since they headlined the Leeds and Reading Festival in 2009. If live tours ever become a realistic possibility again, maybe Radiohead will bring the song back into rotation the next time they hit the road.