Before he hit it big with Radiohead, Thom Yorke went to University of Exeter and joined the band Headless Chickens. Now, archival footage of Yorke in his college band has been posted to YouTube, including an early, faster version of “High and Dry” off Radiohead’s sophomore album The Bends.
As noted by The AV Club, musician Shaun McCrindle posted the footage of Yorke’s college-era performances, which include other Yorke rarities like Headless Chickens’ performance of “I Don’t Want to Go to Woodstock” — filmed at the same Lemon Grove show as “High and Dry” — and McCrindle’s student film, titled “Exminster Grind.” Yorke co-wrote music for the latter with the filmmaker.
As noted by McCrindle in description, other members of Headless Chickens included John Matthias, who contributed violin and viola to The Bends, and electronic musician Simon Shackleton.
Since 2011’s The King of Limbs, the members of Radiohead have gone on a brief hiatus and have pursued their respective solo careers. Last year, between promoting the “exploratory audio-visual” app PolyFauna, they headed back into the studio to begin working on new music. “We’re going to start up in September, playing, rehearsing and recording and see how it’s sounding,” guitarist Jonny Greenwood revealed to NME last July.
In September, Yorke began selling a surprise solo album, Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes, via BitTorrent. “It’s an experiment to see if the mechanics of the system are something that the general public can its head around,” the singer said in a joint statement with his Atoms for Peace collaborator Nigel Godrich. “If it works well, it could be an effective way of handing some control of Internet commerce back to people who are creating the work, enabling those people who make their music, video or any other kind of digital content to sell it themselves [and] bypassing the self-elected gatekeepers.”