Archive for February 2010

Interminably short   2 comments

There’s tons of negative things you could say about me, but I can’t see that I’m interminably dull. Surely my songs can’t be too long as well as too short?

Not sure that anyone has a “rangy beard” either, let alone Thom Yorke.

Local Artist   Leave a comment

Comedy gurn.

Posted February 27, 2010 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

Moving Tone Thom Yorke review.   Leave a comment

Patrick Widdess reports on Thom Yorke – The Corn Exchange, Cambridge, 25 February 2010

Fans were queuing outside the Corn Exchange all day for the hotly anticipated gig by the Radiohead frontman. From the moment it was announced it looked set to be the gig of the year if not the decade. Good news for the Green Party who organised it and for Pete Um, local experimental artist doing the support.
More accustomed to playing the Portland and busking with a ghetto blaster at Strawberry Fair, Pete Um seemed rather vulnerable, standing alone on the Corn Exchange’s vast stage. Undaunted and looking sharp in a brown suit he belted out his off-beat poetic drawl accompanied by mangled electronic music from his mini-disc player backing band. The uninitiated may have found the performance hard to engage with. One spectator was heard to remark “The bloke on stage sounds like he’s on LSD!” Overall the set was well received and it was a proud moment for supporters of the local music scene to see one of its stalwarts getting a well-deserved moment in the limelight.
Green Party candidate Tony Juniper gave a short speech reminding punters of the night’s cause before introducing Thom Yorke who made no acknowledgement of the crowd initially but strapped on a guitar and got straight on with the show with The Clock from solo album Eraser. “Time is running out… for us” he wailed gently, echoing the sentiments of Tony Juniper’s speech. Few singers have a voice so unique and well-developed as Thom’s and hearing it live after years of hearing it on record was moving experience. Radiohead have become to me, the musical equivalent of a best friend. Like friends I didn’t choose them, didn’t even like them at first, but they have remained constant companions over many years producing consistently credible and often incredible music.
Standing in the middle of a huge crowd captivated by the music of one man is certainly incredible. Thom moved regularly between guitar, piano and keyboard giving powerful accompaniment to his main instrument; his voice, haunting and ethereal. The set focussed on Radiohead’s later work and his solo album Eraser. There were also some new songs. In Give Up The Ghost he created a simple beat by patting the microphone and singing the melancholy phrase “don’t call me.” He kept this on a loop creating an eerie backing track over which he sang typically bitter sweet lyrics building up the backing as the song progressed. The Daily Mail was a bleak political rant at the piano and the rarely heard I Froze Up, an achingly beautiful lament. Although never a cheery musician he became increasingly jokey and chatty with the audience. Early in the set he stumbled repeatedly whilst playing Weird Fishes/Arpeggi. As the hall erupted with laughter his sullen manner evaporated. In a more serious moment he explained his reasons for doing the gig “I am sick of politicians not talking about green issues. What fucking blows my mind is that half the country is supporting environmental issues yet we are not represented in Parliament and the chance for that to change has got to happen.”
Songs towards the end included another new one, Mouse Dog Bird and Airbag. This classic from OK Computer seemed to retain all the power and intricacies of the original even when stripped to guitar and vocals. Whatever high expectations those attending had, they cannot have been disappointed. Classic Radiohead, solo material, and the debut performance of three new songs combined to make this the special night everyone had hoped for.

Posted February 27, 2010 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

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Thom Yorke gig review in The Tab.   1 comment

Bloody students.

Thom Yorke
by George Osborn and Chloe Mashiter
on 26th February 2010

George Osborn

When the news broke that Thom Yorke had announced his intention to play a gig in Cambridge, all fans of good music in the city fell into disbelief. Yes, we’ve played host to many of the mid to big hitters in our fair university city; from Vampire Weekend, to Dizzee Rascal, all the way through to Bloc Party. But none of these acts are probably as big as the arrival of the lead singer of one of the most influential bands of the decade at the Cambridge Corn Exchange. Yet the bombshell of excitement that the Radiohead frontman let off by announcing the gig was instantly followed by my own personal wave of worry. I’d liked the Eraser as an album but it’d never gripped me in the way that Radiohead classics, such as In Rainbows or Amnesiac, did. Combined with the added pressure of performing without his band mates for the first time since Latitude Festival and the need to test out his new songs for his “supergroup” Atoms for Peace, there was some residual fear that the £35 ticket cost would fly into the Green Party coffers on the back of a mixed and experimental gig that left me a tad disappointed.

Fortunately, I needn’t have worried. The gig was an astonishing personal success for Yorke, confirming his position as an exceptional songwriter, musician and performer. His mismatched personal appearance, the combination of the fashion style and body of a 14 year old indie kid and the grizzled appearance Viggo Mortenson carried off in the Road, was never really reflected in a setlist was a coherent and intelligently selected back catalogue of both Radiohead classics and his own original tracks. Ranging from an acoustic version of Airbag to a subtly attractive The Eraser, Yorke managed to regularly tick off the songs that the fans sought to hear while also finding time to trial his new tracks, Daily Mail being a particularly firebrand and potentially explosive future highlight. However, the quality of the set list was merely the starting point to the success of the night. The key to the brilliance on show was the strength it found in the minimalism of a solo performance. As an example, the desolation of Like Spinning Plates and Pyramid Song, two tracks built around electronic effects in their original recording, was stunningly realised through a combination of Yorke’s pitch perfect vocals and the devastatingly simple piano tones he employed. His decision to prioritise his own musicianship over any attempt to create a grander scale gig was a thoroughly justified one. The sublime These are my Twisted Words demonstrated his own musical talent wonderfully, while the rare moments he employed a sample pedal to boost his efforts were rewarded by brilliantly realised versions of Black Swan and Harrowdown Hill that remained true to the formula of simple but effective.

As a result, what was really created was an atmosphere of unbreakable intimacy. The hushing that greeted Videotape was astonishing, sweeping the audience before Thom started to play, and a testament to the quality of the performance: everyone in the room was hooked on what one man was planning to do. On a new track, Yorke announced that he had previously only played it in his bedroom and for all we thought, we might as well have been sat on the edge of the bed listening to him in the corner. The immersion was night on total. It is worth bearing in mind the night wasn’t perfect. The long delay between opening doors and the first act was an irritant, while Pete Um’s eventual appearance and performance left most of the audience bewildered by a half hour that can only be described as the musical equivalent of an unexplainably strange dream. As for Thom, he made a complete hash of Weird Fishes while his vague call for some form of literal revolution during the encore was met with nervous shifts in the audience. But these quibbles are minor in comparison to what I saw for the majority of the night. Brilliant, beautiful and fantastically personal, Thom Yorke has given me a fantastic excuse to vote Tony Juniper: he may come and play again at the victory party.

Chloe Mashister

Whoever paired up Thom Yorke with support act Pete Um might just be a genius. Not because Um’s baffling music made you appreciate Yorke’s fantastic songs all the more; nor because Um’s somewhat shuffling, unimposing presence was the perfect contrast to Yorke’s ability to hold the Corn Exchange entranced for two hours. It’s that in addition to Thom Yorke, we were treated to half an hour or so of impeccable comedy beforehand.

I wasn’t the only one – by a long shot – reduced to giggles by Um’s frankly bewildering repertoire. Looking like someone from middle management come to give a motivational speech, Um sang songs to do with ‘geographical locations, or unemployment situations, or relationships’ over beats and laser sound effects. He might have been boring were it not for his bizarre dancing and penchant for wearing oversized novelty sunglasses during songs – he was enjoyable, just for all the wrong reasons.

The problem with writing about Yorke is that I don’t how many synonyms for ‘beautiful’, ‘mesmeric’ and ‘sublime’ I can get away with and if I wanted to represent my experience as accurately as possible, I would probably just write a list of those words. Yorke’s performance was simply incredible – I defy you to find anything more heartbreakingly beautiful than his live rendition of The Eraser. Yorke, with his causal presence and stunning songs, kept the Corn Exchange hushed and still, hanging on every chord, a very impressive feat that I dare say few other performers could achieve.

"Maybe worth discovering…"   Leave a comment

That’s like my entire oeuvre (starting to overuse that word, but I still have to Google it for the spelling every single time) summed up there.

Next sunday, 21.02.10, Pete Um will be the focus of our 21st siesta session. As a crooner of outer space he delights in cynical rants on life and love. DJ Kosten Koper (Radio Panik, L’étranger) will take care of the DJ duties this time. There should be a screening of a video of Merryl Hardt. Again, some fine surprises are waiting to be discovered …


Posted February 24, 2010 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

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Ooh… controversy, almost.   Leave a comment

Just seen this at The Tab.

Thom Yorke will be supported by experimental Cambridge solo artist Pete Um, whose website contains several simple drawings of genitalia along with slogans such as ‘Democracy is for pussies’.

The Green Party Cambridge Co-ordinator, James Youd, said that the party ‘did not endorse this’.


Possibly matey would have to say that and so is playing it for laffs and I hope so but just in case the subtler things in life like humour and irony have got lost on the interwebs somewhere I feel like I have to point out that the figures in the drawing are goosestepping to the right…

A new low for blogging…   Leave a comment

I cut and pasted this from my Twitter page due to laziness. You have to read it from the bottom up.


Also recommend next time I’m first on the bill at The Portland as I reckon I will be full of mischief. 13 minutes ago via web
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Please send pyschic strength/goodwill/shamnic power cos Corn Exchange is 1800 capacity and that’s a big step up for me. 18 minutes ago via web
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Talking of which, here begins 48 hours of quiet contemplation and the ritual consumption of mint tea. 24 minutes ago via web
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Ah, I’m wasted in real life, me… 26 minutes ago via web
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Me disguised as Robert Kilroy-Silk but with the libidinal stagecraft of a young Iggy Pop… 32 minutes ago via web
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Dave would be up the front, both fists in the air, some gnarly hard-panned reel-to-reel shit bouncing round the Corn Exchange… 35 minutes ago via web
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I certainly wouldn’t doing the cheesy Greatest Hits set I’ll be nervously performing on Thursday. 37 minutes ago via web
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Mind you, I’d have probably still done it for UKIP. Think of the grist possibilities of that one! 39 minutes ago via web
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After all, I didn’t get where I’m not today without having principles! 41 minutes ago via web
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So all I can say is it’s a bloody good job Thom isn’t UKIP innit? 42 minutes ago via web
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But anyway since then I have always voted for The Greens, hand on heart, albeit thinking of it as a sort of protest vote in a sense. 43 minutes ago via web
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It was a long time ago. The world was very different then. Thatcher was in power, for starters. about 1 hours ago via web
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I don’t remember voting Labour but I have to accept that it is a possibility. about 1 hours ago via web
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I was a lot less idealistic when I was younger. about 1 hours ago via web
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Now I am haunted by the possibilty that I may have voted Labour in a local election in Surrey in the late-80s. Conservative stronghold obv. about 1 hours ago via web
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And so I only found out that it was for The Greens when it was announced on the Radiohead site. about 1 hours ago via web
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So I agreed to do this T. Yorke benefit shindig without knowing what it was for. Used to doing benefits for inarguably worthy causes… about 1 hours ago via web
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