HomeNew ReleasesLive PerformancesThom Yorke performs The Smile track 'Free in the Knowledge' at London's...

Thom Yorke performs The Smile track ‘Free in the Knowledge’ at London’s Royal Albert Hall

Thom Yorke debuted his The Smile track, “Free in the Knowledge” at a Letters Live event at London’s Royal Albert Hall.

Yorke teamed up with fellow Radiohead member Jonny Greenwood to form their post-punk outfit The Smile back in May. Now, Yorke’s solo performance of their track “Free in the Knowledge” from October has been uploaded to YouTube. The performance took place at the Letters Live event. It marked Yorke’s first live performance since the start of COVID-19.

“There was a point maybe a year-and-a-half ago where I wondered whether I’d ever be doing this again,” Yorke said before performing the song. “This is the first time I’ve been on the stage since the pandemic happened. I’m a British musician and I was told during the pandemic, along with all British musicians, that we should consider retraining. When we actually finally left, they told us we didn’t really need to tour anymore anyway, did we? Around Europe. So perhaps I’m one of a dying breed, who knows? I want to dedicate a song that I wrote with my new band the Smile during that period to all my fellow UK musicians. It’s called “Free in the Knowledge.”

Watch Yorke’s performance of “Free in the Knowledge” below.

This performance offers up a pretty polished version of the tune. The track opens with some ominous synths before expanding into a stunning acoustic guitar line. Lyrically, Yorke sings lines like, “Free in the knowledge/ One day this will end/ Free in the knowledge/ Everything is changed.”

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