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Watch Thom Yorke reimagine Radiohead classics and rarities at acoustic solo show

Given that many of Radiohead's most beloved and enduring hits are acoustic guitar-driven, their frontman, Thom Yorke, has a rich vein of material to dip into when playing an acoustic solo gig. 

That's why it's a bit of a surprise that – during his solo performance in Zermatt, Switzerland on Saturday (April 9) – Yorke chose to, for the first time, play a solo rendition of one of Radiohead's most ferocious electrified rockers, Bodysnatchers.

You can see the fairly faithful version – powered by a Gibson B-25 rather than the roaring SG of the 2007 original – above.

It wasn't the only surprise of the evening, as Yorke also brought out a 12-string guitar for a mesmerizing rendition of These Are My Twisted Words, the perennially underrated, near-instrumental one-off single Radiohead released in 2009. You can check that out below.

Though the rest of the 23-song set (opens in new tab) was comprised of a similar mix of Radiohead rarities (such as Spectre, the band's rejected theme for the 2015 James Bond movie of the same name) and classics (like Weird Fishes/Arpeggi, for which Yorke again picked up the B-25), it was especially notable for Yorke's performance an as-yet-unreleased song by The Smile, Free in the Knowledge

Though played by The Smile – the trio comprised of Yorke, his Radiohead bandmate Jonny Greenwood and Sons of Kemet drummer Tom Skinner – at a live-streamed rehearsal in December 2021 and at all three of their shows at the Magazine London in January, Yorke's haunting rendition marks just the second time he's played the song solo.

Armed this time with a Martin 00-18, and assisted at the beginning by some eerie vocal effects, Yorke left the crowd spellbound by the song, which was second on the setlist (opens in new tab) after the 2018 solo cut, Has Ended.

Though The Smile have released four singles – You Will Never Work In Television Again, The Smoke, Skrting On The Surface and Pana-vision – the release date of their debut album has still yet to be announced.

As-yet-untitled, the album was helmed by Radiohead's longtime producer and sixth member of sorts, Nigel Godrich.

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Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player (opens in new tab). Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder (opens in new tab) and Unrecorded (opens in new tab). Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.