56. Dublin, Olympia, 18 May 2003

Something is afoot with the people in the queue. There is an atmosphere. It turns out the people who arrived first, and one American in particular, have started their own system. They are giving people numbers, drawing on people’s hands with a felt tip pen. Don’t they understand? We are British (and Irish…) and we know how to queue.

I dislike the compulsion to start a line unnecessarily early before a gig, but this imposing of control on people who are, let’s face it, here to enjoy themselves, puts a serious kink in my day.

I am pretty psyched up before the show and it takes a lot for me not to go completely berserk. My first instinct is to find whoever is responsible and give them a piece of my mind, the thing is, other people are going along with it. I don’t remember the details (the red mist descended) but I remember saying to the queue at large, as I took up a spot at a reasonable time after lunch, “This is my thing, how dare you spoil it!”

Inside, the band are into it, the set list is different, as promised, with the song Kid A making a live debut. Thom turns it into something altogether more sprightly than it is on record, hopping around a small keyboard. He has to dash between mic and piano during Sit Down Stand Up, adding a slapstick element. The piano has a photo of Sid James wearing a crown taped to it , another band in-joke no doubt.

They throw in a few oldies including Talk Show Host, usually a sign that they’re feeling funky. How To Disappear with it’s line about the Liffey sets the home crowd into raptures and they make a fair stab at the slow hand clap of We Suck Young Blood.