On September 20, 2009, three days after their fifth studio album, The Resistance, debuted at number one on the Italian pop charts, Muse made an appearance on Italian TV channel Rai 2's popular Sunday afternoon show Quelli che il Calcio to promote the record with a performance of the album's lead-off single Uprising. It's fait to say that things did not go exactly as the show's producers had planned.
"They wouldn't let us play live, they weren't set up for that, so we had to mime," drummer Dom Howard later explained on Absolute Radio. "We hadn't mimed for bloody years, I think the last time we did it was on [BBC children's TV show} Alive [sic] And Kicking in, like, 2001 or something, so we thought we'd just arse about...and have some fun with it. Because you always look like a tit when you mime seriously."
In this spirit of 'arsing about', the Devon trio decided to reformulate their traditional set-up, by having frontman Matt Bellamy take on Howard's role as the band's drummer, while Howard was promoted from behind his kit to front the group, additionally taking on bass duties, as Chris Wolstenholme switches to guitar and keys.
It's hard not to feel a little sorry for the show's presenter as she introduces "The Muse" as "the most eclectic, most innovative and bravest group from England", after which the camera cuts to Matt Belllamy miming the song's glam rock beat in the stiffest, most straight-faced manner he can manage. If you didn't know better, it's quite a slick performance.
The trio maintain the charade afterwards as the presenter greets them warmly.
"The new album, The Resistance, was recorded in Milan and near Lake Cuomo," she informs the studio audience and those watching at home. "They love our country!"
Asked exactly why the band love Italy so much, Dom Howard states that it's "a beautiful country" adding, "Our drummer here, Matt, lives in Como... it's a place that inspires your creativity."
Watching The Muse's performance below: