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Live8 – the aftermath…

Live8 – the aftermath…

While certain lucky buggers got to go to Live8, my hopes were raised and then dashed by the food harlot.

So as Saturday dawned, I was not (as I had dreamt) in London but taking over R’s TV set and living room (much to the vague amusement and bafflement of R, her parents and family) and watching six different feeds from three different BBC channels, including all-day on BBC One and Two. Thank you, lord of multiscreen (and the BBC) for feeding my addiction to multiple coverage of huge global multicasting live events. And not a single glitch in sight.

The best non-musical TV highlight must have been 3pm London time, when Will Smith came on in Philadelphia and orchestrated a mass “hello” bouncing from city to city via the wonders of multiple satellite feeds. Which raised hopes within me that the United States was actually on board the global Making Poverty History campaign in the same way as the other countries. Alas, two incidents as observed from the sofa (without Internet access) suggested this may not be the case:

– Between each act, most screens on the Live8 concerts were apparently showing footage from the other concerts. Except – as far as I could tell – in Philadelphia. Shame, really.

– Of my friends in the United States, only a couple outside the East Coast had either heard or was interested in Live8, let alone the marketing campaign. Shame.

– the otherwise-excellent video of celebrites urging “us” to join the campaign sported a completely different website address – – than the one I thought was the “official” website. Although later research shows that every country had a different website address – so bully for me for not checking my facts first.

Then again, the epicentre of the whole thing was London. I raised a huge eyebrow when Bill Gates sauntered on, but my jaw bloody dropped when Kofi Annan came on for a short statement. And when Angelina Jolie popped up in Cornwall, I instantly wished I actually had an interest in African music.

Back to Philadelphia. While I loved Will Smith’s introduction to the sheer scale of the entire event, referring to the Declaration of Independence and the whole “we celebrate our interdependence” brought memories of that awful speech in Independence Day. Yuch. Had to be done though, I suppose.

The musical highlight had to be seeing Robbie Williams saunter on, and have the crowd eating from his hand inside of ten seconds with a mass sing-along, culminating in everyone singing Angels. Followed by Peter Kay orchestrating a 200,000 acapella singalong of Is This The Way To Amarillo? Followed by … The Who. Talk about bringing a party crashing down. And then Pink Floyd. Someone give me the sleeping pills now.

I still wish I was there though. *sigh*


  • I thought Williams was terrible – he was working on the assumption that the entire audience would remember his syrupy crap. And when they didn't he just cajoled them. Bad, bad showmanship.

    The Floyd, however, brought a tear to my eye – especially when Waters said 'Wish You Were Here' was for Syd.

  • I thought Pink Floyd were certainly the highlight of the event and The Who were pretty good as well!

    To be honest, I was surrprised at how good the music was overall.

  • Please, Americans don't care about anything. Our country is way too fucked up right now.

  • Hey, I did what I could! I did try and get you tickets – and I already apologised for not thinking of you the second I knew tickets were available.

    And I did go to sushi with you. Fancy Chinese buffet this week?

  • Robbie Williams was shit. Stalking aroiund like some perverted parody of Mercury and Jagger (and not a patch on either of them), his live voice *still* doesn't impress me. I swear his albums are produced up to the bollocks because, frankly, he just can't sing. I watched about a minute of him as I channel hopped.

    The Who, however, made me pause. I channel hopped off CSI:NY to hear the theme tune to CSI and then CSI: Miama. Weird.

    I've never been a big Floyd fan, but Wish You Were Here raises the hairs on the back of your neck. I heard it live once (acoustic solo by one of the band) at Douglas Adams' memorial service and it was wonderful there, too.

    Andy, you're not an old enough fart. Must try harder 😉

  • Can we feed Bush to the Africans?

    He's sort of stringy.

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