Saturday, July 02, 2005

LIVE 8: HALF PAST SIX

Fortune is a strange and wonderful beast, with its twists and turns. A few years ago, Snoop Dogg was such a threat to the well being of every known creature on these islands that the Daily Star was amongst those calling on the Home Secretary to throw him out - possibly with a spot of pre-deportation knuckledusting at Heathrow. Now, though, he's striding the stage at Live 8 in one of the Queen's parks, a valid member of society and even telling Gordon Brown what he needs to do. The slightly creepy way he's drooling over the barely legal gymslip dancers suggests that he might not have totally been reintegrated into acceptable society, but he's probably only only an ace away from his first Royal Variety performance. He still pulls that face like he's trying to poop out a garden tool way too much, though.

It turns out when UB40 appeared in the listings, it wasn't a misprint, or a joke. Ali Campbell and his friends and family did indeed take the stage, making something of a mockery of Bob's claims that the only way to get onto the Live 8 stage was to be a big-selling artist in 2005. They trudged their way through their stuff to a largely disinterested audience - it's not even cod reggae anymore; it's like some sort of cheap cod substitute (Hoki Reggae, anyone?), but at least it gave the BBC something to swap easily from BBC ONE to BBC TWO during. Unfortunately, the astonishingly long Wimbledon ladies' final had interfered with the original plans to show Live 8 on BBC TWO until that finished, and then swap to BBC ONE while TWO picked up the men's doubles final. That was meant to be just before five - as it turned out, they couldn't do the swingover until after six, thereby fucking up anyone who had set their TIVOs to tape the whole thing while they sat at the back of Hyde Park. Mind you, why anyone would want to see a thing on TV having spent all day watching it on TVs anyway is anyone's guess; a bigger question, why the BBC couldn't have put all of one event on one channel and all of the other on the other is one of those subtle mysteries that only the longest serving members of Transdiffusion would be able to explain to us.

Still, it gave us a chance to flick off behind the press red to see what was going on elsewhere - we bet it wasn't youssou ndour playing in Eden, but it's the only African artist they could come up with at the caption department; Brian Wilson looked like he was having more fun in Berlin than he ever had at Glastonbury.

Bakcstage, Robbie Williams took another opportunity to prove how straight he is by flirting with Fearne Cotton. His method of flirting is rather like the sales method used by Indian call centre workers; constantly repeating a not very attractive offer in the face of indifference. Of course, Williams' bid to prove he is a heterosexual bloke is totally undermined by his mannerisms, which are starting to make Sean from Corrie look like Conan the Barbarian.

Over in Rome, Simon LeBon is sounding surprisingly like Bob Dylan. Dylan at least has the excuse that he has a kazoo lodged in his windpipe.


3 comments:

Simon said...

I think the Wimbledon contract states both singles finals have to be shown on BBC1. Obviously they didn't suspect this sort of thing was likely to interfere. Wasn't it all on BBC2 in 1985?

simon h b said...

Not quite - they were going to be all BBC TWO, until someone pointed out that they had to hand over the network to the Open University before the US concert was going to be over; Michael Grade allowed them to swap to BBC ONE at something like ten o'clock.

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