Friday, January 15, 2010

House Of Commons hired out to promote commercial radio

While you can understand Absolute Radio celebrating its first year after throwing off the Virgin brand and a large portion of its listeners - "we're still here" - I'm a bit surprised they got to promote themselves in Parliament. With a gig by Biffy Clyro.

This, it seems, is a way of politicians "reaching out" to the public:

John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons, said it could be the first of many similar concerts, as part of his efforts to help Parliament ''reconnect'' with modern Britain.

Oh, yes. After a couple of years in which MPs have been castigated for lining their own pockets and doing very nicely for themselves, how better to reconnect with the people than by turning the building over to host corporate jollies. Perhaps they should ask RBS if they want to do a management paintball team building event in the Committee Rooms?

The Telegraph describes this as "the first gig in parliament", before then clarifying the claim:
Parliament has witnessed a few musical performances before, including appearances by Alicia Keys, the R&B star, Ralph McTell, the folk musician, and Commons rock band MP4 – made up of four MPs – has played in the terrace pavilion.

But Thursday night's Biffy Clyro show is believed to be the first full-scale gig by a mainstream rock act.

Except, as the Telegrpah's own report says, the band played a half-hour acoustic set, so it wasn't actually a full-scale gig at all. But 'band play latest in series of gigs at Commons' isn't quite as eye-catching.