Talent in a Previous Life

Because It's Never Just About the Music

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Live Earth: Live - Hour One: 14.35PM 

SO, live from a somewhat empty looking Wembley stadium is the Beeb's coverage, fronted by, as always, Jonathan Ross, along with his backstage pixies Graham Norton, who plans on getting drunk - we don't blame him - and Edith Bowman. Where on earth is Fearne? Backstage work on these gigs is her main source of income! There'll be a cat fight later on, you mark our words. As always with these things, there's a lot of filler before the main event, with Ross having a chat to Jimmy Carr - "I'm mainly here to see the bands" and Razorlight - "I phoned up Friends of the Earth and said 'Hi, I'm Jonny Borell from a band called Razorlight'". We can only assume their response was something unbroadcastable. A brief run through some of the highlights of the other gigs - Wolfmother in Sydney, who seem bizarrely popular there. It must be something to do with the sun addling their brains; Rize in Tokyo, and if they show that clip again we're so going to do a Public Image Ltd joke; and some girl in Shanghai who we didn't recognise. Either the BBC are assuming the audience for this is massively culturally aware and so doesn't need captions or they're just being lazy. We assume the latter.

After some environmental chat in which it's revealed that environmental peril or not Ross will not be getting rid of his plasma TV and some words with the audience filing into Wembley - never a good idea as they all rush to demonstrate their ignorance - we have to endure some banter between Graham and Alan, while Edith chats to a couple of PR girls from Three who are keen not only to promote their product on a non-commercial network, but also to demonstrate their idiocy by not only telling her how desperate they were to see Snow Patrol and Genesis, but not actually being able to name any of their songs. Unfortunately this proves to be more entertaining than the actual opening of the show, which is Queen's Roger Taylor, Red Hot Chilli Peppers' Chad Smith and the Foo Fighters' Taylor Hawkins on stage together. That's right, three sodding drummers, who join the SOS All Stars who are, you've guessed it, even more bloody drummers. Yes, what is apparently "The greatest show on the planet, for the planet" considers the best way of opening a global megagig to be with the sound of drums. And not the Rogue Traders version. The interminable tattoo goes on for what feels like hours, but must only be about five minutes. It metamorphoses into SOS in morse code, before turning into the drum riff from We Will Rock You before finally grinding to a halt just as it threatens to get interesting.

Before the first actual band takes to the stage, Ross and Carr fill for a bit with some awkward chat and another chance to see some of the other acts around the world - Shakira, looking remarkably unlike Shakira it has to be said, in Hamburg, fellating a microphone as she performs Don't Bother with a sparkly pink guitar and some some random types in Sydney wearing "Say no to Nuclear Power" t-shirts. We soon, however, cut to Chris Moyles who is introducing the first act, which is surely a bad idea. After all, if ever there was an argument for giving up, letting the icecaps melt, the flood waters rise and the drowning of all of humanity then Chris is clearly it. He makes way for Genesis, fronted by, of course, Phil Collins, more testicle than man and someone so obnoxious that the world invented the drum machine with the sole purpose of giving him no reason to exist. Now, Genesis do have some good intros in their back catalogue - well, one, Invisible Touch - but a five minute long meandering stroll into Turn It On Again certainly isn't it, although a lot of wrinkled fans down the front seem to be very happy. And surely "Turn It Off" is the message they should be trying to get across?

Turn It On Again is followed by Land of Confusion, "Mildly appropriate for today", suggests Phil. Although we weren't aware that the lyrics pertained to unit shifting and profile raising by already established artists, but what do we know. It just made us pine for Alcazar.

Finally, they give us Invisible Touch, with Phil declaring "She will fuck up your life" in the first sweary moment of the day. He's just like Snoop Dogg, only white, unpopular, and allowed into the country for some unknown reason. He takes a trip down the catwalk and people cheer, presumably because his proximity to them makes him easier to hit.

After some filler - we have no idea what, we were writing this. Well not actually this part, but an earlier piece - Razorlight arrive on stage and their involvement demonstrates why Wembley has been kept partially empty: a lot of space is required for Jonny's ego. He's not wearing his usual all white look - you can't clean white's at 30 degrees so it'd be very off message - and is instead in black, sporting a lowcut top to show off his man boobs which he's inordinately proud of. They run through In The Morning, America and Los Angeles Waltz, with the sound irritatingly slightly out of synch with the pictures, which we assume is a technical fault as otherwise Jonny is really bad at miming, even when talking. He also swears, aren't they rebellious?

Finally for this hour, Nanutek - we think? - were performing some derivative indie with violins in the cold in Antartica. The penguins looked pissed off, as you would.

CURRENT CARBON FOOTPRINT: An unladen ant skipping through a forest glade with carefree abandon.

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