Monday, December 24, 2007

What on Earth

A review of Live Earth CD/ 2x DVD

Expensive and useless gifts? Christmas is the season. This year, for the modicum price of £18 (or 26 Euros), a real contender drops by in the guise of Live Earth CD (not to mention the double DVD), a memento of the most overlooked and delusional music marathon in the history of pop and rock. It came. It went.
That’s what you thought.

"The concerts for a climate in crisis" (that being the official slogan), is now available in shops, featuring illustrious environmentalists Bon Jovi, Kelly Clarkson and Snow Patrol. Rihanna's there too. Her ubiquitous Umbrella makes you wonder whether you missed out on something and the song may actually be an ode to how we all missed the ozone layer. Duran Duran too, they may have cared jack about the environment throughout their career but, what the heck, at least one of their 80s hits contained the words "planet" and "earth". In this feast of back-patting and self-importance, that'll do fine. We learn that Black Eyed Peas also frown upon the planet looking a bit knackered and so do Enrique Iglesias and Joss Stone, no doubt on top of their game when it comes down to environmental and political awareness. Then there's Madonna. She had a record out in 2007 and she's on Live Earth too. To look at her mouthing off the word "revolution" reminds you of what Top Shop and H&M did when they decided to mass manufacture Clash, Ramones and Motorhead t-shirts. They soon got so trendy they ceased to make any sense.

When two and a half years ago Live 8 announced itself to the world, some people objected to the ongoing sniping by insisting that folded-arms cynicism was simply another excuse for idleness. I admit I was amongst those who thought Live 8 was a good idea and that Saint Bob-bashers could do with keeping their mouth shut for a day at least. Wrong. Hindsight's a wonderful thing, but what exactly did Live 8 achieve apart from getting Sting to change the lyrics from Every Breath You Take into "we'll be watching you" and to sanction Pete Doherty as the world's Chief Moron? Ok, Pink Floyd got back together and it was amazing, and Razorlight's sales made an unexpected jump. But hey…were you saying something about poverty, climate and Third World debt?

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