Down Wembley Way

Diana Concert

How, Or How Not, To Host a Party

Well, this is a novelty… a weekend without a charity concert cluttering up the schedules.  I have to confess that I tuned in to fair amounts of both gigs while pottering round the house on the previous two weekends and I definitely felt a little underwhelmed by both of them.  First up, I was very unclear about the reasons why the first one for Diana was held.  The commentators kept reminding me throughout the day that it would have been the Princess’s 46th birthday but what’s so special about that?  I thought I’d been missing out on something significant, “The Coming of Old Age” perhaps.  Then a quick Google found that it was soon to be the tenth anniversary of her death.  May be that was it but they still would have been two months early.  Either way it was an excuse for Elton John to get dressed up again.  The line-up left me little cold althoug The Feeling, Lilly Allen and (shhh, don’t tell anyone) Rod Stewart were acts that I found quite enjoyable.  Oh, and Take That if they’re your cup of tea.  On the plus side, I hope that the charities Diana worked so hard for did well out of the event and even William and Harry came across looking like very personable young guys.  I guess the lessons of It’s a Royal Knockout have been learnt.

The following weekend, we were treated to more of the same with the BBC studio being dressed only vaguely differently.  Replacing Jamie Theakston and Claudia Winkelman at the helm, Auntie Beeb got the big guns of Jonathan Ross and Graham Norton out to host Live Earth but by all accounts it has appeared to be something of a ratings flop.  I just hope the message got across.  The BBC coverage, in much the same way as “Live 8” before, suffered by trying so hard to be neutral and not showing the “propaganda” stuff.  Controversy surrounded the show as these jet-setting, entourage-laden, stars brought their “size 12” carbon footprints to preach to us about climate change.  I for one am much more inclined to listen to a scientist about saving the planet than I am to listen to a Pussycat Doll (although with the sound off my preference would probably switch).  My take is at least they’re trying to do something, as Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol said, he was there to learn rather than to preach and to think of ways to make his own tpurs more carbon neutral, which struck me as a pretty sensible attitude that a few of the others could’ve learnt from.  On stage, my favourite acts were Snow Patrol, Foo Fighters and a rather brilliant performance from duo David Gray and Damien Rice.  Oh yeah, and Madonna really knows how to work a stadium audience more than anyone else there.

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