The big musical event of the weekend…

…was, of course, a glammed-up Joss Stone pussy-whipping a whimpering James Brown on Friday night’s Jonathan Ross show, as the two of them re-worked Brown’s classic “It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World”, thereby giving us a glimpse of what she might be capable of, if her “people” didn’t keep saddling with her with lame…

…oh, sorry, were you expecting me to be talking about something else?

Unfortunately, a long-scheduled visit to my mother in Cambridge meant that I didn’t see one single, solitary second of Live8 on Saturday, although we did catch a couple of hours of radio coverage on the journey over. Instead, I spent six hours of Sunday evening, remote in hand, whizzing through the Hyde Park coverage until the recording packed up just before Robbie Williams.

Highlights? Madonna, obviously – although not until she had released the stranded, bewildered Ethiopian famine survivor from her clutches, about halfway through “Like A Prayer”. Snoop Dogg, despite the deeply horrifying and inappropriate potty-mouthedness. Ricky Gervais introducing REM. Apple Paltrow-Martin’s giant pink ear protectors. Mariah Carey summoning her minion on stage to administer a teeny-tiny sip-ette of water, in best diva style. The nervous look on Elton John’s face, when he realised what a state Pete Doherty was in. Green Day belting out “American Idiot” in Berlin. Sting’s “Every Breath You Take”, appositely re-contextualised, stealing the all-important “sunset” slot.

I also – dare I admit this? – really liked Keane’s performance. There, I’ve said it. Please don’t hate me.

Lowlights? Snow Patrol: just not up to it. UB bloody 40. Mariah Carey breaking the “don’t plug your new single” rule (even if, in its studio version, the new single is actually rather wonderful). REM’s “Man On The Moon” being scuppered by an interview with chuffing Razorlight. The whole “finger-clicking” thing not quite working. Crappy random selections from the Eden Project gig (both on TV and on Radio 3), which I’m sure did the event no justice. Chris Martin being an utter dipstick as usual, calling “Bittersweet Symphony” the greatest song ever written, and Live8 “the greatest thing organised in the history of the world”. (Er, the Great Wall Of China, Chris? The Second World War? Swindon?)

Whatevers? The new Scissor Sisters song (despite some nice Peter Frampton-esque vocoder gurgles). Joss Stone, back in the grip of her usual dull repertoire. Velvet “huh? who?” Revolver. Elton John: rocking out, and thus playing against his strengths. Razorlight almost pulling it off, but being let down by a poor sense of rhythm (all that unsyncopated uptempo bash-bash-bashing) and far too much Jim Morrison wannabe-ism.

I bet Pink Floyd were fantastic. They were, weren’t they? (Marcello certainly thought so). So frustrating.

Meanwhile, my sister managed to accidentally wander into the Rome concert, from where she texted me, somewhat underwhelmed by the endless parade of unknown Italian acts.

Back in London, Gert attended the Hyde Park show, and made several postings about it. The two longest ones are here. And then there was Stuart Hydragenic, who provided a multi-part commentary from his armchair. Start here, then follow the links.

What’s that you say? Incisive political analysis? Darlings, please. I have other fish to fry.

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