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03 février 2007

Riffs & legends

...One way and another, there was a lot riding on Wednesday's Real World concert. Featuring artists from as far afield as Africa and central Asia, it was the most conspicuous example of the festival's expanded horizons under new artistic consultant Donald Shaw, and also the first time Peter Gabriel's celebrated record label had produced such an event in Scotland.

A near-capacity crowd was treated to a succession of outstanding performances, starting with the young Mauritanian singer-songwriter Daby Touré, whose supple, soaring vocals were framed by bracingly taut, reggae-infused guitar, bass and percussion backing.

Next up were Cuillin Music, the band who continue to promote the rich creative legacy of visionary composer and performer Martyn Bennett, who died two years ago. With Kirsten Bennett on synth/percussion, fiddlers Adam Sutherland, Greg Lawson and Martin Swan, and Ross Ainslie and Fraser Fifield on pipes and whistles, they delivered a thrilling handful of tracks from Bennett's Bothy Culture and Hardland albums, keeping the flame alive by reworking the material rather than seeking simply to replicate the originals. Then came Uzbekistani singer Sevara Nazarkhan, a pixie-like figure with a ferocious voice, matched by a dub, dance and electronica backdrop from her four-piece band.

Finally the Fruitmarket resounded to the mighty guitar virtuosity of Skip "Little Axe" McDonald, flanked by the heavy-duty rhythm team of Doug Wimbish and Keith LeBlanc (of the Sugarhill Gang) with live mixing by DJ/producer Adrian Sherwood. Drawing largely on the recent Little Axe album Stone Cold Ohio, they stirred together a dark, delicious stew of blues, gospel and soul...

February's Full Moon

Catch up with Peter in February's update which just scrapes in under the full moon - we've had a few technical hitches putting this one together. Watch the video for news of The World Economic Forum, new music, new ideas and artist as curator.

Watch the update in The Full Moon Club.

02 février 2007

Win a unique guitar signed Peter Gabriel

O2 and Q are offering one Q reader the chance to win the beautiful Gibson Les Paul Custom Plus VS guitar pictured here. A genuine one-off, the iconic axe was signed by the likes of Noel Gallagher, Paul Weller, Razorlight, The Kooks, Peter Gabriel, Gnarls Barkley, Smokey Robinson and the Manic Street Preachers at last year's Q Awards ceremony...

Realworld old fruit market Glasgow


There was a truly international flavour to this showcase of artists on Peter Gabriel's Real World record label, with all the musical diversity that implies. Mauritanian singer/songwriter Daby Toure was first up, with his organic blend of voice and percussive guitar easing the crowd into his instinctive musical realm. In slick contrast to his almost improvisatory approach, Sevara Nazarkhan, previously a Radio 3 World Music Award-winner, turned out to be the Uzbek Enya, with a sound as pristine and floaty as her white dress. There were hints of a Bjork-like eccentricity to her soaring voice, but mostly her quirkiness was tempered by a practised professionalism.

Closer to home, special guests Cuillin Music continued to celebrate the memory of piper Martyn Bennett, under the direction of his widow Kirsten. Their urgent, dynamic assault with three fiddles, pipes, whistles and beats was particularly poignant as it marked the precise anniversary of Bennett's untimely death two years ago.

It was a shame the crowd had thinned out slightly by the time guitarist Skip McDonald, aka Little Axe, took the stage, accompanied by his Tackhead compatriots, bassist Doug Wimbish and drummer Keith LeBlanc, plus a soulful chorus of bluesy singers led by Bernard Fowler, as theirs was the most assured set of the night, anchored by a low-slung dub groove over which McDonald and Wimbish laid out some impressive flourishes.

The Herald

The Celtic Connections crew deserve huge praise for persuading Peter Gabriel's label to put on a showcase gig at the festival, but it was a disappointingly sparse crowd that greeted the arrival onstage of Mauritania's Daby Touré. Backed by a wonderfully fluid rhythm section, Touré smiled his way through tracks from his album Diam (Peace), mixing jazz, reggae and rock with irresistible African beats.

Two years ago, Martyn Bennett's tragic death cast a shadow over the festival, and Cuillin Music paid a fitting tribute to him. Bagpipes, fiddles, tin whistles and slamming beats kept the pot boiling nicely in advance of the astonishing talent that is Sevara Nazarkhan. Uzbekistan's most famous musical export hypnotised with tracks from her album Yol Bolsin (Where Are You Going), utilising traditional instruments over modern jazz and dance tracks. Indeed, Nazarkhan's dance was fundamental to her music. Overall, this was an expressively elegant, captivating performance.

In splendid contrast, New York's Skip McDonald, aka Little Axe, with a band including Sugarhill Gang drummer Keith LeBlanc and the former Living Colour bassist, the wickedly good Doug Wimbish, blasted through the new album Stone Cold Ohio and brought the evening to a blistering blues-funk conclusion.

01 février 2007

Another Day

Every day, we bring you the best thing we've seen on YouTube - a great piece of archive footage, a music promo or a clip from one of our favourite movies or TV shows.

Today: Watch a classic TV performance by Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush from 1979. The couple performed a frankly weird cover version of Roy Harper’s “Another Day” on Kate’s Christmas TV special from that year.

The duet was even discussed as a possible single release – but as all keen pop historians know, that never happened. Kate later contributed vocals to Peter Gabriel’s 1986 single “Don’t Give Up.” That duet was a huge success, spending 11 weeks in the UK singles chart. For added ‘watchability’, check out the chemistry between Gabriel and Bush as they ‘act’ out the lyrics of the song, including touching arms across a shoddy-looking kitchen table. Sexy stuff.

See the talked about Gabriel and Bush duet by clicking here now

30 janvier 2007

Peter Gabriel Drums Up Support for Witness

And The Eyes Of The World Are Watching Now

In an era where YouTube makes it possible for anyone with an Internet connection to broadcast their every whim, Peter Gabriel is making a plea to harness video voyeurism for good. At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Gabriel engaged in a little fundraising for Witness, his latest venture which seeks to document human rights abuses throughout the world on amateur video cameras. "With the phone and Internet, anyone, any place, can tell their story," said the politically-conscious singer.

A longtime supporter of Amnesty International, Gabriel provided one of the defining performances of the Eighties during the 1986 Conspiracy Of Hope concert at Giants Stadium. With 80,000 people singing along to "Biko," Gabriel not only made one high school junior realize that music can do so much more than entertain, he motivated many in attendance to join the Nobel Prize winning organization with his understated "the rest is up to you."

29 janvier 2007

Peter Gabriel dématérialisé

Uncut rapportait la semaine dernière que Peter Gabriel prévoyait commercialiser son prochain album en format numérique. Du moins aux États-Unis. Le créateur aurait établi un partenariat avec une entreprise baptisée Ingenious Media, qui a déjà publié un album de Mick Hucknall, du groupe Simply Red. Il sera très intéressant de suivre l'aventure de Peter Gabriel, puisqu'elle pourrait constituer un bon indice quant à la viabilité d'une telle méthode. Si un artiste jouissant d'un tel renom et d'un bassin de fans aussi fidèles échoue, il ne s'agira pas d'une voie d'avenir pour les groupes qui sont encore confinés à leurs sous-sols...

Peter Gabriel veut un Youtube des droits de l’homme

Peter Gabriel était présent au World Economic Forum de Davos pour soutenir un site ouvert de surveillance des droits de l'homme

Peter Gabriel était présent au WEF de Davos pour rechercher les fonds et la technologie pour son projet Witness, un site vidéo de surveillance des droits de l'homme. Le but est de faire une sorte de Youtube qui permette d'uploader des vidéos témoins du non respect des droits de l'homme. « On a vu la tendance du journalisme citoyen » a souligné Peter Gabriel « avec le téléphone et Internet tout le monde peut s'exprimer depuis n'importe où ». Pour lui, la vidéo de la bastonnade de Rodney King en 1992 par la police de Los Angeles a démontré le pouvoir de la technologie. Peter Gabriel est en discussion avec Google pour son projet.

Thomas Mapfumo and the Blacks Unlimited

Rise Up [Calabash Music; 2005; r: Real World; 2006]

As far as nicknames go, you can't do much better than the "Lion of Zimbabwe." Forget, for the moment, that much of Zimbabwe's lion population has fallen prey to poaching or succumbed to the depletion of its habitat. Concentrate instead of the power conveyed by that title. Lion. King of the Jungle. King of All Beasts. The Lion King.

Hmm, that's another word to consider. King. King. If there's one word that trumps "lion" it's "king." No wonder, then, that musician Thomas Mapfumo, Lion of Zimbabwe, is considered a security threat by the paranoid, oppressive government of his homeland and in particular leader-for-life Robert Mugabe, Mapfumo's fellow former freedom fighter turned monster.

The lion is the national symbol of Zimbabwe, and Mapfumo has long been one of the country's national treasures. Yet even Mapfumo, an outspoken critic of Mugabe's destructive and dangerous dictatorship, can no longer call Zimbabwe home, having relocated from Zimbabwe in 2000 to the not-very-exotic environs of Eugene, Oregon, where he's lived as in exile ever since, safe but homesick. Much of his family remains in Africa, and so, clearly, does his heart.

That certainly explains how Mapfumo has been able to sustain his anger over three productive decades of music making, which have not just extended but deepened his reign as folk hero. What's been even more remarkable has been the prolonged power of his songwriting itself. Even in Oregon, away from the horrors and vast disappointments of Zimbabwe, Mapfumo's no lion in repose. He's kept up a prolific pace, releasing nearly a disc of his Chimurenga (or "music of struggle") a year while constantly touring with his band Blacks Unlimited.

Originally released as a download-only album but picked up last year by Peter Gabriel's Real World, Rise Up features a slightly more pared-down Blacks Unlimited, who now include a few Americans in their midst. Yet most of the hallmarks of classic Mapfumo remain intact: the circular guitar patterns, the pulses of organ, the pluck of multiple mbira, the call of horns, the cry of female backing singers. Mapfumo's often drawn comparisons to Bob Marley, and the melodies and performances here do share a certain soulfulness, spirituality, and conviction. If Mapfumo chose to sing in English rather than his native Shona, who knows? Maybe frat guys across the country would be listening to him as well.

They're not, of course. Nor are they likely troubled by the same issues that trouble Mapfumo, even if they're delivered with a hint of a reggae (particularly in the drum fills) and hypnotic polyrhythms. As Mapfumo's anthems helped fuel Mugabe's 1980 rise to power-- Mapfumo's "songs of struggle" were originally enlisted against then-Rhodesia's white-minority rule-- the singer no doubt feels the need to pay penance in the form of his critical songs, his moral authority heightened not hampered by the ironic role he played in the corruption of his own ideals.

That's not to strike idealism from the repertoire. Like Marley, Mapfumo excels at lifting your spirits even as he decries the things bringing his people down. There's a pulsing, double-time bass drum pattern in "Vanofira Chiiko? (What Are They Dying For?)" that helps transform the lament into an unlikely fist-pumper. The synth-bass prodding "Ndodya Marasha (I'm Mad as Hell)" lends an almost imperceptible urgency to the repetitive, deceptively static chord progression, until an upbeat break busts you out of the funk.

Then there are the other moments of outright ingenuity, invention, and surprise. The first few minutes of "Marudzi Nemarudzi/Different Races" shames, say, the Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Snow (Hey Oh)" while using a similar melody and a straight backbeat, but then jumps the rails in the best sense and heads off on a skanking half-beat tangent. "Ndodya Marasha" uses the same trick, only the other way around, suddenly shifting gears and picking up the pace when you least expect it to.

Maybe the tempos are slightly slower than they once were, and Mapfumo himself sometimes sounds surprisingly sedate for a man with so much on his mind. He's older, after all. But if there's anything Rise Up proves, it's that you don't need to scream to be heard.

-Joshua Klein, January 29, 2007

Davos: «Avant qu'il ne soit trop tard»

La presse suisse se montre majoritairement sceptique lundi matin face aux promesses faites à Davos par l'élite mondiale sur la lutte contre le réchauffement climatique. Seuls quelques commentateurs voient des aspects réellement postifs dans le bilan de ce Forum économique mondial (WEF), 37e du nom...

...Au final, ce Forum moins «glamour» que les éditions précédentes ne retient pas même lundi l'attention du quotidien de boulevard 'Blick'. Son pendant romand 'Le Matin' se contente quant à lui de quelques photos des people de Davos, Claudia Schiffer et Peter Gabriel en tête, réunis dans un igloo par les jeunes décideurs du WEF autour d'un slogan, «CO2 à la baisse, profit à la hausse»...

Concert de Daby Touré à Charleroi

Né sur les rives du fleuve Sénégal, fils d'un membre du groupe culte Touré Kounda, Daby Touré grandit dans un petit village de Mauritanie. Sous la pression des conflits ethniques qui secouent le pays, Daby suit son père à Paris à la fin des années 80.

Cette période sera riche en découvertes mais aussi en concerts. C'est également de cette époque que date la sortie de l'album Laddé, réalisé avec son cousin Omar sous l'appellation Touré Touré. Première reconnaissance du public mais expérience unique pour Daby qui voit dans ce projet une filiation encore trop évidente avec la musique de ses aînés. Il se souvient alors des sonorités très typiquement africaines qui ont baigné son enfance, mais aussi d'une certaine radio locale qui lui permit d'apprivoiser le son de Bob Marley, Police et autres Dire Straits. 2004 voit naître son premier projet solo, Diam (« Paix »), mélange d'une pop-folk aérienne finement ciselée, chantée en wolof, soninke ou pular.

Afro-jazz ? World music ? Pas vraiment. Nous sommes ici en présence de quelque chose d'inédit. Daby Touré mélange à loisir les influences et les intègre à ses racines africaines. Sa voix, qui n'est pas sans rappeler Salif Keita, Baaba Maal ou même Youssou'n Dour, chante l'amour de la famille, de la femme, des enfants, mais aussi l'importance de demeurer optimiste quand les temps sont durs. Peter Gabriel est séduit : Daby remplit depuis peu les stades du monde entier à ses côtés...

'Concert de Daby Touré' Le 10 février au Centre culturel de Charleroi, 1 Boulevard Jacques Bertrand , 6000 Charleroi, Téléphone: 071/31 12 12,

Le Forum de Davos se donne une teinte sociale

Leçons du sommet économique mondial

Le Forum de Davos, souvent décrié comme le “sommet du capitalisme”, s’est attaché, cette année, à donner une image socialement responsable en multipliant débats et initiatives sur le réchauffement climatique, la pauvreté et les conséquences de la mondialisation.

Parmi les questions posées aux grands de ce monde, certaines auraient pu figurer sur l’agenda du Forum social mondial qui vient de s’achever à Nairobi. Quels sont les effets de la mondialisation ? Quelles sont les solutions pour limiter le réchauffement climatique ? Où en sont les programmes de lutte contre le sida ?

Aux côtés des P-DG et des chefs d’État, plus d’une cinquantaine d’organisations non gouvernementales étaient conviées, comme Care, Amnesty International, Greenpeace ou le WWF.

Comme tous les ans, certains philanthropes célèbres se sont déplacés, comme le fondateur de Microsoft Bill Gates, venu parler non seulement de nouvelles technologies, mais surtout de sa fondation qui finance des projets humanitaires en Afrique.

La présence d’autres célébrités engagées dans l’aide aux pays pauvres, comme le chanteur irlandais Bono et le musicien britannique Peter Gabriel, eux aussi des habitués de Davos, ont permis de mettre les questions humanitaires sous le feu médiatique.

Certaines grandes entreprises ont aussi profité de leur présence au Forum économique mondial pour s’afficher avec des organisations caritatives ou humanitaires, telles que le numéro un mondial de la finance, la banque américaine Citigroup, aux côtés du Programme alimentaire mondial de l’ONU (PAM) ou Manpower, le géant américain du travail temporaire avec le Haut-Commissariat des Nations unies aux réfugiés (UNHCR).

Proclamé l’un des thèmes majeurs de la 36e édition du Forum économique mondial, le changement climatique a, quant à lui, occupé dix-sept débats et tables-rondes, sans compter les multiples déclarations de responsables économiques ou politiques assurant de leur prise de conscience et de leur détermination à agir.

Publiée à la veille du forum, une étude auprès de ces “leaders” invités au forum indiquait pourtant que seulement 20% d’entre eux considéraient la protection de l’environnement comme une priorité. Mais le chiffre est deux fois supérieur à celui de l’année précédente, se sont réjouis les organisateurs du forum, qui ont commandé le sondage. À titre de comparaison, selon un sondage publié début janvier, près de la moitié des Français estiment que le réchauffement climatique est “l’enjeu de ce siècle pour l’humanité”.

Malgré l’omniprésence de ce thème à Davos, certains “leaders” ne se sont d’ailleurs pas montrés très convaincus, comme le P-DG du géant pétrolier ExxonMobil. Interrogé sur la réalité du réchauffement climatique lors d’un débat, Rex Tillerson a répondu, lacunaire : “C’est clair qu’il se passe quelque chose. Mais quoi ?”

“Les plus grands “réchauffeurs” de la planète sont ici. Il y a forcément un peu d’hypocrisie et de bonne conscience”, résume le photographe Français Yann Arthus-Bertrand, invité du forum. “On parle de réchauffement climatique”, mais les participants “viennent ici en jet privé, en hélicoptère, en grosse voiture 4x4”, a-t-il déploré.

28 janvier 2007

Djelic i Piter Gebrijel

DAVOS -- The Democrat’s candidate for prime minister meets [...] Peter Gabriel, and blogs about it at

“Thirdly, I attended the LOVE dinner dedicated to climate change, where I met Peter Gabriel, whose art I enjoy very much. Of course, right away I asked him to come to Belgrade where he has a lot of fans, and we exchanged contact information. We’ll give it a try, though it doesn’t seem likely at this time as he is involved in many other things. We’ll try. He arrived here with his ex-girlfriend Claudia Schiffer, who attracted a lot of attention…”, Đelić concludes in his third blog entry in Serbian at

WEF 2007 Cérémonie de clôture consacrée à la dignité humaine

La 36e édition du Forum économique mondial (WEF) de Davos s'est officiellement terminée dimanche. Plus d'une dizaine d'intervenants de tout bord et de tous les continents, dont le prince Haakon de Norvège, ont a appelé à plus de dignité.

Le WEF s'est terminé sur un appel à l'espoir et à la paix. Les défis mondiaux ne pourront être résolus qu'en travaillant ensemble, ont estimé les différents participants de la cérémonie de clôture dans une ode au Forum.

«Agissons collectivement pour plus de dignité humaine», a déclaré Irene Khan, présidente d'Amnesty International. Un appel repris par le prince de Norvège, au bord des larmes. Celui-ci s'engage notamment avec le WEF pour améliorer la condition des gens à travers le monde.

La rencontre annuelle du WEF a débuté mercredi, réunissant quelque 2400 personnes du monde des affaires, de la politique, des sciences et de la société civile autour du thème du nouvel équilibre des pouvoirs. Quelque 24 chefs d'Etat ou de gouvernement, 85 ministres et 800 patrons d'entreprises ont fait le déplacement.

Moins glamour que les autres années, le WEF a néanmoins reçu son lot de personnalités populaires. Les travées du Centre des Congrès de Davos ainsi que les soirées de la station grisonne ont notamment accueilli le chanteur de U2 Bono, le musicien Peter Gabriel, l'écrivain brésilien Paolo Coehlo ou le mannequin allemand Claudia Schiffer.

Social entrepreneurs at Davos

People are often surprised when I tell them how social entrepreneurs are well received at Davos. We're full participants in panels, including being speakers. I think the reason for this integration is the strong support of the WEF's founder, Prof. Klaus Schwab, for the regard of social entrepreneurs.
One great example of this was a major reception held last night with the following hosts: Marc Benioff (CEO of, Prof. & Mrs. Schwab, Michael Dell, Peter Gabriel (rockstar and founder of Witness), Alan Hassenfeld (Hasbro) and Marilyn Carlson Nelson (Carlson Travel). The reception was held in honor of social entrepreneurs and marking the release of a new book edited by Marc Benioff entitled The Business of Changing the World, which is a compendium of essays about business people and their engagement with the social sector. I had some great conversations with people explaining what Benetech does.

Talking to other Social Entrepreneurs

At least half of the highpoints of this week in Switzerland are the interactions I have with other social entrepreneurs. I feel very much at home with these folks, which are my peer community. Last night I was talking to John Wood about his book, Leaving Microsoft to Change the World. He gave me the direct advice of a social entrepreneur in the middle of marketing his first book: immensely useful.

Moving on to dinner, I sat next to Garth Japhet of Soul City in South Africa, a doctor/social entrepreneur who leads an organization that uses media to influence behavior that affects HIV/AIDS. Garth was able to give me (in less than ten minutes) the reason why HIV spreads so much more quickly in southern Africa than in most other places in the world. He explained that immediately after infection, you are extremely infectious for around three weeks until your immune system beats HIV down to nearly indetectable levels. He noted that while southern Africans do not tend to have a larger lifetime number of sexual partners, they tend to have longer term relationships with multiple partners at the same time. Because a person might be with several long term partners in that several week initial peak infectivity, you will infect several people (and you are less likely to use a condom since it is a long term partner and not a one night stand). And if your partners are similarly oriented, they could infect several more people. Garth noted that a single infection leads to many more infections given this profile compared to societies where you might have as many sexual partners over your lifetime, but where the likelihood of having multiple partners during this three week period is much less.

Like many of my conversations with social entrepreneurs, I feel like I have a window into a crucial social issue from someone with an unparalleled vantage point. And, I get to have at least a dozen of these in-depth conversations every time I come to Davos!

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Davos pas plus concluant que Nairobi

Deux visions du monde se sont affrontées cette semaine lors du Forum social de Nairobi, au Kenya, et lors du Forum économique de Davos, en Suisse, qui se termine ce soir. Avec des bilans peu concluants...

Ils parlent climat et "viennent en jet privé" !

Le Forum de Davos a par ailleurs tenté cette année de se donner une image socialement responsable en multipliant débats et initiatives sur le réchauffement climatique, la pauvreté et les conséquences de la mondialisation. Le fondateur de Microsoft Bill Gates est venu parler non seulement de nouvelles technologies mais surtout de sa fondation, qui finance des projets humanitaires en Afrique.

La présence d'autres célébrités engagées dans l'aide aux pays pauvres, comme le chanteur irlandais Bono et le musicien britannique Peter Gabriel ont permis de mettre les questions humanitaires sous le feu médiatique.

Certaines grandes entreprises ont aussi profité de leur présence au Forum économique mondial pour s'afficher avec des organisations caritatives ou humanitaires, tel le numéro un mondial de la finance, la banque américaine Citigroup, aux côtés du Programme alimentaire mondial de l'ONU ou Manpower, le géant américain du travail temporaire avec le Haut commissariat des Nations Unies aux réfugiés.

Le changement climatique a quant à lui occupé dix-sept débats et tables-rondes. Publiée à la veille du Forum, une étude auprès de ces "leaders" invités au Forum indiquait pourtant que seulement 20% d'entre eux considéraient la protection de l'environnement comme une priorité.

Il y a forcément un peu d'hypocrisie et de bonne conscience", résume le photographe français Yann Arthus-Bertrand, invité du Forum. "On parle de réchauffement climatique" mais les participants "viennent ici en jet privé, en hélicoptère, en grosse voiture 4X4", a-t-il déploré.