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31 mars 2007

Peter Gabriel to play Blickling

A rock singer famous for founding a supergroup, dressing up in bizarre costumes and starring in one of the most popular music videos, is coming to Norfolk this summer.

Peter Gabriel is the latest name on the local gig programme, appearing at Blickling Hall on Saturday, July 21.

He was one of the Charterhouse public schoolboys who founded Genesis in 1967, with his flamboyant stage presence as lead singer helping them become popular across Europe.

Gabriel's madcap costumes, which included a flower and Britannia, also helped lessen his initial stage fright.

When he left amid tensions in 1975 he struck out on a solo career which saw him find chart success with the song Solsbury Hill in 1977, followed by Games Without Frontiers in 1980.

But it was his award-winning partly animated video to Sledgehammer, a song which reached number four in the charts in 1986, which provided him with his biggest hit. It was followed the same year by the ballad duet, with Kate Bush, Don't Give Up.

Gabriel has also been a leading figure in promoting world music, setting up Womad - World of Music Arts and Dance in 1980 - and will appear at its 25th festival being staged a week after the Blickling gig.

Over the years, he has also been involved with a wide range of human rights and environmental issues. His song Biko in 1980 was the first pop tune to talk about apartheid, and he has been involved in concerts for Nelson Mandela and Amnesty International.

His gig at Blickling adds to a line-up for the National Trust stately home, which also includes Bryan Ferry on July 13, Madness on July 22, and a sell-out 10-artist party marking 10 years of concerts at the venue on July 14.

Tickets for the Peter Gabriel concert at Blickling, which cost £40, go on sale tomorrow at 9am at the hall, the Blickling box office on 0870 010 4900, or National Trust website, the Ticketmaster hotline on 0870 4000 688 or the concerts website at www.

Stars compose new ways to use music

Do you want to write music, or remix a band's tunes and then find similar stuff? Three top rock stars are eager to help...

...Such evangelism for the digital realm is shared by other luminaries from the music world. Peter Gabriel's involvement in digitised music content is well documented, with his early dabblings in game-like CD-Roms such as Xplora (1994) and Eve (1997), and then the OD2

online musical distribution service he helped establish.

Now Gabriel is taking further steps into software with his involvement in The Filter, an intelligent playlist generator for the shuffle generation.

It currently works with Apple's iTunes and Nokia mobile phones - it's a free download that claims it will get us to hear more of the often neglected music files that lie dormant in our ever-expanding digital archives.

"About five years ago I registered the name," says Gabriel, "because it seemed inevitable that as people had more access to information, data and media, the way they found stuff they wanted or needed would become increasingly sophisticated and important. So I encouraged some experiments with filtering within OD2, and the team who were designing it for us began a business of their own based around recommendation engines into which I was invited to participate.

"The current incarnation is the beginning of something which I think is really exciting. I can see today's 'disc jockey' evolving into tomorrow's 'life jockey', and of all the different approaches to recommendation engines, The Filter has the most human response."

As a recording artist and head of a record label, Gabriel seems excited by the idea that developments such as The Filter can serve both equally well. "It enables people to find material that can surprise, inspire and excite," he says.

"The filtering process is not dictated by marketing dollars. Paid-for content has been the rock on which both the music and the film industries have been built. This rock is rapidly turning into quicksand and it seems to me that the future income streams are probably going to come as much from filtering and advertising, as from direct sale of content. I am hoping in our internet projects to make sure that musicians are not at the bottom of the pecking order."...

How "hockey 'n hoops" can save the Dome

Last week, seven years late, I made the 20-minute journey to North Greenwich for my first visit to the ium Dome, or "The O2" as it is now known.

To be honest, back in 2000 I lived even closer to the Dome, sorry, The O2. But there was something about the crushing inevitability of just how awful the Body, Mind and Faith zones would be that outweighed any sense of "something to tell my grandchildren" curiosity.

I had no problem with the building, it certainly beat the gas works it replaced, but it was what was under that “steel and tensioned fabric” roof that worried me.

But not anymore.

Just when most of us were getting used to the idea of the Dome only being an instantly recognisable building to put in Hollywood action films, its owner, , has pulled off something of a coup. They have finally worked out what to put in it – something that proved to be beyond some of this country’s finest minds (anybody remember “timekeepers” Coggs and Sprinx?).

Having rescued that other fading English icon eckham from obscurity, the Los Angeles Galaxy’s owner appears to have done it again with a £600m refit of London’s least loved landmark. Where there was once a short Blackadder film and 160 acrobats dancing to a Peter Gabriel tune (and that was the good stuff), we’re now going to get “world-class” sport, music and exhibitions.

In terms of sport, The O2 already has games and an -season fixture lined up for the autumn. Tennis, boxing, gymnastics and many more will follow soon after - all leading up, of course, to the basketball finals and the gymnastics event at the ympics.

So will it work? Will you go? Or is the Dome doomed forever?

I think it will work just fine and I fully intend to return (but not in my car – parking will set you back £20 a pop for the NBA and NHL games) once the builders have taken their mugs and biscuit tins across the river to the Olympic building site.

These AEG chaps are an impressive bunch. While everybody focussed on that other long-running construction farce in north west London, 1,400 workers have been getting on with the job of converting the Dome into an American-style multi-purpose entertainment complex – the type of venue AEG has been running with some expertise for years, venues like Manchester’s MEN Arena.

As the world’s largest owner of sports franchises and sports events, AEG also has a decent contacts book when it comes to finding acts to put on for London’s delectation. They even appear to have taken the knock-back that was the government’s decision to hand “their” asino licence to Manchester in their stride. Perhaps they hedged their bets with at and amun.

So, for a few months at least, this cynical journalist is going to let bygones be bygones and give the Dome a sporting chance.

Hollywood's All Ears

Some manufacturers turn to outside marketing firms to get their phones in stars' hands. Palm, for instance, hired Avantgarde, a San Francisco-based marketing company, to outfit stars like Matthew Broderick, Mario Batali and Peter Gabriel, among others, with its line of Treo smartphones. Others go in-house: Motorola runs its own invitation-only showroom in West Hollywood, designed solely for A-listers.

Art and zoology: Corkin's star-studded soiree for the smart set

...Peter Gabriel, who's the BFF of Richard Branson, with whom he was zippin' around Toronto, sat out one particular party last week. As his billionaire pal clocked in an appearance at an official Virgin bash at Level nightclub in the Club District, the pop star is said to have stayed and minded his own beeswax in the car...

Dept of Good and Evil

Pianist Rachel Z revisits her successful deconstruction of (largely) contemporary tunes on Everlasting (Tone Center, 2004) with Dept of Good and Evil. This time, however, the trio’s more collaborative nature has compelled Z to release the music under a collective group name, Dept of Good and Evil.

There’s a stronger balance struck between contemporary material, original material written by Z (alone or in collaboration with drummer/producer Bobbie Rae) and material from the repertoires of saxophonists Wayne Shorter and Joe Henderson. Recorded after a 2006 100-date tour, Dept of Good and Evil is an unequivocally mainstream jazz record, despite where it finds its material.

Once again Z lays waste to the claim that contemporary pop songs lack substance by covering material from well-known groups including The Police (“King of Pain”) and Joy Division (“Love Will Tear Us Apart) as well as lesser-known indie bands Death Cab For Cutie (“Soul Meets Body”) and Yeah Yeah Yeah (“Milky Way”). Even ‘80s neo-psychedelic rockers The Church (“Maps”) are covered, making Dept of Good and Evil an album that reveals the breadth of the trio’s musical interests, something that will come as no surprise given Z’s work with artists as seemingly disparate as Shorter, Marc Antoine and Peter Gabriel.

Those who don’t know the material will be hard-pressed to draw any direct connections to its pop sources. Z is rooted in the darker and more abstract harmonic approach of both Shorter and pianist Herbie Hancock, going so far as to call herself the “evil” of the group’s title, while the perpetually in-the-pocket Rae and Royce are the “good.” The trio swings hard on “Soul Meets Body” and adopts a lighter, brush-driven stance on “Milky Way.” The group’s modal take on “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” one of five tracks to also feature guest trumpeter Erik Naslund, buries the familiar melody in so radical a harmonization that it’s nearly unrecognizable. “King of Pain” is a little more familiar, though it’s not after a stunning piano/trumpet intro that its theme first becomes crystal clear.

Two of the three original tunes feature vocals by Z and Rae and they’re the weak points of the record, despite both having fine enough voices. The problem is that, amidst an album of fairly hard blowing and group interplay, “Moon and Sun” and “Walking on Water” feel lightweight and too obviously aimed at airplay.

Short but intensely burning takes of Henderson’s “Inner Urge” and Shorter’s “ESP” are notable in how their own memorable melodies fit contextually with the rest of the material. Proof that modern pop/rock can provide plenty of grist for the improvising musician, Dept of Good and Evil is, despite its two vocal missteps, even more successful than Everlasting in its meshing of contemporary song with equally contemporary swing.

Peter Gabriel set to play Hyde Park

Peter Gabriel is coming to London this summer to perform at Hyde Park, it has been announced. The former Genesis singer will be playing at the 2007 Hyde Park Calling concerts on June 23rd and 24th. Backed by the Hard Rock Cafe and produced by Live Nation, the event will also feature Aerosmith and the newly reformed Crowded House. The Antipodean band will co-headline with Gabriel, in what will be their first appearance in the capital for more than ten years. Live Nation managing director Stuart Galbraith described the acts as "an incredible coup for Hyde Park Calling". "Crowded House returning to a London stage after ten years absence will be an amazing event and Peter Gabriel always puts on a truly fantastic show," he said. Gabriel will also be performing at this summer's Womad festival on its 25th anniversary. The innovative musician helped found the world music event in 1982.

Were we out of our minds? No, but then came skunk

Thousands joined Rosie Boycott to march for the legalisation of cannabis. But the times, and the cannabis, were different then

When Rosie Boycott, the then editor of The Independent on Sunday, launched her campaign for the decriminalisation of cannabis in 1997, the decision caused a furore.

At the start of the campaign, Ms Boycott wrote: "Certainly, no one has ever been disfigured by a joint. The truth is that most people I know have smoked at some time or other in their lives. They hold down jobs, bring up their families, run major companies, govern our country, and yet... cannabis is still officially regarded as a dangerous drug."

Just a few months later, on Saturday 28 March 1998, thousands of supporters gathered in Hyde Park. Ms Boycott was pictured pushing a wheelchair-bound MS sufferer who used the drug to ease the symptoms of his condition. The campaign had secured the support of celebrities such as Sir Paul McCartney, Martin Amis, Harold Pinter, Nick Hornby, Peter Gabriel and Anita Roddick. They were joined by scientists, lawyers, academics, doctors and artists...

Virgin and its opposite

Saturday, March 17, 2007

...Britain's Richard Branson arrived first. Jetting into town on a private plane with, of all people, world-music junkie Peter Gabriel. Or so my sources squeak.

The two of them were apparently just returning from spending some quality time together at the invitation- only TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference in Monterey, Calif., where so many of the most fascinating people in the world go every year to be fascinated with one another.

There, Branson -- my all-time favourite toothy Knight -- drew some attention when he begged fellow conference-attendee Goldie Hawn for her abject forgiveness! Recalling an incident from many years ago, he revealed during an onstage talk: "I owe Goldie Hawn an apology. When she told me she was engaged, I put her wedding ring on, and we couldn't get it off. I had to get it cut off."

Well, well, well. Fresh from his great Private Benjamin mea culpa, the brave businessman swept into T.O. And besides zipping around town with his pal Pete, he took the time -- as many might be aware -- to swing gently from a cage above Yonge-Dundas Square. Eventually, he even made a staged escape from his hanging cell -- a stunt that immediately got me crooning, a la prison guard Queen Latifah in Chicago, "He had it comin' !He had it comin'"!

All this in the name of promoting Virgin Mobile in Canada. All this in the name of all-new cellphone number portability in Canada.

So, what else? Well, besides his role in the Virgin vortex that was a big, big party at Level in the Club District, Branson's home-away-from-home during this most recent stay was Atelier, that little-clubhouse-that- could over on King. There he did a bit of work, mugged for a cover shoot arranged by men's mag Sir and even cocktailed a bit with his firm' s local troops.

At one point during his camp-out, the intergalactic Branson was even spotted handing out his own mobile number to some very lucky human!...

Joy Askew: 'A Change Is Gonna Come'

Open Mic, March 16, 2007 · Joy Askew grew up in northern England and came to New York City in the '80s.

She played keyboards and sang with many artists including Joe Jackson, Peter Gabriel, Jack Bruce, Rodney Crowell and performance artist Laurie Anderson appearing in Anderson's film "Home of the Brave".

For the last decade, Joy has focused on her own career as an artist, writing and producing six albums. The last of them, The Pirate of Eel Pie, was self-released this month. These are personal songs of Askew's, written on the guitar and piano, many of them drawing from her past growing up in Newcastle, England and being young and living in London in the '70s.

Her first record Tender City was released in 1996 on Private Music. In 2002, Joy released the electronic, jazz, downtempo CD Echo and played shows in the U.K. on a sold-out tour, opening up for David Byrne.

Womad founder using music to do good in the world

The first Womad event was held in England 25 years ago and, despite breaking the mainstream mould, it has found world-wide success. Michelle Sutton talks to co-founder, Thomas Brooman, on his way to this weekend's festival in Taranaki.

The softly-spoken gentlemen over the phone sounds too conservative to have created Womad. After all, the festival is all about beating drums, or hip-hop, wild dancing and diverse music, but co-founder Thomas Brooman's proper British accent sounds about as foreign as a date scone.

"I might sound very enthusiastic on the phone, but for us it's really a pleasure," says Brooman, who was on his way to New Plymouth for Womad this weekend.

He is the festival's artistic director, but he sounds like a mainstream, middle-aged dad. Nothing like the stereotype that has shadowed the fesitval - that it is only for hippies - since it started.

But, first impressions aside, it soon becomes clear the polite Englishman is the driving force behind the alternative world of music and dance.

His fascination with music from other cultures began when he was a child and his economist father moved the family to South America to live for two years. Brooman was immersed in the lively culture of Buenos Aires and it had a profound effect. "It was the first time I was aware of different rhythms and different melodies."

But it wasn't until the 1980s that he would dance to his own beat on a world stage.

The idea for Womad, which has since developed into 145 festivals in 24 countries, originally began over a chance meeting and a casual discussion about music.

A 24-year-old Brooman worked at The Bristol Recorder, a music magazine he founded, when he interviewed the lead singer of rock band Genesis, Peter Gabriel, following the release of their second album. A few weeks later, Gabriel phoned Brooman to ask if he would help bring over an African group the magazine had featured, to perform in England. "This was in the days of a lot of unemployment, and punk rock, and there was an independent attitude that was very much the spirit of the time. It was in that very gung-ho era that we set up," says Brooman.

"After two to three months, we concocted up an idea for a festival. It was an idea that seemed to grow of its own accord and after 18 months of enthusiastic and highly amateur planning, we presented the first festival in 1982."

It was held in Somerset, England, with five stages over three days, 24 different countries represented and attended by about 17,000 people.

It was, says Brooman, a success from the start, even though the term "world music" had yet to be coined - that was thought up six years later by record-label companies struggling to categorise the sound in music shops.

But before Womad could travel the world, there were hurdles the partners had to overcome. "When we started we didn't even have fax machines, so communication was the biggest hurdle."
The festival also had to battle for survival in the money-driven music industry, especially as it strayed from the mainstream. But that was also part of its appeal. "It was all about tolerence of one another and celebrating cultural differences."

And Brooman knew it had to make money, or financial partnerships, to endure. But one of his toughest battles in establishing the festival has been with the critics.

"They take the mickey out of it quite easily," says Brooman, "They caricature people who enjoy this music as hippies, alternative, and rather mock them as earnest do-gooders and that kind of thing."

He dismisses the stereotype, but politely of course: "I don't think what we do is for everybody."

Then again, he concedes, maybe the critics are right. "I'm happy, I like to do good in my life, I suppose. "Earnest? Well, um, yeah I guess I probably am, so I guess I would fit that (stereotype)." "But, I would rather be that then a hard, cynical, jaded individual," he concludes, "so maybe it's not a bad thing."

Rock legend to play at festival

Rock legend Peter Gabriel will make a special guest appearance at a world music festival to be held in Wiltshire in July.

The former Genesis frontman, who owns a recording studio in Box, will play at the WOMAD festival at Charlton Park, Malmesbury on Friday July 27.

Gabriel, a co-founder of WOMAD, said: "It has been wonderful to see what has happened with WOMAD over the last 25 years. It is different from any other festival I've ever been to, and although I usually get to enjoy it from the audience rather than the stage, I am delighted to come back as a performer for this 25th anniversary."

This year's festival line-up will feature more than 70 world-class artists from 40 countries performing over the festival weekend.

Set in a picturesque rural landscape in the heart of the Wiltshire countryside, Charlton Park is the new home for the WOMAD Festival in our 25th anniversary year.

An audience of 20,000 is expected and will feature seven stages and workshop areas, including a children's village, many more activities and festival features, all in the idyllic environment of Charlton's open lawns and rolling fields.

By Wiltshire Times Reporter

29 mars 2007

Peter Gabriel site new look

Change, as you can see, is afoot. We thought it was time to break out of the box!

We'll gradually be upgrading the content on the site over the coming weeks and months, particulary the video and discography section where there will be some big changes. We have lost a few bits and pieces in the move but the new design will allow us to create new content faster which can only be a good thing.

We will of course be keeping you up-to-date with all the Summer Tour news - The first dates at WOMAD's Charlton Park event, in London's Hyde Park and at Blickling Hall are already announced.

Les prochains invités de Taratata (France 4)

L'émission hebdomadaire Taratata, sur France 4 ( un best of étant diffusé aussi en mensuelle sur France 2) va connaître d'ici la fin du mois une série d'enregistrements.

Voici les invités prévus (sous réserves de modifications)...

Arctic Monkeys, Just Jack, Dolores O’Riordan ( ex Cranberries), Jacques Higelin, Diam’s.

Keren Ann, Rita Mitsouko, Matmatah, Razorlight, Sophie Ellis Bextor.

My Chemical Romance, The Automatic, Camille Bazbaz, Akli D

Eicher, Avril Lavigne, John Legend, Amy Winehouse, The Fray.

Avant d'entendre tous ces invités, rendez-vous sur France 4 avec :

Rachid Taha, Bruno Maman, Plasticines, Herman Dune, Gaetan le vendredi 23 mars.

Peter Gabriel, Billy Idol, Motorhead, Etienne Daho, Zazie, Isaac Hayes, Ben Harper ( spécial "Mon Taratata à moi") le 30 mars.

Les Inrocks : Daby Touré Stereo Spirit

sortie mars 2007 (Real World / Virgin)

Stereo Spirit

Chez Daby, on trouve un principe créateur d’un genre un peu spécial, entre la polyvalence de Shiva et le multi-usage du couteau suisse, qui le pousse à vouloir tout prendre en charge. Sur Diam, premier album pour le label de Peter Gabriel, Real World, il jouait déjà, à quelques exceptions près, de tous les instruments, de même qu’il portait tous les chants. Sur Stereo Spirit, il radicalise la démarche. “De la composition à la réalisation, et du mixage au mastering, je suis dans tous les processus.” Si ce parti pris relève bel et bien d’un challenge esthétique (Daby est quand même l’un des rares à avoir refusé les services de Brian Eno), il n’induit en rien la démonstration stérile d’un quelconque monsieur “je sais tout faire”. Sa musique semble plutôt s’enrichir du dénuement qu’il lui impose. De sorte que l’on s’y sent comme entraîné vers plus de limpidité, d’harmonie et d’unité.

Stereo Spirit, sans qu’aucun désir conceptuel ne pèse, évoque peu à peu un voyage intérieur où deux natures, deux histoires, deux bagages disparaissent dans un tout, et ce aussi sûrement que la séparation sonore entre canal droit et gauche s’y efface. Les douze chansons sont faciles à recevoir. Elles viennent à nous, belles et souriantes dans leurs cotonnades printanières. Elles ont des titres qui pourraient être des prénoms africains : Setal, Kiyé, Bibou, Yakaaré. Elles sont chantées en langues régionales (pular, wolof, soninké), parlent d’un quotidien précaire où rien ne va plus de soi, et chacune exhale une haleine fraîche et parfumée.

Ce pourrait être une rencontre océanique entre Cat Stevens, Jack Johnson et un Youssou N’Dour affranchi du m’balax. Mais c’est évidemment autre chose. Sur Yakaaré, Daby équilibre guitare acoustique et basse Nord Lead (un synthétiseur), façon de confirmer ses vœux de coexistence. Tandis que Yafodé lui fait alterner, en ravissante polyphonie, des voix mâles et femelles, comme s’il venait de réaliser là sa fusion des contraires, son parfait androgyne, une synchronicité entre l’ici et le là-bas, le je et le nous, le il et le elle. Au fait, Synchronicity, c’est pas le titre d’un album de Police ?

Francis Dordor