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15 juin 2007

Peter Gabriel and are proud to annonce...

Peter Gabriel and the Encore Series team at have joined forces again to create THE PETER GABRIEL ENCORE SERIES 2007. Each show of the Peter Gabriel’s The Warm Up Tour will be recorded LIVE OFF THE SOUNDBOARD, mixed by Peter’s ‘Front of House’ Engineer, Ben Finlay, and pressed into high-quality manufactured 2-CD sets (not CD-Rs). Shows can be purchased separately, or for the ultimate fan, can be purchased as a complete set (all 22 shows) in either our Collectors Edition Box Set or Deluxe Limited Edition numbered Road Case.

For those unable to attend one of the concerts on this tour, the Encore Series offers a chance for you to experience Peter Gabriel from home, and for those of you that do see a show, an opportunity to relive the experience again and again...

As a special bonus, we are offering Full Moon Members a 10% discount on all Peter Gabriel Encore Series items (2007 Peter Gabriel Road Case not included). Please click here to sign-up with the Full Moon Club.

Items available from this Encore Series:
* Deluxe Numbered Road Case
* Collector's Boxes
* 2CD Sets
* Related Peter Gabriel items from the Groove Shop

Catherine Bell massage therapist of PG ?

With an extensive military career spanning nine years as fiery Marine Corps attorney Lt. Col. Sarah ("Mac") MacKenzie on "JAG" (1996-05), it seemed only natural that Catherine Bell would be approached by the producers of the television series "Army Wives."...

...The daughter of an English architect and an Iranian-born nurse was born in London, but raised in Los Angeles from the age of 2 with her mother and grandparents in the wake of her parents' divorce. Bell is fluent in Farsi because of the Iranian household, but attended a local Catholic school where she was taught by nuns. A very bright student, she matriculated to the University of California Los Angeles with every intention of becoming a biomedical engineer or studying medicine.

Bored, the beautiful Bell dropped out of school a year or so later and was immediately snapped up as a print and catalog model on the Los Angeles scene. A four-month modeling assignment in Japan opened her eyes to a strange new culture where she was frequently groped on Tokyo streets by short men. She was "very homesick," and was angry and fast enough to turn on unknown assailants with punches to the nose and elbows to the ribs.

Tired of long runways and hot photo studios, the 5-foot-10-inch Bell soon turned her attention to acting by enrolling in classes taught by heavyweight teacher Milton Katselas at The Beverly Hills Playhouse.

Eventually self-employed as a massage therapist (singer Peter Gabriel was among her clients) while auditioning for parts, she finally made her professional debut with one line on "Sugar and Spice" (1990) - a tasteless little sitcom with the 30-second shelf life.

Over the years she has played a number of aggressive military women, including her role in the feature film "Men of War" (1994) with Trevor Goddard - a strange Englishman passing himself off as an Australian in the U.S. who wound up playing Bell's off-and-on love interest Mic Brumby on "JAG" a year later.

"We had amoebic dysentery at the same time while shooting in Thailand and became friends," Bell said about her first meeting with Goddard.

Goddard - who lived a lie, claiming among other things to have been a professional boxer - died of an accidental drug overdose in June 2006. In the throes of a divorce, he left two young sons behind.

The announcement of his death, according to Bell, "was horrible. I was very shocked, very surprised - I think we all were. What a wonderful, sweet human being. I just adored him. But I knew he liked to party ...."

14 juin 2007

Record At Real World For Free launch competition to win 3 days of recording at Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios, one of the fastest-growing communities on the internet has announced a new music contest in conjunction with Peter Gabriel's world-famous Real World Studios. MI7 is offering one lucky artist or band the chance to record in this legendary world-famous studio.

Musicians throughout the world can enter the contest for free by simply creating a profile at, upload some songs, and let the other members vote on them. The artist judged most deserving of the chance to record at Real World will be flown to London, chauffeur-driven to the beautiful English countryside of Wiltshire, and enjoy three days to record their music in the Big Room of Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios with a world-class producer - all expenses paid.

Per Larsen, CEO of MI7 told us, "At MI7 we've always believed in giving musicians the best tools they need to make their music. We're now taking it to the next level and giving them free access to one of the most legendary recording studios in the world. We're proud to be able to offer this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a great new band to live their dream!"

Real World Studios was founded by Peter Gabriel and is one of the finest studios in the world. The Big Room is why Real World is justifiably famous. It offers space and versatility on a grand scale for live recording and tracking. Equipped with a 72 channel SSL 9000 XL K series console together with a varied array of outboard equipment (including a large selection of vintage Neve modules), it offers the potential for truly state of the art recording and mixing.

About MI7

MI7 is a pan-European and Japanese partnership company staffed by professionals with many years of experience in all areas of the media industry. Representing a new concept in the distribution of media and music production products, MI7 brings competence, passion and results to both its customers and the industry. Plus, a bit of spice! Working in close cooperation with a selected range of manufacturers, MI7 has an extensive customer base that includes both media professionals and enthusiasts. In addition to offering distribution and customer service, MI7 also provides answers and solutions that make it easier for the customer to focus on what is really important, namely the creative flow.

Pricing and Availability:

The Real World Studios contest is now accepting songs and will run through October 31, 2007. As an added bonus, all entries submitted before June 30, 2007 will automatically be entered in a random drawing to win one of the world-class microphones available at Real World Studios, the SE Electronics Gemini. No purchase necessary. Official contest rules and details can be found at

More information:

13 juin 2007

Rock Stars on Wheels

Maybe you’re familiar with Peter Gabriel. He was lead singer for the band Genesis from 1967-1975, preceding Phil Collins. He has been successful as a solo artist in the 1980s as well, with hits like “Sledgehammer,” “Shock the Monkey” and others. Apparently Gabriel also enjoys an occasional bike ride. Check out this YouTube video where he grabs a folding bike and cruises around and around a spinning circular stage while performing Solsbury Hill at a recent concert. No word on if he sings like that when he’s just pedaling around the neighborhood back home. Watch the video

Paula Cole's 'Courage'

New album is her first offering in 7 years

Paula Cole has a rich, resonant voice that seeps inside you, lending a feeling of warmth, intimacy and strength. She's also gifted with a finely tuned, grown-up compositional skill, creating anthemic pop and breezy jazz-tinged songs that likewise express our innermost feelings of romantic longing, disillusionment, resilience and triumph.

That's where Cole took us in the 1990s with her hits "Where Have All the Cowboys Gone" and "I Don't Want to Wait" (the theme from "Dawson's Creek"). And it's how she'll be bonding with listeners anew with "Courage," (Decca, A), the artist's first album in seven years.

Somewhat autobiographical, this album fills in the gaps of Cole's seven-year absence from the "hamster wheel" of the music industry. During the period she faced up to career rejection, gave birth to a daughter, broke up with the girl's father and delved deeply into meditation.

There's more than a hint of philosophical/spiritual awakening in object lessons like "Lovelight," which is evocative of her early collaborations with Peter Gabriel.

Also telling the tale quite well, are the bossa-nova-flavored "Hard to Be Soft" and the pop-rocking "14," which delves into the concerns of a woman conditioned to repress her emotions. But there's light at the end of the tunnel with songs like the reggae-tuned "Safe in Your Arms" and Cole's take-charge "I Wanna Kiss You.

12 juin 2007

John Tesh wants to create an experience

The U.S. pianist and composer is playing Centennial Hall tomorrow night.

It's John Tesh the pianist, composer and Peter Gabriel fan who is at Centennial Hall tomorrow night. "I've tried everything," says Tesh, who has a hit syndicated radio show, gold records, Emmys and PBS-TV specials in his resume. The U.S. entertainer plays Centennial Hall tomorrow at 7 p.m. The concert benefits the Autism Canada Foundation and Tesh's performance is part of a tour helping support his new album/DVD A Passionate Life (Warner).

"I really want to create an experience. That's why I love Peter Gabriel . . . and Cirque du Soleil," Tesh says from his California home.

Guest performers on the bill include London Mayor Anne Marie DeCicco-Best and husband Tim Best, who may sing a June Carter-Johnny Cash duet. They were originally going to be part of a charity event to support Autism Canada at the invitation of its president, Dave Patchell-Evans of London. After the London duo accepted, that event became tied to the Tesh concert. Others on the bill include the London-based Canadian Celtic Choir, London singer Jim Chapman and London harpist Jennifer White.

Even with these and other London guests performing in the first half of the concert, Tesh may not have the elaborate stagecraft of Gabriel, the British rocker and activist, or the Montreal-based Cirque.

But he says he shares with them a belief a performance can be a transforming spectacle. Tesh encourages fans to reflect and make decisions about their own lives based on what they hear and feel at a Tesh concert. A response like "I'm not doing what God made me for" is fully appropriate, he says. "When you get that right, everything falls into place."

Perhaps surprisingly to some of their other fans, Tesh covers music by British rockers Sting and Phil Collins on A Passionate Life. "Sting's into music. It's a musician's concert . . . when you see Peter Gabriel, he's crazy," says the only British classic rock fan from North Carolina to have completed a 10-year stint -- 1986 to May 30, 1996 -- as co-host of TV's Entertainment Tonight.

The TV show gave Tesh the chance to meet some of the rock musicians he already admired, including Gabriel, but he had become a fan of such bands as Jethro Tull, Yes and Emerson, Lake & Palmer in the 1970s. Maybe it's not such a leap from the Tesh's memories of Yes star Rick Wakeman "playing six keyboards all at one time" to the lush textures and piano touches on A Passionate Life. Maybe.

Tesh's touring band includes a dancer/choreographer and a bass player who has worked with Stratford's Loreena McKennitt. Dance will play its part in the next Tesh special on PBS-TV which will blend hip-hop styles and ballet. "The point is that when you think hip hop, you think John Tesh," he jokes.

At this stage of his career, Tesh is perhaps better known as a radio star than a hip-hop dance expert. Intelligence For Your Life -- The John Tesh Radio Show is broadcast in the London market on 97.5 EZ Rock weeknights at 6 p.m. The show is billed as being packed with "real-life knowledge, random intelligence and expert advice," all surrounded by music.

Birth of 'world music' tag revisited

Twenty years ago this month, a group of industry professionals representing a handful of specialist independent labels met in a small, nondescript room above a run-down London pub to discuss how to promote, market and sell music from outside the Anglo-American pop axis to a Western audience. Over warm English beer and a few desultory-looking plates of sandwiches, they spent a night coming up with the blueprint for a campaign that was to dramatically transform the way such records were retailed - and a new term to describe them. That term was "world music". Twenty years later, the pub is an upscale fish restaurant and world music as a genre has grown to generate such multi-million selling acts as the Buena Vista Social Club, Cesaria Evora, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Manu Chao. Yet it was not always so.

What's in a name

"What we now call 'world music' has always existed,"
said Charlie Gillett, founder of the ongoing Oval Records, and a renowned author, music historian and broadcaster. "But in 1987 there wasn't an identifiable section to browse through in record stores. Before the term was created, people simply didn't know where to look for these records."Oval Records was one of nine labels represented at that historic meeting on June 29, 1987, at the Empress of Russia pub in London's St John Street. Also present were Globestyle, Crammed, Hannibal, Rogue, Sterns, Triple Earth, WOMAD and World Circuit.

A number of other labels including Earthworks, Discs 'Afrique, Cooking Vinyl and Topic Records were unable to attend but pledged support. The meeting was convened by Roger Armstrong, the affable Irish-born director of London-based Ace Records, where he still presides in 2007. A highly respected record company man who had tasted mainstream success in the 1970s when his Chiswick Records label enjoyed hits with acts like the Damned and Sniff 'n' the Tears, he had moved into what was about to become known as world music when he co-founded Globestyle as a specialist subsidiary of Ace in 1985.

"Some of us were in awe of Roger because he was one of the few people present who had actually sold records in serious quantities," recalls Amanda Jones, then with the fledgling WOMAD Records and now label manager at Real World. Armstrong's mailed invitation described the gathering as an "international pop label meeting" and set out an agenda including "identifying the target audience," "how to deal with retail" and - most significant - "adoption of a campaign/media title."

In harmony

Shortly after 7pm on that warm Thursday evening, Armstrong opened the meeting with a fluent account of the importance of creating a generic name for music by international acts, in order to give it a focus and identity at the point of sale. There was little, if any, disagreement. "Everybody thought it was a good idea because it was clear that there was something happening if we could just get the door open," recalls Joe Boyd, founder of Hannibal Records and now an author and broadcaster.

According to Armstrong, other names under consideration included "world beat," "tropical," "ethnic," "roots" and "international pop." After an hour, he called for a show of hands, when "world music" garnered more votes than the rival suggestions combined. According to Iain Scott, then director of Triple Earth Records and now a label manager with compilation specialist Union Square, the initial aim was not to create anything as grand as a new genre. "The objective was simply to target more efficiently those who might buy music from outside their own culture, whether from Africa, South Asia or Latin America," he said.

Thomas Brooman, director of the WOMAD festival for the last 25 years but who at the meeting represented WOMAD Records (which in 1989 was to become the Real World label), shares a similar recollection. "We knew there was a grassroots audience for our music, but the roadblock was distribution," he said. "What we needed was a banner to rally behind. But in a brand-conscious world, we accidentally created a genre." Oddly, nobody present remembers who formally proposed the term "world music."

According to Ian Anderson, editor of monthly specialist magazine fRoots, who at the time was running Rogue Records, it was one of several terms that had been floating around for a number of years. So why was it adopted over the other names? "It seemed to include the most and omit the least," he said.

Ben Mandelson, co-founder of Globestyle Records, who kept minutes of the meeting and is now a producer and musician, agrees. "World music was the most vague and inoffensive term on offer." Mandelson and many others recall a strong spirit of cooperation. Anderson's persuasive advocacy of teamwork resulted in all of the labels involved agreeing to pool resources to fund a combined marketing push around the newly adopted term.

Mixed reaction

A few days after the meeting, a joint press release announced: "It was agreed that the term WORLD MUSIC would be used by all labels present to offer a new and unifying category for shop racking, press releases, publicity handouts and 'file under ...' suggestions. This means that you no longer have to worry about where to put those new Yemenite pop, Bulgarian choir, Zairian soukous or Gambian kora records."

The campaign had its early critics. "There were a lot of negative responses flying around," Boyd said. Two weeks after the initial meeting, a second gathering was held to consider reaction. "There was opposition from some quarters," Gillett said. "The Bhundu Boys, who were on Cooking Vinyl and selling a lot of records, were getting (placed) in the mainstream pop/rock section and definitely didn't want to be in a world music box. But fears that we were creating a ghetto were pretty swiftly dispelled."

Indeed, such resentments were ultimately doused by the campaign's success, although its initial aims were modest in the extreme. "Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares and Ladysmith Black Mambazo had maybe sold 100,000 by then," Boyd said. "But mostly we were trying to get sales up from the hundreds into the thousands. To go from that to World Circuit selling 7 million copies of Buena Vista Social Club was something nobody foresaw."

Set against the sophisticated marketing techniques of today, the 1987 campaign perhaps appears naive. Yet arguably it was the campaign's very simplicity that made it so effective. "It generated a climate of interest so that by 1989 Peter Gabriel could take the idea of a world music label to Virgin Records for a distribution deal," Jones said. "They could see the potential of the artists we had like Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. In fact, it was Virgin who suggested naming the label Real World."

11 juin 2007

La culture africaine s’exporte dans le monde entier

Musique, arts plastiques, littérature : l’Afrique commence à faire connaitre sa vitalité artistique.

De Rokia Traoré à Youssou N’Dour, en passant par Amadou et Mariam ou Alpha Blondy, on ne compte plus les chanteurs africains qui ont réussi à séduire l’Occident. Leur audience n’est plus confinée à un petit cercle d’amateurs de musique africaine. Le dernier album d’Amadou et Mariam est l’une des plus fortes ventes d’album en France pour l’année 2004. Ces artistes maliens ont d’ailleurs été honorés lors des dernières Victoires de la musique.

Souvent, les artistes africains sont devenus des ambassadeurs du continent noir, à l’instar de Youssou N’Dour, qui a récemment organisé un grand concert à Dakar afin de réunir des fonds pour lutter contre le paludisme. Vivant toujours en Afrique, des artistes comme Youssou N’Dour investissent dans l’économie locale. Cet artiste sénégalais possède un quotidien, L’Observateur, une radio, RFM, un studio d’enregistrement et une salle de concert à Dakar, qui permettent l’émergence de jeunes talents.

“Nous avons prouvé que les Africains pouvaient aussi réussir dans le domaine de la culture, et pas simplement dans le sport !” s’enthousiasme la Malienne Rokia Traoré, fière de constater que, dans les autres domaines artistiques, les Africains se font une place au soleil.

Dans le sillage du sculpteur sénégalais Ousmane Sow, d’autres artistes contemporains africains se font un nom, comme en témoigne le succès de l’exposition Africa Remix, présentée au centre Pompidou à Paris (du 25 mai au 8 août 2005) après avoir rencontré un vif succès en Allemagne et en Grande-Bretagne.

Dans le sillage du cinéaste sénégalais Ousmane Sembène, qui a reçu le prix Un certain regard lors du Festival de Cannes 2004 pour le film Mooladé, les réalisateurs africains sont davantage reconnus. Au Nigeria, notamment, l’industrie cinématographique se développe si vite qu’elle a été surnommée “Nollywood”, et produit chaque année des centaines de longs-métrages. L’arrivée du numérique permet de produire des films à moindre coût et redonne une chance au cinéma africain.

Dans le domaine de la littérature aussi, le continent noir commence à faire entendre sa voix. Depuis le prix Nobel obtenu par l’écrivain nigérian Wole Soyinka, en 1986, d’autres auteurs africains se sont imposés, notamment son compatriote Ben Okri, qui a obtenu le Booker Prize, le plus prestigieux prix littéraire britannique. Le Sud-Africain John Maxwell Coetzee, lui-même lauréat du Booker Prize à deux reprises, a été couronné par le Nobel en 2003.

A l’image de Gallimard, qui a récemment créé une collection dédiée aux artistes africains, les plus prestigieux éditeurs font désormais davantage cas des œuvres africaines. Et contribuent ainsi à changer l’image du continent oublié.

10 juin 2007

Free Peter Gabriel CD in next week's Mail on Sunday

Next week The Mail on Sunday gives readers a unique 14-track Peter Gabriel CD.

Here the pop legend tells how becoming a father again at 52 helped him overcome depression and rediscover his creativity. The transition from angst-ridden young rock star to genteel middle age is never an easy one – but Peter Gabriel has found his own unique means of coping.

"I grew a beard," he says, rubbing one hand automatically over his balding scalp. "It doesn't grow on top any more, so I felt I needed it. It feels comfortable, being older, grey, a bit overweight. I think in my 30s and 40s I was much more concerned about how I looked. There are not many great things about getting older but one is caring less what other people think."

It is hard to imagine Gabriel ever cared what anyone else thought of him. This, after all, is the man who refused to title any of his first four solo albums, labelling them all Peter Gabriel, using the same typeface but different cover art. Over a career spanning four decades, he has developed a reputation for striking out on his own with brilliant – if occasionally surreal – results. As lead vocalist and founder of the progressive rock group Genesis, he became part of one of the 30 highest-selling bands of all time. As a solo artist, he has released 11 albums, organised human rights concerts for Nelson Mandela and founded the hugely successful WOMAD world music festival which celebrates its 25th anniversary next month.

Next week The Mail on Sunday will be giving away an exclusive Peter Gabriel album to every reader. The CD contains 14 of his greatest hits, complete with unique cover art, all approved by the man himself. At the height of his fame, he always appeared uneasy in the limelight. And he admits: "Fame is a fun place to live in at the weekend but it’s not somewhere you’d want to spend your life."

Indeed, today, aged 57, he is an almost unrecognisable picture of Zen-like calm and mellowed middle-age.We meet for lunch in a small dining room in the sprawling complex of his Real World music studios set in a large mill house near Box in rural Wiltshire, where he is preparing for his forthcoming UK tour. He wears an oversize denim shirt and jeans, and resembles nothing quite so much as an avuncular geography teacher on a field-trip. He eats frugally – a small portion of macaroni cheese, a rocket salad and a slice of carrot cake. "I shouldn’t really," he says with a guilty twinkle, "but I'm going to."

He now hardly listens to music for pleasure, preferring the soothing tones of Radio 4. This new-found ease with the simple life, combined with his neatly brushed white goatee and disarmingly blue eyes, lends him an almost monastic air. It is an impression heightened by the way he answers questions – deliberately and with a tendency to give profound philosophical insights about the most straightforward things.

When I ask if he's happy, he replies like a Buddhist sage. "To be consciously alive is maybe more meaningful," he says with an enigmatic smile."You only know the richness of colour in contrast. Happiness, I think, is a false goal. I think contentment is a better one." And he seems at last to have achieved contentment. He and his second wife, Maebh, 36, split their time between Wiltshire and a large house in Notting Hill, West London. They have a five-year-old son, Isaac, who is Gabriel’s third child – he has two grown-up daughters from his previous marriage, Anna, 32, a documentary film-maker, and Melanie, 30, who works in music production at Real World.

"I absolutely love being a dad," he says. "I have a different perspective as a 57-year-old. I hope I give up more time to it. I know what my priorities should be. Tomorrow, Isaac is trying a day at this new school in London and I will be late for rehearsals to take him in. I wouldn’t have done that the first time round. I think I know now what a joy it is and how fleeting it is because they’ve left home before you can blink." It is a matter of particular pride that Isaac was also able to recognise his father’s voice on songs from the age of two. "Yes," says Gabriel, "he would say "Daddy" or "Dada" when he heard me. I had to proof-read a new book on Genesis over the weekend and I thought I’d test him on all the photos to see if he could spot me. He did but he just couldn’t work out why I had long hair."

Born in 1950 on a farm near Woking, Surrey, Gabriel had a happy childhood like Isaac’s – one filled with animals, country walks, golf and piano lessons. At 13, he was sent to Charterhouse, where the rigorous discipline and corporal punishment came as a shock. "For me, it wasn't a happy time," he says. I think it was more like Tom Brown's schooldays back then. I've never gone back. When we were there we were ruled by fear and, as a sensitive little kid, it was pretty scary. I wasn't good academically or at sport, so it was not a place in which I flourished in." His salvation came in the form of music. "Initially I was a drummer and Keith Moon was my idol," he says. I was very enthusiastic but not very good, so I became a songwriter as that seemed to be a good way in. And that was how Genesis came about really, it was a songwriting co-operative."

He founded Genesis aged 17 in 1967 along with four like-minded school-mates – Mike Rutherford, Tony Banks, Anthony Phillips and Chris Stewart. The band went straight from the cloistered atmosphere of an English public school to almost instant fame. Gabriel was equally precocious in his private life. Having met Jill Moore at a party when she was 14 and he was 16, he married her in 1970 when he was 20. "We grew up together, sometimes in a painful way," he says.

"We were doing our learning inside our marriage. Initially, I was difficult to live with when I was in the group. There wasn’t much room for a personal life outside of it. It was all-consuming." By 1975, just after the birth of his first daughter, Gabriel had reached breaking point. He announced that he was leaving the band."One of the reasons I left was when we had our first baby [Anna] she was in an incubator for two weeks," he says.

"We were recording [the album] The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway and, for me, there was no question about where I should be. One was an issue of life and death, the other an album. The band didn’t appreciate why I was not turning up to the studio, why my heart wasn't in it. At that stage, apart from Phil Collins, none of the others had kids. I think they would understand it better now."

Gabriel went on to forge a successful solo career, both as a musician and a technological innovator. His 1986 smash hit, Sledgehammer, was accompanied by a video featuring a shot of Gabriel's own head turning into plasticine and a series of dancing vegetables. "And a dancing cheese," he says when I remind him of it, as if ignoring the cheese would undermine the artistic integrity of the visual whole.

But professional success came at a personal cost. His marriage to Jill ended after almost 20 years amid infidelities on both sides. Gabriel went on to have relationships with the American actress Rosanna Arquette, who moved to England to be with him, and Sinead O’Connor, the Irish singer, who apparently attempted suicide after their break-up. Gabriel himself struggled with depression through his 40s and had several years of therapy. "The break-up of my marriage was the most major grieving I've done in my life," he says. Both my parents are still in pretty good health – my dad’s 95 and my mum's 86 – so that was really the only experience I’ve had of terrible grief."

Three years ago, he married Maebh Flynn, a music technician turned film-maker who used to work with him in the studio. She is 21 years his junior but he insists the age gap is inconsequential. "Inside I’ve always felt, I think, about 17, and I have felt that from the age of seven."

Does he think that he is a nicer person now, having made it through all the personal chaos? There is a long pause. "I think I’ve been pretty good at empathy," he says carefully. "I think sometimes I feel things too much for my own good. I can get irritated and grumpy on occasion, as befits a man of my age, but I think I’m understanding."

It comes as something of a surprise to find Peter Gabriel enjoying his new role as a benign curmudgeon. He seems almost relieved to have left behind his life as a tortured creative artist. "Occasionally you see these bruised, narcissistic egos that fill up a lot of the entertainment business and you think how sad not to be able to think beyond yourself," he says. For sure, I had some of those elements. You do not end up seeking attention unless you feel you need it at some level."With a final philosophic shake of the head, he wipes up the crumbs from his carrot cake in a paper napkin and potters off to continue rehearsals. A less narcissistic rock legend would, one suspects, be hard to find.