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13 septembre 2008

Peter Gabriel to cover Vampire Weekend with Hot Chip

Sean Michaels,, Thursday September 11 2008

The former Genesis frontman is to cover Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa with the Chip. Oh yeah, and he's won some award for being an Ambassador of Conscience from Amnesty something or other

Peter Gabriel teams up with Hot Chip ... 'I think playing with yourself makes you go blind after a while'

It's all well and good that Peter Gabriel just won a prize for his human rights work, but we are much more interested in his Vampire Weekend cover with Hot Chip.

Yes, Gabriel was named Amnesty International's 2008 Ambassador of Conscience at a ceremony in London yesterday. Yes, U2's The Edge presented the award – as he, like Nelson Mandela, has won it before. Yes, Gabriel said proudly that "it was through the tours for Amnesty International that I first met many people around the world engaged in human rights work [and it was] these people and their extraordinary stories of suffering and courage that I found impossible to walk away from".

But while we are chuffed that one of the world's greatest charities took the time to high-five a slightly passé celebrity, we are much more interested by the news that he has teamed up with some bright young things.

Hot Chip announced the collaboration on BBC Newsbeat yesterday, saying that they are working on a cover of Vampire Weekend's Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa – and Peter Gabriel is coming along for the ride.

On the original track, Brooklyn's Vampire Weekend pay backhanded tribute to Gabriel, singing "But this feels so unnatural / Peter Gabriel too."

Gabriel expressed an interest in covering the song while speaking to BBC 6 Music earlier this summer. "I actually do like that song a lot," he said. "I haven't quite worked out whether I should be [singing my own name] or substituting it with a name that might be appropriate to me - I think playing with yourself makes you go blind after a while."

The electro-boffins Hot Chip are also working on a cover of Joy Division's Transmission for an forthcoming War Child charity compilation. "It is totally different from Joy Division's original version," Alexis Taylor said. "It is much more Caribbean-sounding because it features steel pans as the lead instrument."

We wonder if Ian Curtis ever considered a "much more Caribbean" take on his songs. Things might have turned out very different if he had had the chance to listen to Vampire Weekend.

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