Thursday, October 04, 2007

Princess on the steeple and all the pretty people

This is kind of my bootleg series. Something I wrote but which hasn't be published. But I'm doing it here. It's my review of the Concert for Diana which I wrote in real time in the Summer. I think it's quite funny to be honest.... Let me know what you think, perhaps this takes you back. Christ that concert was shit.

Quite possibly the worst idea for a concert ever - the Princess Diana concert has been organised to...well I don't really know why. It all seems like an attempt to keep the memory of Diana alive and we all know how much the English people love this kind of thing, allows us to wallow in some kind of national moment of melancholy, happiness and respect. Happy Birthday to Lady Di who would have been 46 this year.

Although this will be published after the event, I am writing this in real time. I know that many regular readers will be interested in how this event went, but were probably busy mowing the lawn. No fear, Rockbeatstone is on hand to give you the complete low-down. Please read on as I go through all of the acts and comment on the sycophantic and disgusting TV coverage. This is very much a real-time blog affair, I'll be writing my comments down as they come into my mind.

The interviewer woman in the stadium to a couple who are all dressed up in Union Jack costumes. "Who do you want to see?""Elton John. But otherwise I'm most excited about seeing William and Harry"

Jamie Theakston has just described Supertramp as "sophisticated". He's going through all the music Diana loved, apparently ‘Lady in Red' was her favourite song. "As a child Diana also loved to dance and in 1976 won her school dancing competition", whittles Jamie, trying to justify the idea behind the concert. Like who gives a flying fuck?

Now Andrew Marr, ex-senior political correspondent with the BBC and former editor of the Independent is being interviewed for some reason. Has the entire BBC gone mad? He's most looking forward to seeing Status Quo and Lily Allen. "Lilly is a big favourite of mine". Hmmmm...

"The eyes of the world are on Wembley Stadium", says Theakston. Hang on a minute Jamie, I think you're overstating how much people in Africa, Asia and South America give a shit. I'm sure the people of the refugee camps in Darfur are tuned in though. A kind of real life tragedy that Diana may have highlighted had she been alive.

4pm - Elton, James Morrison and Lily Allen
Elton's on the stage. 1st act and he's doing ‘Song for You'. First reaction to Wembley Stadium - loads of empty seats. Maybe it's not only the rest of the world who doesn't give a flying toss. He's now introducing the event and has brought on HRH Prince William and Prince Harry. They're now introducing the concert. "This evening is all about what my mother loved in life". Polite applause from the crowd. Harry gets vaguely political by saying hello to his squaddie mates in Iraq. "We want you to have an awesome time," says Willy. Somehow the ‘awesome' sounds completely forced as if he never uses the word in real life.

Duran Duran are now on the stage. ‘Sunrise' (I think that's what it's called). Surprisingly rocking. Maybe I've already watched too much of this event, time for a cigarette I think. ‘Wild Boyz' sees them shout dementedly on the stage. TV cameras show Harry and Willy in the royal box. Harry's girlfriend Chelsey (whose dad allegedly has business interests in Zimbabwe) is dressed up like a footballers wife. ‘Her Name is Rio' dedicated to the memory of this country's favourite Princess, Margaret, sorry Diana. Got confused for a minute. An over-weight 50 year old man is dancing with his hag of a wife in the front row. There's a lovely synthesiser solo in the middle and then some saxophone. How very Thatcherite.

James Morrisson is now on stage. This requires no further comment. He sings like a girl though. Cue photos of probably deeply dissatisfied 30 year-old somethings who can't remember all the words but still feel the need to sing along. And yes, there they are.

Sienna Miller and Dennis Hopper are now presenting the next act. Dennis looks like a midget. He seems to have come a long way since his days as the LSD fuelled actor in Easy Rider. He's wearing an olive tie with a sky blue suit jacket. They are presenting Lily Allen. Andrew Marr is probably sporting a massive bonk-on right now. Prince Willy is clapping out of tune - he obviously didn't inherit Diana's musical and dancing talents. Lily is wearing a short dress and high-heels. Very different from when she was snapped at Glastonbury dressed as a mushroom in the early hours of the morn with Alex Turner from the Arctic Monkeys on a drink and drugs inspired binge a few days ago.

Luton Indoor Bowling Club is now the next charity featured in the mini-videos which are played between acts . Fergie from Black Eyed Peas is now on stage doing her thing. I think it would be funny if the cameras showed Beatrice and whatever the other is called, because Fergie is their mum. Not the one on stage, the ginger one who makes loads of dosh in the USA. The crowd seem completely bemused as to what is happening. Which is understandable as most of them are 40 or 50 something white women.

5pm - The Feeling, NERD and Nelly Furtado
I'm already thinking that this is a bad idea. But now I've started, I need to finish.
"Please show the necessary awe" says the voice over. What the fuck? Oh no, it's OK, it's for Keefer Sutherland, so I can agree with that. He looks a bit pissed - Rock n Roll, Keefer. He's introducing The Feeling, who he's seen twice apparently. I can't stand the Feeling. Absolute rubbish. Indie music for people who don't like music. Time to make a cup of tea methinks.
NERD is now on stage. Farrell's now asking Wembley and Great Britain to stand up for peace. Some crazy-beats are now starting, lots of hip-hop ramblings. This is most ridiculous. Would Diana approve? I can't think that Prince Charles would, so she most probably would. Still the wrong act for this kind of crowd, I think. "She's seeexy", sings Farrell. Is he talking about Diana? "Her ass is a spaceship that I'd like to ride", continues NERD. I still like to think he's singing about Diana.

Bill Clinton is giving his thoughts on Diana's work on HIV and land mine charities. Fair enough.
Simon Cowell and some people are on stage. People are booing him. Maybe the crowd isn't as stupid as I thought. Nelly Furtado is doing her thing. She looks pretty hot in a pink dress it has to be said. However, probably best enjoyed with the sound on the TV turned off. Princes Harry and Willy are both strutting their stuff in the royal box. Seems like the Magners has been flowing freely up-there. They can't dance at all.

There's now some ballet being done on stage. Apparently the ENO doing Diana's favourite ballet, Swan Lake. I'm officially bored now. I've just checked the TV guide and this goes on until 10.30 in the evening. I think this was a mistake - I suppose I only have myself to blame seeing as I should have checked before hand.

6pm - Status Quo, Supertramp (nearly) and Joss Stone
Will Young is wearing a bright pink t-shirt and bopping along to Abba while Ferne Cotton interviews him. He loved Diana's style. "And style goes with character", says Will Young. So there you have it. The bright-pink t-shirt wearing X-factor winner has spoken.
After a long break, Status Quo have joined the stage. ‘Rockin' all over the world'. Predictable. They now look like old men as opposed to the middle aged men who started Live Aid all those years ago. Still, probably the best thing so far, which says a lot about the quality of the music on stage.

They've ran out of charities, so they are showing a video of Diana and her kids at Thorpe Park. We're now descending into home video territory.

Dennis Hopper is back to introduce Joss Stone. She's warbling and warbling, closing her eyes and sounding like a poppy-Janis Joplin. All the while, I'm getting ever closer to breaking point. She's spending lots of her time looking at the band and not out into the crowd. Polite applause for Joss from the crowd who also seem a little tired of this now.

Now we have Supertramp. Rather Roger Hodgson from Supertramp. Sophisticated it certainly is. ‘Dreamer'. Now this is a good song. Shame about the solo synth interpretation of it. Couldn't he get his band mates together for this? It would have been the greatest thing of the night. By Far. But he didn't and we're stuck with nearly but not quite Supertramp. A medley of songs from Hodgson, his singing is out of range and to be frank, absolutely pitiful. He's now on guitar and speaking and speaking and speaking and won't stop. It's worse than a Bono rant. ‘Give a Little Bit' is accompanied by the whole stadium singing and clapping. At least he's got the punters out of their seats. Still some glaring red empty sections though.

Orson is on next. They look like they do too many drugs. Beforehand, Ferne Cotton told us how great the day is. I'm getting bored of the BBC telling us what a great day it is every three minutes. As if we're not sure, but the fact that Ferne Cotton and Jamie Theakston keep telling us its great will convince us that it is. Orson are predictably forgettable.

7pm - Tom Jones, Bryan Ferry and Tony Blair
Pre-recorded interview with Fergie. Apparently her set wanted to encapsulate the "inner and outer beauty" of Diana. Funny all I saw was a crock of shite. 500 million people are supposed to be watching this. Poor us. They're now interviewing Sienna Miller. She's hot.

Tom Jones is now on stage. He's old. Plastic surgery still looking good though. He's now playing a song by the Arctic Monkeys of all people. ‘I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor' is destroyed. I wonder if Alex Turner is one of the 500 million people watching? I hope for his sanity's sake he isn't. You have to hear him sing, "From 1984". Truly ridiculous (I've used that word a lot haven't I?). Joss Stone is out for another one, she's duetting with Tom Jones. She's dressed like she was at the Brits. Still no damn shoes. Stupid god damn hippy.

Will Young is out on stage dressed in a white suit and so are his dancers. They are doing some silly dance. Is it just me or does the crowd sound completely subdued. There was hardly any applause after TJ & JS? Still I guess it will be forgotten as the BBC ram the "electric atmosphere" myth down our throats. Natasha Bedingfield is now out on the stage, the voice over tells me that her song, ‘Unwritten' was the most played song on US radio last year. She must be absolutely minted. I'm not sure I've heard this song at all.

Boris Becker & John McEnroe are over from Wimbledon. Boris Becker still sounds like a German porn-star. They're introducing Bryan Ferry. He's playing one of his songs. Thank god he's not butchering Dylan as he has done on his recent Dylan covers album. Oh no! I spoke too soon. ‘Make You Feel My Love' is next. STOP IT NOW, BRYAN. Thankfully he redeems himself slightly with ‘Stick Together'. Brilliant song and very up-tempo. Nice one Bryan, but stick to your own songs please. Nobody Sings Dylan like Dylan after all.

Tony cunting Blair is now speaking about Diana. Go away and leave us alone, you're no longer Prime Minister. Go away. God, that has made me even more rageous.

My levels of rage are not going to be lowered by the next band. A medley of Andrew Lloyd Webber musical songs. I'm off for a moment, this is getting all a bit too much for me. Might put my dinner on to be honest. Webber is being interviewed and still looks like a pug-faced midget. Still he's better than Tony Blair. But only ever-so-slightly. Over on BBC 2 they have the Hampton Court Flower Show, so the BBC is really hitting the Daily Mail target audience this evening.

8pm - Rod Stewart, Kanye West
P. Diddy is being interviewed by Ferne. He's saying how much Diana meant to him and that it's an honour to play for her. David Beckham is now being interviewed. Apparently he's close friends with Diddy. Beckham is so dull, I'm so glad he no longer is England Captain so we don't have to hear him whittle on for hours. He's also saying something about the Spice Girls reuniting, but I've entered some kind of momentary coma.

Rod Stewart is being introduced by Keefer Sutherland who is going on about his mate Ray who he met in a pub in Wembley down the street. Keefer's obviously got more sense than to stay in the stadium to witness this bullshit. ‘Maggie Mae' is as brilliant as one would expect. Stewart's best song. The whole royal box is swaying for this one. A crowd favourite and probably the best reception for an artist yet. ‘We are Sailing' becomes one of those lighters in the air moments, although smoking is now prohibited in England, so there's very little of that.

Theakston describes today as an all you can eat buffet of music, dance and entertainment. What you mean one of those cheap Chinese buffets that leave you bloated and give you food poisoning?

Kanye West is now running all over the stage with some truly bizarre sunglasses. Some large white monstrosity of a pair. ‘Golddigger'. Another song for Diana? Lots of shouting, can't really make out what he's saying. Maybe I'm getting too old for this hip-hop. I don't think I'll ever really get it. Oh well, my loss. The shots of the crowd are absolutely hilarious. Loads of ageing, over-weight women trying to strut their stuff, not realising that 500 million people are laughing at their "moves".

9pm - P Diddy, Take That, my mind switching off
P. Diddy brings the rap section of this concert to a close. Dressed all in white he' wearing sunglasses despite the fact that the sun has long started to go down. Lots of shouting by Diddy. "Makes some noise for Princess Diana, yo'all...We miss you... we love you... Years ago Princess Diana went to a better place, today we celebrate her rebirth" This is the speech by Diddy. But what the hell has happened? Will Diana return and be reborn live on stage tonight? Now that would be a great feat and certainly a great show closer.

Christ he's at it again..."Princess Diana was our Princess, Diana we miss You, Come on yo'all, make some noise". It's just all a little bit too American for this British crowd. "I love you, we miss you, Prince William, Prince Harry we love you". It's never ending. He is now getting everyone to wave to the heavens to say hello to Diana. For fucks sake. This is absolutely terrible. Probably the worst thing at an event like this since Mariah Carey had all those kids on stage at Live8.

David Beckham is now on stage and he is truly honoured to be here. Apparently. Funny how no one goes on stage to say that this is all a little bit shit. He's now banging on about Take That who he's introducing. I'm not even going to watch this bit.

Ricky Gervais is now on-stage and he's doing the Diana death song from the Office. Elton John is spending ages and he had to fill in with some stuff. Good job Ricky Gervais is naturally funny. He ended up doing the David Brent dance and Bowie's ‘Pug-Nosed Face' song from Extras.

10pm - Elton John
There's no other way this concert could have ended really. The fact that he sang at the funeral gives him automatic dibs on the final place. Elton is now on stage doing his thing. ‘Saturday Night', ‘Tiny Dancer' and some other ones - I'm not really a fan, so I don't know. He does really looks like he's enjoyed the high life throughout his years though - what a fat neck.

Speech by Willy and Harry. Mothers charities, yada yada yada. Just get on with ‘Candle in the Wind' and we can all go home and be done with this. Oh no! Some more videos. Nelson Mandela is banging on about Diana (really, who is the real hero here?) Crap, some home video footage about her life. What a load of tosh.

No ‘Candle in the Wind'. I guess that's for the best seeing as it would descend into morbid tears. Wembley is lit up and it is all over. Time to go home Wembley and for me to switch off.

I'm sorry Rockbeatstone readers, but this is probably the last time that I'll try and do something like this again. I thought I could take six hours of mediocre music which would be on rotation on BBC Radio Two but I just couldn't. I think I'm now going to put on a Neil Young DVD, try and get my grip back on reality. What this concert does prove is what awful taste in music the majority of the UK population have. It really drained my physically and mentally. The Princess Diana concert is symbolic of all that's wrong with the UK royal family. Bloated, with ageing stars and very few highlights and on the BBC. Thank God we don't need to organise another one for a while yet.

Like a Rolling Stone

1 comment:

* (asterisk) said...

Props to you. I don't know how you managed to sit through it all.

Check me out, if you dare