Monday, July 02, 2007

A Curate's Concert

As an event it was global but it felt very local watching it on TV. The Princess Diana memorial concert was, by the BBC's normal high standards of presentation, amateurish and lack lustre. Being told endlessly by a girl in a rather fluffy white frock that it was awesome did little to add to the charisma of the event. All too frequently when an artist ended their performance the TV coverage, instead of broadcasting the applause and giving a sense of the atmosphere, went silent – watching a cheering but mute audience is odd. When this didn't happen they crossed to the 'studio' at Wembley where two presenters usually looked surprised to be asked to speak and when they did just kept repeating the awesome mantra. On a number of occasions one or other of the presenters said, "we're going back stage where Fearne is soaking up the awesome atmosphere and talking to Take That/Sir Elton/or whoever, only then to go somewhere else.

Perhaps most bizarre of all was Dennis Hopper. Why? Is the obvious question, I think he'd like to know the answer to that question too. Kiefer Sutherland a one point spoke to the camera to say hello to his friend Keith who was in a pub down the road from Wembley. This and other pearls from the 'celebrity' introducers of the acts were just as bad as the presenters.

And then there was the music - a veritable curate's egg. There were some appalling bits, like P. Diddy doing ‘I’ll Be Missing You’ in which he rapped about Princess Diana and how great was Great Britain. It seemed curiously out of place. Tom Jones was Tom Jones, at least I think that was the man who looked a bit like Tom Jones in a baby blue suit. Various other artists who I'm not expected to like, given my advancing years, I didn't.

What I did like were the Feeling who were like a real band, and one with talent. Two songs from them was at least two too few. Rod Stewart proved he is a class act. Take That were great (their performance of ‘Never Forget was cut because of the show over running) and so was the Royal Ballet. Ricky Gervais was Ricky Gervais, but the dance was great. One last moan; I thought for all the hype that the Lloyd-Webber segment was disappointing, as was Elton.

With hindsight it never got into its musical stride, with no artist really getting long enough to perform (even the ones I thought performed for too long). It's incredibly hard to hit the stage running and perform at your peak and for some of the younger less experienced artists it must have been a real struggle for them, and unfair too.


The Writer said...

No radio or television commentator should ever use the word "awesome". It either is or it is not. In radio you might need description in order to work out for yourself whether it is awesome. In television, the pictures and sound rather give it away - it's awesome or it ain't.

Richard Havers said...

I know one thing. It's awesomely annoying :)

r morris said...

Sounds like an eclectic show that was probably mildly fun to watch if only for the pleasure of reviewing it.