5 July 2005 | Theo Robertson
The Cynical Antithesis To Live Aid
It was twenty years ago today ... well not quite but it was twenty years ago this month that the world experienced Live Aid that raised tens of millions of dollars for famine relief in Africa and Bob Geldof was the reincarnation of Jesus . What a guy , and as the G8 leaders got ready to meet in Scotland Sir Bob got a few friends together to have concerts all over the world to send out a message to the world leaders to end poverty . I won't be cynical here because even the harshest critic recognises Geldof is nothing but sincere and he'll always visit Africa to do his best regardless if there's TV cameras filming him or not , but Live 8 must be the most cynical concert event in history
First of the artist line up . Hyde Park had REM a band who have their best days behind them by about ten years . Are they really a big name act ? Same as UB40 . At least with Live Aid we had the biggest acts of the day take part even if most of them disappeared from the radar soon afterwards . I mean who are Velvet Revolver or Razorlight ? Are they off the stature Queen or U2 were in 1985 ? Of course not . Oh and what idiot thought The Who would be a welcome addition ? Pete Townshend was asked to perform ! No doubt Gary Glitter is upset his invite got lost in the post
Secondly the language . Bob swore live on air in 1985 but he organised the life saving world changing concert so he can get away with it , but here we saw Green Day swear in a pre recorded piece from Berlin while Hyde Park heard the F word come from Velvet Revolver ( I've still no idea who they are ) while Snoop Dogg continually ranted on about a " mother figure " or something . I'm no prude but all this took place well before the 9pm watershed . Robbie Williams too let out some colourful expletives but this was around 10.15 pm and is acceptable I guess . But even so the swearing shows a lack of maturity
Lastly my major gripe is what's the cause ? Live Aid raised money via the £20 ticket for the concert , and the pledges , tens of millions were raised but the concert goers for Live 8 attended via a text messaging system and this means the world wide concerts were effectively free , no money was raised for NGOs and the general public who unfortunately are ignorant on African affairs went home still ignorant on African affairs . One thing we did learn was that Velvet Revolvers guitarist used to be in Guns N Roses and that Mariah Carey has a new single out . Forgive me being cynical but aren't the biggest - Perhaps only - winners on Saturday 2nd July 2005 the artists who performed ? I see the record sales of some acts have risen by over 1,000 per cent
" Theo you're so cynical you disgust me "
Sorry that wasn't my intention but I did read in the press that all the artists at Hyde Park received goody bags with contents that cost several thousand pounds while the African children who appeared on stage with the artists got a free T-Shirt . Oh and seeing as there's all these kids dying in Africa because of lack of medical facilities or clean drinking water I wonder how much money the performers spent on drink and drugs that day ? Yup rock stars are the sort of people who can really empathise with the starving souls of this world . I won't condemn them all of course because as I said Geldof is a genuine living saint while other artists appearing are genuinely caring about the suffering in Africa especially Bono whose set with U2 was far superior to the performance seen at Wembly 1985 . But apart from that opening moment Live 8 is totally unfit to be compared to Live Aid