Wednesday, March 12, 2003


There are starkly contrasting choices for outings in London this Saturday night (15 March 2003). My musical preference would definitely be to hear Thomas Ades conducting the London Sinfonietta -- who keep cropping up on NFE at the moment -- as they tackle four intriguing premieres: Irish composer Gerald Barry's 'Before the Road' and 'Sextet'; John Woolrich's 'Bitter Fruit Suite'; and Judith Weir's 'Tiger Under the Table' (a selection from the mini-opera). Accompanying these pieces is the late Niccolo Castiglioni's 'Quodlibet' as an opener. The concert takes place at the Queen Elizabeth Hall at 19:45.

Then again, you might feel obliged (though not thrilled, given the line-up) to head over instead to the 'One Big No' anti-war concert. You will see performances there from Paul Weller, Faithless (playing a rare acoustic set), Ian McCulloch (Echo and the Bunnymen, Electrafixion) and Evan Dando, as well as Garbage, Beth Orton and comedian/activist Mark Thomas. There will also be video messages from Yoko Ono, David Gray and Badly Drawn Boy (hopefully not singing!), poetry from Benjamin Zephaniah as well as short contributions from film director Ken Loach and MP George Galloway.

For my money --- and I'll probably donate to Our World Our Say and nip over to the South Bank -- the only really curiosity-generating act there is Faithless, whose trip-hop, smoothly avant electronica definitely makes the grade. McCulloch is a wildcard. Zephaniah's dub will certainly be worth catching. But the rest palls, artistically anyway.

The gig takes place at the Shepherds Bush Empire and all ticket proceeds will go to the Stop The War Coalition and CND. Tickets are on sale now, priced £20 and £30 from Ticket Line on 0870 160 2831 or the Shepherds Bush Box Office on 0870 771 2000. Doors Open at 7.00 pm, allegedly. “Due to the nature of this conflict, we've had to pull this concert together in an extremely short space of time," said the organisers, Lily Sobhani and Emily Eavis, on SoundGenerator. "But it's going to be a unique night of collaborations and one-off appearances with some very special unannounced guests. This is the only big live music event happening to make a noise about the need for a peaceful resolution to the impending war with Iraq." One of the surprises, so it is rumoured, will be Moby, in transit between L>A> and New Zealand.

No comments: