Re-Live 8

by Quinn

Well, Live 8 appears to have been an even greater success than was ever expected; there are reports of a huge boost in funds, statistics telling of quadrupling incomes and more. Yes, the sales of some of the acts that played at Saturdays consciousness raiser have gone through the roof.

I suppose a full breakdown of the statistics could tell a different story. How many people usually buy a copy of The Who’s Then and Now on an average day? Not very many I suspect, so it wouldn’t take too many people to wander into HMV on Sunday asking “do you know who did that song that goes ‘who are you, who, who, who, who’” to register a 863% rise in sales.

I am no great fan of either Pink Floyd or The Who (You want endless guitar solos? Try Led Zeppelin. Want to learn about the early days of the mods? Small Faces did it so much better) but at least I can understand how a young whipper snapper brought up on Crazy Frog could watch their Live 8 sets and be inspired to hear more.

Annie Lennox’s Greatest Hits though? Who on earth was moved by her insipid performance to buy that album? Judging by the neat, round rise in sales of 500% I reckon just five, on top of the usual one person who likely buys it for their mum’s birthday (as I did, several years ago).

And increases of 412% for Dido and 320% for Robbie Williams are a bit baffling. Hasn’t Dido sold enough CDs yet? Is there anybody out there yet to discover her line in bland, inoffensive dirge? On the basis of these statistics, yes; some people’s eyes and ears were opened by her performances on Saturday. I just hope no one is expecting to hear Seven Seconds, as they are likely to be disappointed.

As, I suspect, are those who have bought Razorlight’s Up All Night. There are some good tracks there, but much of it is a mediocre muchness, and one of their best songs (Somewhere Else) isn’t on it.

If I am moved to buy anything by the groups on display it is likely to be the Kaiser Chiefs. They were great and the highlight of Live 8 for me, a short, sweet set of real energy. Although I fear a whole CD may get a bit repetitive and samey, I may give it a try. And anyway, I will happily pogo about my living room to Oh My God even if the Philadelphia crowd did inexplicably stand motionless and inert throughout.