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Paul Simon brings Graceland back to London, 25 years after apartheid boycott row

Singer to play in Hyde Park as part of anniversary celebrations likely to revive row over 1985 visit to South Africa

It was one of the most divisive shows in British pop history. On 7 April 1987, Paul Simon brought his best-selling Graceland project to the Royal Albert Hall in London for the first of six sold-out concerts.

On stage, he was joined by the cream of South African musicians, including Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba and Ladysmith Black Mambazo, but outside, leading British musicians joined people protesting that Simon had broken the Anc's cultural boycott of apartheid-era South Africa.

They included Billy Bragg, Paul Weller and Jerry Dammers, famous for writing one of the great anti-apartheid anthems, Nelson Mandela. They had delivered an angry letter to Simon, asking him to apologise.

Now, 25 years on, the Guardian can reveal that Paul Simon is reviving Graceland and returning to London for a concert in Hyde
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Suggs presents the Madness 'House of Fun Weekender': Interview

Suggs has said that the Madness-curated House of Fun Weekender will feature a mix of old and new influences on the band. The band headline the event at Butlins Minehead, which takes place on November 25 to November 27. Also on the bill are Beardyman, Paul Heaton, The Whip, Jerry Dammers, Rob Da Bank, Andrew Weatherall, Don Letts and others. Suggs told Digital Spy: "We've just got a lot of bands and DJs and films that have inspired us or hopefully will inspire us in the future. A mixture of old and new." Asked which artists he had picked personally, he added: "I was very keen on Beardyman, The Cuban Brothers, who I think are great, the Gentleman's Dub Club and also Jerry Dammers and his orchestra are doing a little bit, which is great." Watch Madness play 'My Girl' live at Madstock below: He added: "More and more (more
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

Great Ormond Street | Heston's Titanic Feast | Later Live – With Jools Holland | Ross Kemp: Battle for the Amazon | Watch This

Great Ormond Street | Heston's Titanic Feast | Later Live – With Jools Holland | Ross Kemp: Battle for the Amazon

Great Ormond Street

9pm, BBC2

A candid look at the hospital's renal department, which treats children for conditions that have no complete cure, in the last of the series. As with Channel 4's excellent maternity ward documentary One Born Every Minute, it's moving without being sentimental, and frank without being morbid – especially when giving a platform to some heroically cussed teens, refusing further operations. "It's my third (kidney) transplant . . . I don't really have any hope for anything soon" is 14-year-old Imann's matter-of-fact assessment of her situation.

Heston's Titanic Feast

9pm, Channel 4

Heston wants his food to be a "spectacular adventure", but in this series it's more like a fantasy, as much part of the real world as Middle Earth is. In this episode he devises a calculatedly outlandish menu for
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Coachella 2010: Six Musical Acts to See

Getty Images Singer Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine.

With 135 bands on the bill, the three-day Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, which begins today, offers a blend of big stars, buzz bands, veterans acts making – they hope – a comeback, inspired DJs and relatively new artists with the promise to do bigger things. That egalitarian blend is what makes Coachella the best festival in the U.S.: Until a band you’re eager to see is ready to appear on one of the five stages spread through the huge pitch, you’re likely to find something nearby that’s worth hearing.

This year, among the acts that are scheduled to appear are a few curiosities. Not that they aren’t talented or can’t be fabulous. It’s that few of us in the audience can know what to expect until the music begins. To whit:

Calle 13 is
See full article at Speakeasy/Wall Street Journal »

What to see in 2010

Can Martin Scorsese pull off a horror movie? Is Glasgow the new Venice? And what's Ricky Gervais up to in Reading? Our critics pick next year's hottest tickets

Film

Cemetery Junction

Having conquered Hollywood, Ricky Gervais is coming home. With his long-time collaborator Stephen Merchant, he has set out to create a British film in the tradition of Billy Liar and the Likely Lads – and of course his own masterpiece The Office – about three blokes working for the Prudential insurance company in Gervais's hometown of Reading. Released on 7 April.

A Single Man

The smart money says Colin Firth will be bringing home a certain gold, bald-headed statuette for his performance as a bereaved gay man in Los Angeles. Based on the 1964 novel by Christopher Isherwood, the movie – fashion designer Tom Ford's directorial debut – follows one day in the life of Firth's literature academic as he confronts his own mortality. Released on 12 February.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

What to see in 2010

Can Martin Scorsese pull off a horror movie? Is Glasgow the new Venice? And what's Ricky Gervais up to in Reading? Our critics pick next year's hottest tickets

Film

Cemetery Junction

Having conquered Hollywood, Ricky Gervais is coming home. With his long-time collaborator Stephen Merchant, he has set out to create a British film in the tradition of Billy Liar and the Likely Lads – and of course his own masterpiece The Office – about three blokes working for the Prudential insurance company in Gervais's hometown of Reading. Released on 7 April.

A Single Man

The smart money says Colin Firth will be bringing home a certain gold, bald-headed statuette for his performance as a bereaved gay man in Los Angeles. Based on the 1964 novel by Christopher Isherwood, the movie – fashion designer Tom Ford's directorial debut – follows one day in the life of Firth's literature academic as he confronts his own mortality. Released on 12 February.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

The Specials to reunite for 2010 tour?

The Specials are apparently planning to reform in 2010 for a full-scale reunion tour. Although the veteran ska group reunited for a clutch of sell-out concerts in 2008, keyboardist Jerry Dammers refused to join his former bandmates. However, Madness frontman Suggs has since hinted that Dammers could be about to agree to tour with The Specials. The singer told the Daily Star: "We have (more)
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

Jerry Dammers 'decomposes Sun Ra tunes'

Jerry Dammers has spoken about his leadership of the Spatial Aka Orchestra, which celebrates the work of jazz legend Sun Ra. The former Specials songwriter told Metro that he hoped to break down some of the music from the 150 albums made by the visionary musician. Dammers said: "My side of things is arranging - this 'way out' music is actually really accessible and danceable. We've got a funky rock section and hip hop or dubstep-style beats. "To steal a phrase from Dizzy Gillespie, I 'decompose' the tunes the way I want 'em. "There's (more)
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

Dammers denies Specials claims

Jerry Dammers, the founder and main songwriter of The Specials, has denied claims made by his former bandmates in a recent interview. The keyboard player wrote to The Guardian to dispute comments from singer Terry Hall regarding the band's upcoming reunion shows. Dammers said: "The fact is that I would not have been invited to the first 'reunion' meeting at all had John Bradbury not told me about it. "Terry's manager circulated emails from which I was excluded. Rehearsals were held without me, and I only managed to attend two - one of which was attended (more)
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

Specials announce Leeds tour date

The Specials have added a further date in Leeds to their reunion tour. The group will play an open-air gig for 7,000 fans at the Millennium Square on May 24. All previous dates for their 30th anniversary tour, which kicks off in Newcastle on April 24, have already sold out. Keyboard player and main songwriter Jerry Dammers will not join the group for (more)
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

Specials: 'Dammers missing out on reunion'

Terry Hall has claimed that The Specials keyboard player and main songwriter Jerry Dammers is missing out by not rejoining the recently-reformed group. The influential ska band reformed in 2008 and played the main stage at Bestival under the name Terry Hall and Friends. Hall told The Guardian: "He's f**king missing out. He's missing out on being in this incredible band. "We haven't changed that much, we still take the p*ss out of each other, there's an understanding there that hasn't gone away. And he's missing out on that, and it's sad for him, to be honest." Drummer John Bradbury said (more)
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

Dammers unhappy with Specials reunion

Jerry Dammers has claimed that he was kicked out of the Specials reunion tour. The keyboard player issued a statement about the reformed '80s ska band's forthcoming live shows, claiming that he had been "driven out" out of the project. In a statement, a spokesperson for Dammers said: "Jerry has a duty to inform anybody who may be interested of the true situation, which is that he was not invited to take part in this proposed tour, or even told about it. "He also has to say that claims that 'the door is still open' to him fail to mention that Jerry has been driven out every time he has (more)
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

Amy Winehouse Performs for Nelson Mandela Tribute

  • PEOPLE.com
Amy Winehouse was back on stage in London Friday when she performed rousing renditions of two of her hits at a special concert as part of Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday tribute. Wearing a white-and-black form-fitting dress, the Back to Black singer, 24, sang "Rehab" and her massive hit "Valerie" for the crowd, who welcomed her with loud cheers. Despite her recent hospitalization, Winehouse looked healthy. She wore her trademark beehive loose at the back. Decorating her hair was a heart-shaped adornment inscribed with "Blake" for her incarcerated husband, Blake Fielder-Civil. With Mandela watching in the wings, Winehouse danced while performing
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Albarn band plays Lmhr Victoria Park gig

The Good, The Bad and The Queen have joined the bill for the Love Music Hate Racism Carnival 2008.

nm0016332 autoDamon Albarn[/link]'s group will be joined by acts including nm1384618 autoJerry Dammers[/link] from The Specials, Hard-Fi, nm1915047 autoJay Sean[/link], nm1112221 autoPatrick Wolf[/link], Roll Deep and The Paddingtons.

The show, which celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Rock Against Racism concerts, takes place at London's Victoria Park on Sunday, April 27.

The 1978 event featured a concert from The Clash and saw 100,000 protesters take to the streets of London.

Due to nm0230607 autoPete Doherty[/link]'s . . .
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

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