04 January 2006

Simply Red in Cuba

Last night I witnessed the sad spectacle of Mick Hucknall delivering a live concert in what I took to be a concert hall in Havana. It was billed as Simply Red, but it wasn't that. It was simply Mick Hucknall with strings, girly dancers, and local backing musicians. The audience were up out of their seats, no doubt glad of exposure to something from the democratic west. Mick was hugging himself in raptures, bathing in the appreciation of a possibly hand-selected and politically vetted audience. But every drop of the spark, the radicalism, and even the musical gusto of the Mancunian Simply Red of the 1980s and 1990s had gone. I switched over and enjoyed a low-budget film noir called The Tatooed Stranger set in graveyards and a yet to be developed Bronx. Far more real life there.

1 comment:

GCH said...

I just watched it and I couldn't help to think how sad it is to give a concert in Cuba where cubans cannot afford to buy tickets or wouldn't be let in the concert hall. I guess only high positioned government workers were allowed. Is that the essence of music and art? I don't think so. Fine choice to have switched to a movie instead.