The UN Concert to celebrate the giving of the Nobel Peace Prize (or something like that) Shown extremely late at night, there can be little doubt that the many hundred who tuned in for this will have sat in a state of utter bewilderment. This glittering occasion had the unfortunate whiff of a Eurovision Song Contest without voting and with people you had a broad chance of having heard of. Sadly on this occasion neither Ken Bruce or Terry Wogan were available. So instead, looking like overdone Oscar presenters we had the unlikely partnership of Meryl Streep (not looking at all well), and Liam Neeson (not looking at all comfortable). Well unlikely if you haven’t seen the obscure tv movie on a budget ‘Before and After’.

The overall highlights of the show: Neeson and Streep actually announcing the acts. Nowhere else will you hear that gruff Irish brogue whisper: “Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Wycliff Jean.” Then there was Streep’s in ability to say “A-ha” without sounding like Sherlock Holmes discovering a vital clue; Morten Harket of the aforementioned group, still with the belief that tight leather pants are cool; poor old Natalie Imbruglia batting out ‘Torn’ and her new single to a largely unappreciative audience; the unappreciative audience who we suspect would have looked any less bored if Elvis had turned up, with John Lennon doing backing vocals; the high contingent of classical performers who were excellent but who you’d never heard of; Meryl again: “And here, to sing “Nessum Dorma!”, Russell Watson”; Anastacia (how can that voice come from the body?); Destiny’s Child managing to get through a live song without a catfight or a lawsuit (meow) and finally Paul McCartney.

Now my Dad went to school with Paul (actually he’s a few years younger so they never met as far as my Dad can remember). Little did we know he would become a walking Metafilter for the occasion, when he began his set by telling us one of the songs was about September 11th and the other was dedicated to George. There was a certain inevitability when he ended the show with ‘Let It Be’, given an extra-powerful lift by the group accompaniment of the stars of the show. This would seem to be the only time these stars will ever share a stage again. It was almost as good as that bit in ‘Live Aid’, and before he’d decided that he wrote the songs before John. He did. He did. He did. Goddam you Yoko …

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