Geldof does U-turn on African acts for Live8

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Indy Politics

Bob Geldof revealed last night that he has enlisted fellow musician Peter Gabriel to find African acts for Live8, defusing a damaging row about the continent's acts being excluded from the main show.

Blur frontman Damon Albarn and broadcaster Andy Kershaw are among those who have denounced the global 2 July concerts for snubbing African performers.

But Geldof said last night that he has now spoken to Gabriel, one of the champions of world music who established the Womad festival 23 years ago.

He will put together a list of African performers for a concert at Murrayfield in Edinburgh on 6 July. Also involved will be Jamie Catto of the world music act 1 Giant Leap, who has worked with performers such as Senegalese star Baaba Maal.

"Peter rang me, so I said he should go up there to Edinburgh along with Jamie Catto," Geldof told The Independent on Sunday:

There had been rumours in the music industry that a breakaway show was being planned. Several top musicians had been approached, and the bill was to be packed with African performers.

Albarn weighed into the criticism of Live8 on Friday, dismissing the bill as "so Anglo-Saxon". He said: "If you are holding a party on behalf of people, then surely you don't shut the door on them."

Geldof has defended the virtual exclusion of African acts, because he wants big names such as Sir Elton John, U2 and Madonna who will attract TV viewers in the G8 nations.

He joked that his own appearance in Edinburgh, as an "ethnic Irishman", was important as part of the world music community.

He is not, however, due to perform at the Hyde Park Live8 event.

"There's no space. But maybe I'll sing along - I want to be there on the day just so I can say I took part."

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