13 October, 2007

Oh, those South Ossetians!

Lifting a story from Popbitch, the BBC reports that the government of Georgia have recruited disco stars Boney M to the struggle against South Ossetian separatism: Boney M play on Georgia frontline

What is happening is this: Boney M are going to play a concert in Tamarasheni, a small village in South Ossetia that has remained loyal to Georgia. The village is in walking distance of Tskhinvali, the rebel capital. The hope is that many South Ossetians will come to the free concert, get down to the sounds of Boney M (whose hits include "Rasputin", "Daddy Cool", "Ma Baker", and "By The Rivers of Babylon"). They will then start to realise that life will be "better and more fun if they returned to government control". An unnamed Georgian official is quoted as saying that "peaceful life resumes when people sing songs".

Boney M have some experience of dealing with the problems of conflict. Their 1977 hit "Belfast", was a plea for peace in that troubled city. The band's own experience illusrates the dangers of separatism, as there are now two mutually hostile Boney M touring bands. It is not known which one is playing the concert in Georgia.

As an aside, the BBC correspondent in Georgia is one Matthew Collin, co-author or sole author of interesting books such as "Altered State" (about Ecstasy culture and dance music) and "Serbia Calling" (about Radio B-92 and the Serbian counter culture under Milosevic).

EDIT: that BBC article has been updated. The concert has taken place and was attended by many people. The Boney M that played was fronted by Marica Barrett, one of the original members of the band. There are at least two other bands with original members touring as Boney M.

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