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March 8, 2007 - NME.com:

Damon Albarn to lead anti-nuclear protest tonight

Star will be singing against weapons from Greenpeace boat

Arctic Sunrise on Thames
Arctic Sunrise on Thames

A new song by Damon Albarn will be performed at an anti-nuclear weapons gig today (March 8) at 6.30pm.

'5 Minutes To Midnight' will be performed by a 50-piece choir Sense of Sound on board Greenpeace boat Arctic Sunrise, which is docked on the Thames.

Speaking about his opposition to the UK Government replacing the Trident Nuclear Weapons system, Albarn told NME.COM that he hoped lots of people will get involved.

"I think people shouldn't care what other people say when they're talking about these issues," he said. "Peer pressure is the worst kind of censorship: you can't talk about issues because it's not cool. Rubbish, we all have to engage."

The show will feature visual designs by Massive Attack's Robert '3D' Del Naja and feature contributions from Brian Eno.

According to a statement the performance will represent a peaceful demonstration against renewing Trident weapons system, and against Britain possessing nuclear weapons at all.

The performance will also be broadcast live at Greenpeace.org.uk from 7pm, where it can be accessed for 24 hours.

Update added March 9, 2007 from NME.com:

[...] The 25-minute long song had an ambient keyboard backing, over which dialogue was spoken by different members of the choir.

The controversial, thought-provoking spoken word piece incorporated anti-nuclear statements and the history of nuclear weaponry.

Dialogue included the statements: "The target will be a purely military one...384 Hiroshimas..6 million dead...We are not condemned to repeat the lessons of 40 years at the nuclear brink...The price already paid is too clear...It is 5 minutes to midnight. The clock is ticking."

Speaking earlier on Radio 4's the Today Programme, Albarn said that the song title referred to: "the change in the status of the doomsday clock which moved from seven to five. Which seems alarmingly close to the witching hour to me."

He said he hoped the event would bring about a mood change: "It's a chance to meditate on the realities of Trident. And to dedicate a moment to that thought process. Music should try to slow things down...Dusk on the Thames is a good place for the city to take a deep breath and think about things.

"There's the beginning of an engagement...There's a growing sense of anxiety in the artistic community and it's starting to express itself."

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