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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 03-13-2009, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
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a great cause...

and a great concert, on now...




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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 03-15-2009, 12:53 AM Thread Starter
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Royals join forces with Sound Relief
Sunday, March 15, 2009 » 11:33am

Princes Harry and William have expressed their sympathies for bushfire victims to Sydney and Melbourne sound relief concerts.

Sound Relief concert crowds in Melbourne and Sydney paused for a minute's silence in memory of Victorians and Queenslanders devastated by natural disasters.

Then messages of support from the Princes Harry and William in London and graphic images revived memories of firestorms that claimed more than 200 lives, and the disastrous north Queensland floods.

Dressed in navy suits and wearing gold bushfire memorial ribbons, the royal brothers expressed their deepest sympathies.

'Like so many people throughout the world, both of us have watched the devastating news about the catastrophic bushfires in Victoria and the floods in Queensland,' Prince William declared on a telecast beamed on to giant screens at both venues.

'For those survivors who've lost someone they love we can only imagine what they must be going through.

'For them and for all those left injured or homeless the tragedy is far from over.'

Harry added his support for the concert and the performers who dedicated their time to the cause.

'The line-up looks amazing and the concert is a magnificent effort by the Australian music community to pay tribute in the way they know best,' he said.

Kylie Minogue compered the Melbourne concert and rewarded the crowd with a touching rendition of I Still Call Australia Home.

Half the profits of the Sydney concert will go to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal, and the remainder to The Premier's Disaster Relief Fund Appeal in Queensland for victims of the recent floods.

The combined gigs were expected to raise more than $5 million.

Pouring rain and chilly temperatures didn't deter the tens of thousands who turned out in both cities.

For rock fans, the lineup of talent at both venues was extra special: local rockers Jet, pop songstress Gabriella Cilmi and international act Kings of Leon kicked off an all-star line-up at the MCG as the parallel event got underway in Sydney.

Jet launched into their hit Rip it Up as fans ignored the rain and clustered on the grounds of the MCG in front of the stage.

The group followed their first song with their 2004 break-through single, Are You Gonna Be My Girl, before flying to Sydney to perform later on Saturday.

Band members said it was a great honour to be able to use their musical talents for a good cause.

'It's nice to be part of something greater than the pursuit of your own career,' lead singer Nic Cester told a press conference before the concert got underway.

The band was followed by young pop sensation Gabriella Cilmi, who made a flying trip to Australia from the UK where she is recording her second album.

'It's pretty close to home,' she told a press conference.

'I know people that have been affected (by the bushfires), people that have had to evacuate their houses.'

Kings of Leon declined to play one of their biggest songs, Sex on Fire, because of the potential for the controversial title to offend bushfire victims.

But they didn't disappoint as they belted out Use Somebody to an appreciative audience.

Federal Environment Minister and Midnight Oil frontman Peter Garrett was more philosophical about performing songs such as Beds are Burning.

'I think that you can look at lyrics out of any songs and clearly, there are going to be lines there that pertain to any given situation,' he said.

'But the songs stand in their own right and in their own time,' he told a press conference.

Comedian Dave Hughes and music industry stalwart Molly Meldrum appeared on stage while comedian Peter Rowsthorn and his daughter Maggie were among the crowd enjoying the historic event.

'It's a great lineup and it's ... a good atmosphere. If you ever do any kind of benefit the atmosphere is always really good, because everyone is always in the right frame of mind for it,' Rowsthorn told AAP.

Other homegrown musicians Augie March, Hunters and Collectors and Paul Kelly also took to the stage, while Split Enz and international act Jack Johnson rocked punters into Saturday night.

Given the task of closing the night's entertainment in Sydney, Barry Gibb and Olivia Newton-John said they felt moved to come back to Australia for the cause.

'I think our spirits are always here,' Gibb said.

Both said they were devastated when they heard about the fires.

'I was devastated, particularly the images of the animals. That koalas image that went around just broke my heart. It's just shocking, so shocking,' Newton-John said.

Earlier in the dayColdplay cemented their Aussie credentials when they were joined on stage by Aussie icon John Farnham at the Sydney concert.

'Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to sing the 'Australian national anthem', John Farnham,' Martin said.

With Coldplay as his backing band, Farnham led a crowd of thousands in singing his signature hit You're The Voice.



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