Those of you reading this site in November and December last year might remember we published several articles about MDL Beast Soundstorm – a festival paid for by the government of Saudi Arabia to make the human-rights abusing country look good on a worldwide stage.
We weren’t entirely comfortable with the thought of DJs accepting large amounts of money to effectively be propaganda tools for the country’s murderous regime. And by the looks of it, nor did Jeff Mills – put it this way, if his defence of his actions was to be compared to a horse, it would have been turned into glue a long time ago.
Given how appalling a job DJs do of defending themselves, it’s little wonder most of them don’t bother. Which brings us to the subject of Peggy Gou – who’s going to be playing at Tel Aviv in Israel on June 9th. The same Israel which was recently behind the murder of Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian-American journalist who was shot in the head whilst reporting on an Israeli raid at a West Bank refugee camp two weeks ago.
Gou has a curious changing attitude when it comes to choosing where to play, however. In September 2018, she cancelled a gig at DGTL in Tel Aviv, claiming on social media that “After seeing a number of people whose ideologies I respect initiate a cultural boycott of Israel, I have decided to join them. I sincerely hope that the conflict is resolved as soon as possible.”.”
Seeing that the conflict has been ongoing since 1948, Gou’s optimism was, at best, ill-placed. Yet next month, she will be appearing in Tel Aviv once more – and there’s no word of this appearance being cancelled. So what’s changed?
A clue can be found in an interview that Gou gave to i-D Magazine early in 2020 – before the pandemic came along and had its own ideas on how we’d spend the year. To quiote directly what the article said…
“But since previously facing a backlash for cancelling a set at DGTL Tel Aviv in 2018, self-described ’naturally selective’ Peggy explains that she has learned to lesson, now preferring to stay out of politics. ’It doesn’t matter if it’s Israel or North Korea… if there’s people who want to hear my music, I will go. I don’t give a f***’.”.
Perhaps once North Korea has managed to deal with its current problems, dictator Kim Jong-Un might want to give her a call…