The Sun City Rockers

It’s great to see the Sudanese rapper Emmanuel Jal included in the line-up for Nelson Mandela’s birthday concert in June. His life story – child soldier smuggled out of Sudan in a bag – is almost as inspiring as Mandela’s. And his music is hot. Too often these sorts of things are dominated by western musicians keen to demonstrate their right-on credentials.

Queen during their 1981 tour of Argentina with Diego Maradona

Less great to see Queen on the bill. Surely this can’t be the same band that lined their pockets with a sanctions-busting, multi-million-pound series of shows at South Africa’s Sun City complex in 1984?

“We’ve thought a lot about the morals of it a lot,” claimed Brian May at the time, long alleged to be one of the cleverest men in rock, “and it is something we’ve decided to do. The band is not political – we play to anybody who wants to come and listen.”

Presumably as long as they can get a day pass from Robben Island.
What next? A charity cricket match between teams led by Mike Gatting and Graham Gooch?