Robert Fripp and Toyah, it’s fair to say, have been having a really fun time making their Sunday Lunch services since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pair have covered everyone from The Undertones to Patti Smith to The Velvet Underground – throughout each cover, Fripp happily strums his guitar while smiling pleasantly, as his partner Toyah dances loosely and wildly around him in their kitchen. It’s an endearing ritual and it clearly works for them.
Yet there comes a time when everyone must get serious. Less than 48 hours after dropping their latest cover, a take on ‘Lonely Boy’ by The Black Keys, Fripp and Toyah returned with an ode to the Ukrainian people.
In a video titled ‘Ukraine We Hear You’, they performed ‘Cult of Personality’ by Living Colour – judging by that song title, it’s clearly a slight at Russian president Vladimir Putin. The hashtags #stoptheinvasion and #stopthewarrussia appeared under the video.
This time round, there’s no outrageous outfits, no suggestive gyrating, just a serious and sincere performance by the pair. A peace and love sign painted yellow and blue, the colours of the Ukrainian flag, hangs in the kitchen behind them.
They picked a good song for the occasion. ‘Cult of Personality’ was the opening track on Living Colour’s debut studio album, 1998’s Vivid. It reached number 13 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and won the Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance.
The band’s guitarist explained in a 2009 interview that the song “was about celebrity, but not on a political level.” “It asked what made us follow these individuals who were larger than life yet still human beings,” he added. “Aside from their social importance, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King both looked like matinee idols. That was a strong part of why their messages connected.”
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