Peter Gabriel, who has kept an unusually low-profile as of late, snuck out
Tuesday night (March 18) for a rare live appearance to lend a hand to an artist
on his Real World label, 25 year-old Akron, Ohio singer-songwriter Joseph
The unannounced gig at the new Caroline Records (Caroline
distributes Real World) loft in New York's Fashion district was an exclusive
peek at some of the songs on Arthur's just-released debut album, Big City
Secrets, the first rock album on Gabriel's more world music-oriented
imprint and luckily, ATN had a spy in the crowd of 100 or so attendees.
mole tells us that Arthur took the corner-of-the-room stage alone following a
set by another Real World artist, Tibetan song bird Yungchen Lhamo, and
proceeded to play the non-album song, "May God's Love Be With You" accompanied
only on acoustic guitar and an intriguing set of foot pedals on which he looped
his guitar parts over and over until they came out sounding like percussion
Then, surprising most of those in attendance, the former Genesis
leader hopped on stage for the second tune, "Your History is Your Gravity," and
stayed until the end of the set. As he does on the album track "Mercedes,"
which also features vocals from Brian Eno, Gabriel sang backing vocals on the
four remaining tunes in Arthur's 40 minute set. The pair were also joined by
Senegalese singer and Gabriel collaborator Youssou N' Dour on the title track,
one of only two songs Arthur played that appear on his debut, the other being
"Put My Daddy On Prozac."
A source at Caroline told ATN that Gabriel
stumbled upon the singer when a friend sent him a tape of Arthur's angular
songs, which resulted in Gabriel's flying him to England for a meeting and,
eventually, a recording deal and a few spots on one of Gabriel's WOMAD tours.
According to the source, Gabriel has gotten very involved with Arthur's career
and taken the singer under his wing because, "he feels very strongly that he's
a person that should be heard."