the Tibet incident

To the best of my knowledge, there was no negative reaction from the audience that night. I’ve heard that I offended and upset a lot of people but I didn’t feel any hostility from the audience. I think the reaction has been completely blown out of all proportion. I didn’t give a long speech about human rights or suppressing overseas territory, I literally chanted the word Tibet three times at the end of the last song.

I think what I tapped into in Shanghai, without knowing it, is China’s determination to be the world’s next superpower. It’ll be interesting to see what happens in the run-up to the Olympics because they’re still learning how to communicate with Western civilisation and I think having thousands of visitors who are used to freedom of speech will be a big challenge for China.

the Big Issue - 31.03.2008