Holly to Bolly: Marianne Faithfull pays homage to Paris attack victims, Putin gives Russian passport to US actor Steven Seagal and more

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Marianne Faithfull pays homage to Paris attack victims at Bataclan

British singer and 1960s icon Marianne Faithfull paid homage to the victims of last year’s Paris attacks in a concert at the Bataclan on Friday (November 25) singing a song she wrote about the tragedy.

“For me, this is an important concert, there are lots of things which I must mourn – through music and through words,” said Faithfull, 69, clad all in black and supporting herself with a cane, told the crowd. She kicked off the concert – held in the same venue where jihadists massacred 90 people in November 2015 – with Tower of Song by Leonard Cohen, who died this month.

The former wildchild then launched into They Come at Night, which she wrote in her Paris apartment the day after the attacks, the lyrics denouncing those who wish to kill music and partying. One of rock's great survivors, whose voice and body carry the scars of battling through cancer, drug and alcohol addictions, Faithfull told Agence France-Presse last month that she was not afraid to return to the site of the violence. The singer who was Rolling Stone Mick Jagger's one-time partner and muse and who lives between Paris and Ireland, has said that writing the song for her adopted city was "the only thing I could do". – * Agence France-Presse


Putin gives Russian passport to US actor Steven Seagal

President Vladimir Putin has given a Russian passport to America action film star Steven Seagal, calling it a sign of a thaw in relations with the United States. The 64-year old actor has been a regular visitor to Russia in recent years and has accompanied Putin to several martial arts events. Seagal also has vocally defended the Russian leader’s policies and criticised the US government. After awarding Seagal citizenship through a presidential decree earlier this month, Putin hosted the actor at the Kremlin on Friday and handed him the passport. Putin told Seagal he hopes the ceremony, which was shown on Russian state television, is “also a sign of a gradual normalisation of the relations between the countries.” – * Associated Press


Lohan apologizes to UK town over Christmas lights no-show

Lindsay Lohan has apologised to an English town for failing to keep a date to switch on its Christmas lights. The actress posted a video on Twitter saying she couldn’t attend Thursday’s event in Kettering because of her “busy schedule.” Lohan’s link to the town 130 km north of London began June 23, the night of Britain’s European Union membership referendum. In a series of tweets about the vote across Britain, she posted: “Sorry but Kettering where are you?” The incident prompted local lawmaker Philip Hollobone to invite Lohan to switch on Kettering’s festive lights. Kettering Borough Council chief David Cook said local authorities “appreciate how hard she and her team tried to make this work and we were delighted to get a video message wishing us well.” – * Associated Press


Standard of Bollywood music has dropped, says Akhtar

Revered lyricist and poet Javed Akhtar has slated modern day Bollywood music, saying the poorer quality is a reflection of contemporary society. Asked about the quality of present day music on said: “The standards have dropped. But you should see things in right perspective,” Said Akhtar. “Film music or film dialogues or films themselves are not produced in a void. They are part of a society and whatever is happening in the society will reflect here also. “What has happened tragically is that in the last 30-40 years, our society has progressed materially, industrially and technically. We have gone up and today the urban middle-class is doing well for itself. That’s wonderful. “But in this chase of catching the gravy train we left certain things at the platform. Like music, like poetry, like literature and fine arts were very low on the priority list.” Later at the media interaction, Akhtar said the most of the music made today is for the discos and make no room for good lyrics. – IANS