Bring back Kiri, cry Rugby Union watchers

Bring back Kiri, cry Rugby Union watchers


norman lebrecht

September 25, 2015

There’s a swell of protest online at the truly appalling singing of the Rugby Union World Cup anthem by Paloma Faith, a throaty pop pusher. A petition has been launched to have her replaced.

Traditionalists are calling for the restoration of Dame Kiri, or Bryn Terfel. Gustav Holst is turning in his grave.

Sign the petition if you want to raise the stakes.

kiri te kanawa rugby


  • Stweart says:

    Bring on any half decent chorus singer.
    It would be better than this nasal screaming !

  • Leo says:

    Paloma has a very good pop genre voice I just think her interpretation using split phrases didn’t work that well.

    • M_von_Kolinahr says:

      … maybe a typical pop genre voice for this day and age, but with the best will in the world, she’s not exactly Grace Slick, now is she?? To name just one great rock singer who might still be able to lend the piece some vestige of dignity! As a lifelong Holst devotee, I think my sensibilities are really a bit offended now, after seeing this – so yes, please bring back Kiri – fast!! 🙂

    • V.Lind says:

      She’s ghastly. I suppose most revolting pop/rock arrangements are made that way because the singers can’t sustain a note without taking a breath halfway through.

      • M_von_Kolinahr says:

        Well I think some of them can, but in this case it’s all the extra sliding around Holst’s notes (a widely used approach in such renditions, in an attempt to make it all sound more “soulful” – listen to something by, say, Aretha Franklin, however, and reflect on the difference!) plus the extraordinarily strangled squawking at the end that does it in. I listen to quite a bit of rock and pop as well, so normally I’m rather more tolerant of the voices – a case of horses for courses, and again some of the singers can be great – but sadly Paloma’s is just a very, very mannered, strictly by the numbers approach, and ultimately it’s quite excruciating.

  • Holly Golightly says:

    Get a grip please; this is a rough contact sport. Pop music appropriate. Kiri is past it.