Soft Cell’s Marc Almond: “I Love Israel…I Find No Point in Cultural Boycotts”


Singer Marc Almond, who as part of English synthpop duo Soft Cell was responsible for the hit song Tainted Love (the first song to which I ever knew the lyrics), is about to perform in Israel.

But before any BDS-holes get any ideas, don’t bother. His love of Israel remains untainted.

Marc Almond is excited to be interviewed by Israeli media for his August 14 concert in Tel Aviv. “I love Israel,” he says. “I visited there twice in the past and was always received there very well. [In the beginning of my career] I was a member of a band called Marc and the Mambas, and the only show we ever performed outside of London, and mind you it was 1983, was in Tel Aviv. The last time I was there was in 2004. Funny, no?!

“I was pleasantly surprised by this country,” Marc continued. “I had a different image about [Israel] and found it to be a lively place, full of young people, a wild nightlife and a wild vibe. A real pleasure. I was supposed to perform there again in 2011, but we had to give it up. There was a disagreement between the producer and us. These things happen.

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room: Has anyone ever asked you not to perform in Israel?

“Honestly, to me personally, no one approached. It’s not that people did not ticked their tongues at me, waved a finger and said, ‘you should not perform there,’ but for me it doesn’t matter, I travel a lot to Russia, for example. I have a lot of funs there and people tell me that I shouldn’t perform there because of their attitude towards gay people. I find it unacceptable. If I don’t perform there, it will simply hurt my fans, they are not to blame for their government’s policy. I find no point in cultural boycotts, in the end you punish the wrong people.”

To my opinion, you should be wherever there’re fans that want to hear your music. This is how I see things. I think you can mark a lot of places on the globe and say you will not go there because you do not agree with something and in the end you’ll end up not being able to travel anywhere. I just don’t deal with these things, and if people want to comment about it, let them have it, I have no problem with it. Let them live their lives and let me live mine.”

It’s enough to make a BDS-hole end up in a soft cell.

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