Well actually, Beirut plays the Gorillaz “White Flag” song:
“White Flag”, on the album, opens with a lush and hypnotic Arabic orchestra. Recorded over in Beirut, around the end of March 2009. I went over there in disguise … I knew I wanted that part of the world on the record, so I fired up the helicopter again and left PLASTIC BEACH and headed for Beirut and Syria. I had to be in disguise because of all of these elements that were after me … so I chose a black burka as my disguise and flew out to Beirut to record with The National Orchestra for Arabic Music.
While I was over there various guides took me around the city. Which is an eye-opener … Y’know, the Israelis like to fly their jets really low over the city of Beirut once a month. It’s called “sabre-rattling”, buzzing the towns in order to pop out the windows.
If they fly low and fast enough, it creates a sonic boom effect, taking out all the windows in the area. It’s a part of the atmosphere, and the relentless campaign to keep the city on its toes.
The city is like Port Royal, the old pirate town. Basically you can kind of get what you want, if you want to party in a war zone. Which I guess I did, in my own unique and singular style.
What a fantastic piece to lay on a so-called “pop album”… It’s fundamental to open people’s ears up to this aspect of the world … Because if you only read the papers or watch the TV the impression you get is so very different. So it’s important to stick things like this out there … Just erode all this misinformation …