Watch Blur Perform Their New Album ‘Live’

BLUR LIVE

BLUR LIVE

UNDER THE WESTWAY has been a productive area for Blur in recent times, so it’s not surprising they returned to a space beneath the A40 in West London to preview their new album The Magic Whip live.

Last Friday (March 20) Damon Albarn and co. performed their new recording full and in order at London club Mode – which is nestled below the iconic elevated roadway – for 300 competition winners.

The show, which also included Parklife track Trouble In The Message Centre right at the end, was filmed by streaming service Beats By Dr. Dre and you can watch footage below for one night only from 8pm (GMT) this evening.

‘The Magic Whip’ is out on April 27.

The stream is no longer live, but you can watch full-song clips from the performance below.

The Magic Whip Tracklist:
01. Lonesome Street
02. New World Towers
03. Go Out
04. Ice Cream Man
05. Thought I Was A Spaceman
06. I Broadcast
07. My Terracotta Heart
08. There Are Too Many Of Us
09. Ghost Ship
10. Pyongyang
11. Ong Ong
12. Mirrorball

Blur “Lonesome Street”

Blur “Go Out”

Damon Albarn – Everyday Robots

Damon Albarn - Photo Linda Brownlee

Damon Albarn – Photo Linda Brownlee

 

Everyday Robots Parlophone | CD DL LP

Damon Albarn takes a rare look inwards in his most reflective, traditional songwriting since the Blur era.

Damon-Albarn-Everyday-Robots-433

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR ONE OF ROCK’S MOST famous figures, and, with Noel and Liam, the classic face of ’90s Britpop, Damon Albarn still remains something of a puzzle. Such an extraordinary life, such a wealth of musical adventures, yet so many facets of the man have often felt veiled. His music, though stamped with his personality, has rarely dealt directly with the detail of his emotional life – though when he has diarised traumatic personal events, notably on Blur’s No Distance Left To Run, written in 1998 about the end of his relationship with Elastica’s Justine Frischmann, the results have possessed extraordinary power.

Albarn’s decision to retreat, post-Blur, from a life lived in the public gaze and to launch Gorillaz as a ‘cartoon group’ in 2001, behind which he could enjoy a protective semi-anonymity while still selling millions of records, has done little to bring the ‘real’ Damon any closer. Nor has his torrent of millennial side-adventures, exploring interesting musical avenues and fusions – the self-explanatory Mali Music (2002); The Good The Bad And The Queen album (2006); the soundtrack for the Chinese opera Monkey: Journey To The West (2011); the DRC-inspired Kinshasa One Two (2011); his Afro-beat/white funk jam Rocket Juice And The Moon(2012); the Dr Dee stage musical (2013); his Africa Express tour – but giving little of himself away.

Albarn, it seems, has been so busy investigating the world outside himself that he’s neglected – or maybe simply postponed – looking inwards. Until now, that is. But Everyday Robots is not quite what you’d expect, or even perhaps want, from a Damon solo record. It probably won’t tell you too much about him that you hadn’t guessed already. But it is rather good.

The cover of Everyday Robots shows the artist in desert boots and green mod parka, seated on a stool, head bowed, looking forlorn. It is, wittingly or not, the antithesis of Modern Life Is Rubbish’s cocky, faux-yob iconography. Its dour mood of reflective middle-aged melancholia isn’t something an initial foray into the album will dispel. The over-riding first impression is of quiet, tick-tock percussion, minimal thud-thud bass, tinkling piano, mournful strings and, high in the mix, Albarn’s wistful tenor unfolding another slow, hazy rumination on something yet to be fully understood by the listener. Only the joyful gospel lilt of Mr Tembo – a story about a baby elephant Albarn met in Africa – sticks out from the glassine mist. That, and last track Seven Seas Of Love, an unlikely ‘80s pop throwback that sounds a little like an acoustic Heaven 17 covering The Monkees’ Daydream Believer.

What’s abundantly clear is that Everyday Robots has no intention of coming to you; instead, its songs gently insist that you come to them. And patience and perseverance is bountifully rewarded.

 

 

 

 

Damon Albarn opens up about drug use

Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn

As Damon Albarn makes the rounds in support of his forthcoming solo debut, Everyday Robots, he’s speaking candidly about his past drug use.

In a new interview with Q magazine (via The Independent), Albarn said that he began using heroin “at the height of Britpop” and found it be “incredibly productive”.

“I hate talking about this because of my daughter, my family. But, for me, it was incredibly creative,” Albarn explained. “A combination of [heroin] and playing really simple, beautiful, repetitive shit in Africa changed me completely as a musician. I found a sense of rhythm. I somehow managed to break out of something with my voice.”

Albarn has been clean for several years and stressed that drugs are ”cruel, cruel thing.” He continued, “[Heroin] does turn you into a very isolated person and ultimately anything that you are truly dependent on is not good.”

Albarn also addresses his drug use on Everyday Robots, specifically in the song “You and Me”. Below, watch footage of him performing the song at this month’s BBC 6 Music Festival.