February 29, 2012
February 28, 2012
News update: William Orbit, who has been rumoured to be producing a new Blur album, has been revealed to be working on Blur's new song "Under The Westway".
The piano ballad debuted on 19th February, at the War Childs charity gig, where Damon Albarn and Graham Coxon appeared on stage as a two-piece, with a piano and acoustic guitar, and performed a gentle melody.
Under the Westway is rumoured to be released for Record Store Day in April 2012. For those of you who want to know what Record Store Day is, this is the one day that all of the independently owned record stores in the UK and USA come together with artists to celebrate music. Special vinyls, tracks and CDs are made for this annual event. There is usually performances, in-store meet and greets and signings in store, with DJs and artists alike as well as other fun activities.
Blur has a history with releasing a new track for Record Store Day - they released "Fools Day", a new tune, for this event in 2010.
It's unclear whether Orbit is responsible for more Blur tracks or just for Under the Westway. Damon did say he has got a lot of Blur tracks in his pocket and the rest of the band is being very secretive. Or perhaps this track could even be for the new album.
In a recent NME interview, when asked "Will Blur be making a new album?" the response was mixed:
February 26, 2012
Damon Albarn snuggled up to Noel Gallagher in the Brit Awards 2012 - on Feb 21st, Tuesday evening.
The two members of Britpop supergroups Blur and Oasis hugged it out on the red carpet, made their amends, reconciled their differences and even suggested getting "drinks" together in the after-party.
In an NME February interview, Damon said "Yeah, we met up and I look forward to having a beer with him again. He has great charisma. And he didn't slag Liam off once!". He said he "didn't mind" Noel's solo album because "a big chunk of our history is the same".
Noel Gallagher called Damon as "mad as a box of frogs" a few weeks ago (Click to read full article) and said he would like to record with him rather than Coldplay's Chris Martin.
Blur won 4 Brit Awards in 1995 for their album Parklife, which was hugely successful. Blur then battled it out with Oasis for UK No. 1 single the following year, with a release of their singles "Country House" and "Roll with It" on the same day. Blur won the battle, but Oasis sold more albums in the long run.
Damon Albarn also revealed that Blur were offered the Outstanding Contribution to Music award a few years ago, but "turned it down". The award went to Robbie Williams that year.
Funnily enough, 17 years later in 2012, Blur looked somewhat the same in the Brits stage!
Catch up on the Blur/ Oasis feud HERE.
Read all about Blur being BASHED @ Brits HERE,
February 25, 2012
Stumbling Damon Albarn, tangled up strings, a broken guitar strap, cutting singer Adele's speech off, messy singing, a too-fast Tender, strange sounding "Oh Oh Oh Oh"s from Girls and Boys, the "Woo Hoos" becoming a bit too primal, Phil Daniels being on stage in the, gasp, Brits ...
What have all the items on this list of descriptions, used by people, bloggers, journalists and Adele-fans, have in common ? Go on, give it your best guess.
If you've noticed the fingers-pointing and negative vibes in the exhaustive list, then well done. The feedback Blur got back from the world was rather negative. It's been three days since the Brit Awards 2012 and Blur has been hit by negative reviews and media features criticizing their performance in the award show.
Blur were already marginalized by the fact that their two best performances of that night, Tender (from 13) complete with a 32 piece gospel choir and Alex James on Cello, and This is a Low (with Damon's heartfelt, pitch perfect solo) were not shown on ITV1. They was pushed to the lesser channel ITV2.
And Adele's speech cut off ? Again, it's a broadcasting decision, not the host James Corden's fault, nor Blurs. The media clung to Adele's middle finger like there was no other exciting event of the night. Poor bloke James, he was bashed too for being "boring" and "unfunny". So is the new trend "bash-the-brits" now ?
Some comments were simply accusatory, such as "It was Blur's fault Adele was kicked off the stage", or critical- "Blur has gone past their sell-out date". Others have said that they'd "rather watch One Direction" or Rihanna hammer out her tunes.
Most outrageous is the title of Daily Mail's Feb 23rd article "Should we really let Blur loose on the Olympics? They sounded like drunks who had invaded the stage at the Brits" - the article that let loose the howls of Blur fans everywhere in the world and questioned Blur's capability in performing in the London Olympics 2012.
Of course, the article was strewn with the worst pictures taken of that night, at unflattering angles, of Damon's eyes half closed and mouth in the middle of singing "Parklife". Wait a minute. What about all the epic photos and band pictures, or the glorious solos from Tender and This is a Low ?
The article from Daily Mail suggests that Damon should "mime", "for the sake of the world's eardrums". because apparently, Blur sounded horrible on television. The writer called Damon a "drunk" who was "yelling" instead of singing.
How's that as a blow to the head for one of Britain's most influential and definitive bands of the 90s (and 2000s). How's that for the winners of Outstanding Contribution to Music award- with previous winners including David Bowie and The Kinks. How's that for a band with 20+ years of making British music and hits like "Song 2" and "Girls and Boys"? Ouch.
The writer goes on for more Blur-bashing, and all the ya-da-das. He then admits that Blur's albums however, sounds "so good" and that the final performance of Tender was rather good". A rant on live music and more Damon-bashing follows. So in short, Blur sucked at the Brits and looked drunk and couldn't sing a tune. Yes, that sums the night up, doesn't it ?
So here's our point- but what's music, live music, without the mess, the errors and the glamourous rock n' roll mentality? We all know Adele sings perfectly, with no errors - she will not forget lyrics or hit the wrong note! And One Direction's poppy boy-band tracks are too well-rehearsed, dance choreography too in sync- are we watching automated people sing to viewers on television ?
We want to quote the MP Kerry Mccarthy, who published a feature post in pop music culture website Louder than War which counter-balances the Daily Mail's critique on Blur. It's rare we read something so accurate and describes exactly what we hear a lot of long time, devoted Blur fans say.
It's true isn't it - however you view Blur's performances, whether you are an old fan disappointed at their performance, or whether you are sentimentally ecstatic at Blur's return, or you were screaming form the joy of seeing them back on stage since the 1995 Blur Brits takeover episode. What Mccarthy wrote about is in some ways true.
Blur has always been like that - a great stage presence and an amazing live show. Just watch some old footage and you will marvel at their raw energy and passion. Even from the Seymour days, where Blur performed a recently surfaced song "Superman" - you can see Damon bopping and jumping around just like he did at the Brits 2012.
Damon Albarn, in a radio show afterwards, said something about the audience of the awards that night. The audience just weren't that into the songs (although we swore many were dancing below the stage!). Generally, there was a very mixed review of the show - some good, some bad, some terrible.
Graham Coxon, guitarist of Blur, had something to say about it when he posted a comment online. He said "it was the brits...since when do we have to be slick and boring...i remember the brits 17 years ago, it was mayhem...rock n roll pandemoonium...fun...fuck em."
When will London host another Olympics again ? Even if they do, it may not be in Blur's time.
Britain has chosen it's musical representatives - Blur, because they embody what British music has been about in the 90s and even early 2000s. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is a greatest achievement in itself - why should we continue to bash Blur about it ?
Perhaps people who decide so easily to compare a band like Blur- who won the top award of the night with their long-term achievements- to drunkards on stage, should think about not putting their opinion out there so strongly for the sake of the world’s eyeballs .
If you want note-perfect songs, go and listen to their albums.
Read the original Daily Mail's article HERE.
Then read MP Kerry McCarthy's rebuttal HERE.
Let us know what you think by commenting on Facebook or below. Special thanks to Naomi and Patsy who sent in these thought-provoking Blur articles!
Read all about Blur kicking Adele OUT of the Brits HERE,
February 24, 2012
Blur are going to headline several NEW concerts this year, as a prelude to their big Olympics gig 2012. The first gig announced via their newly launched, brand-new, black, white and suave band website (www.blur.co.uk) is the Way Out Festival 2012 in Gothenburg, Sweden on August 9th 2012.
They are also playing in Denmark 2012, Smuckfest in Skanderborg (http://smukfest.dk/).
They are then following on with Hyde Park, London Olympics 2012 Closing Ceremony gig, with The Specials and New Order also playing on August 12th 2012.
Blur made a triumphant return in the Brit Awards 2012 (albeit a little clash with singer Adele!) performing the longest record set (11 minutes plus a bit more) and made their names forever imprinted on British music's memories, joining in the likes of The Kinks, David Bowie and more. Check out some pictures of the set below:
The Live at the Brits EP only had 3 songs - Girls and Boys, Song 2 and Parklife, but with a little bit of mixing, it sounds much better!
And listen to Damon's touching speech, against the wonderful backdrop of their hit single "Parklife". Many fans and even Alex James (bassist) himself said that this may be Blur's "last bow" on stage, so Damon truly does deserve time to get to thank everyone who has helped shaped this influential British band.
For those who want to buy tickets to see Blur live at the Olympics closing ceremony 2012, here are some crucial details and links to get your tickets:
12 August, 5.30pm-midnight
Tickets £55+booking fee
on sale to BT customers 9am, Wednesday 22 February (SOLD OUT)
or on general sale 9am Friday 24 February (HERE)
Stay tuned to BlurBalls for more Blur concert gigs - we are expecting many intimate warm-up gigs around Britain or even outside as Blur inevitably will practice for their big Olympics event, representing UK music !
Meanwhile, read all about Blur beyond the Brits at The Quietus, the article is a must-read for all Blur fans out there who enjoy their non-single hits, rarities and b-sides.
Read all about Blur kicking Adele OUT of the Brits HERE,
February 23, 2012
BBC 6's Will Gilgrass has contacted BlurBalls and asked us to let all you dedicated fans know that they are hosting a 2 hour BLUR RADIO SHOW, live on air at BBC Radio 6, on Friday 25th February 2012.
A show called Now Playing @6Music on BBC 6 Music will air this Friday between 7-9pm (GMT).
Whatever, anyone who was on Worthy Farm that evening or at Blur's shows in London’s Hyde Park which followed will know what a special place the British public hold in their hearts for Damon, Alex, Graham and Dave.
To commemorate their BRIT, this Friday night on Now Playing we want you to build the ultimate Blur inspired playlist - but we need your help and music suggestions, like:
* B-sides and rarities, maybe the To The End with Françoise Hardy, their cover of Elvis Costello’s Oliver’s Army or their stomping version of Maggie Amy?
* Other projects the band members have worked on or collaborating be it solo work fromGorillaz to DRC Music, Massive Attack, Elastica or Duffy
* Current bands who Blur have influenced.
Let us know by leaving a comment on the blog, Tweeting us using #Blur6Music, discussing it on our Facebook page, e-mail or add some tracks to our Spotify playlist – and listen to the show on Friday from 7pm.
Check out their Facebook page here - http://www.facebook.com/
Listen live HERE this Friday 7-9pm GMT.
Firstly, Blur's documentary from 2009 "No Distance Left To Run" is showing on ITV4 (Click to Watch) at 9pm GMT. Get ready with a Coffee and TV, sit back and relax.
Secondly, thank you to our reader Nick for submitting an exclusive Alex James home interview from 2000 - click here to read this funny, poignant Blur interview - before the Band reunited. This is a trip down memory lane and a great read for any fan!
Lastly, don't forget to get this week's NME magazine - Blur's featured exclusively with posters and interviews, and lots of cool new Olympics news.