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September 24, 2013

Vampire Weekend Cover Blur's Song 2

Band Vampire Weekend covered Blur's hit single 'Song 2' in New York City during a gig in Barclay's Centre on Friday, September 20th 2013.



Damon Albarn had previously expressed interest in Vampire Weekend and it seems that the feeling is mutual. Did you know- Blur's 'Song 2' is one of the most covered songs by the band, and previous artists that performed their renditions include Weezer, Miley Cyrus, Avril Lavigne, Robbie Williams, Plain White Ts, Scooter and My Chemical Romance.




More details on the Vampire Weekend gig can be seen here. Vote below and let us know what you think of the cover.

What do you think of this cover?
  




September 14, 2013

Festival Coverage: Blur live in the Berlin Festival 2013

Blur played an eventful show in the Berlin Festival in Germany on September 6th 2013. The gig, which featured other artists such as Bjork, Franz Ferdinand, Ellie Goulding, My Bloody Valentine and Pet Shop Boys, received generally positive reviews from fans and critics alike.

Blur closed the music festival by playing on the main stage, where their performance was deemed "extraordinary" and acknowledged as "one of the best the festival's ever seen".

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It has been ten years since Blur last played a show in Germany. In an interview before the concert, bassist Alex James revealed that he had a past connection with the nation: "It’s great to be here, I love Germany, I did a student exchange to Hannover when I was 17".

When asked about what the band expects from the German fans, he remarked: "We are going to enjoy ourselves, and that usually rubs off on the crowd. We’ve had some great gigs in Berlin over the years and I think we’ll be going out for a few beers afterwards. We’re up for it and I think everyone else is, too.

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User hendrik from the official Blur forums gives his review of the gig:

Berlin was great! It felt like a pretty small crowd (the festival in general, Blur still drew the most people for the night) which made for good spots and a very relaxed viewing. The setlist was a bit unsurprising but the band's as tight as ever and in good spirits too. Damon's German skills aren't too shabby either. For their first outing in the [Germany] in a decade, it was simply a very good show by a very good band.

Another Blur fan Liese also went to the Blur show and says:

I have seen the band playing live multiple times in 2009 and 2012, and I often think German crowds are rather boring, so I really considered not going to see Blur's first German gig in 10 years. I did not expect much more than the setlist I had seen and heard many other times; I could not have been more wrong- I was blown away! [Blur] were even tighter than last year, in high spirits, witty, and not to forget Damon's [not-so-bad] German!

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Besides Damon speaking rather fluent German, more special events occurred during the gig night - Phil Daniels made a special appearance during the hit 'Parklife', and Damon Albarn also donned on framed glasses at one point during the gig. The Blur frontman looked much younger than his age, resembling his youthful self back in the heydays of the Britpop nineties.

Image Gallery - Blur at the Berlin Festival 2013

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Graham Coxon Germany
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To see the full gallery of Blur in Berlin (45 images), visit our Facebook album here.

Blur at Berlin Festival - 9/6/13 Setlist:

Girls & Boys 
There's No Other Way 
Beetlebum 
Out of Time 
Trimm Trabb 
Caramel 
Coffee & TV 
Tender 
To the End 
Country House 
Parklife (ft. Phil Daniels) 
End of a Century 
This Is a Low 

Encore: 
Under the Westway 
For Tomorrow 
The Universal 
Song 2

The Clash Magazine's review of the Berlin Festival mentioned Blur, saying that Blur took to the stage with the "minimum of fuss: a denim-clad and floppy limbed Damon Albarn launches straight into the perfect opening triple-whammy of ‘Girls & Boys’, ‘There’s No Other Way’ and ‘Beetlebum’."

The article goes on to detail the gig and Damon Albarn's idiosyncratic actions: "Inevitably, this goes down rather well with the audience. Albarn provides the only precipitation of the day by continually launching water from the bottle he’s drinking from over the front row. Not that anyone there seems to mind too much. Things take a sombre turn when Albarn asks the crowds to think of Syria before launching into a particularly melancholic take on 2003 single ‘Out Of Time’, written due to Albarn’s disillusionment at UK participation in the Iraq War."

Watch the show - Videos of Blur live at the Berlin Festival 

Once again, fans captured the best moments from the Germany gig. Scroll down to watch Damon Albarn borrowing a fan's spectacles and putting them on while he sings Country House, Damon asking the crowd to remember the crisis in Syria and the band performing a spiced-up version of the intro of 'Song 2'.



(Damon asks the crowd to remember Syria)

(Damon borrows a fans' glasses)








Don't forget to check out a short review of the show here. For fans who are fluent in German, read a local review of the exciting night here.

View more pictures of the other acts in the Berlin Festival by clicking HERE.

Blur Tour 2013 - Full dates and rundown  HERE
Blur @ Coachella- video and image gallery HERE 

Blur confirmed for Mexico HERE
Blur Europe Tour News  HERE
Order the new Blur: Parklife (Live at Hyde Park CD / DVD) HERE

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September 9, 2013

Andrew Rens Salendu: Interview with a Blur artist

This month's featured article will be all about part-time Blur artist Andrew Rens Salendu from Indonesia who published a series of wonderfully stylish Blur posters online in Deviantart. The styles of his Blur artwork, custom Blur album sleeves and covers ranges from dark britpop grunge, pure vintage to brilliantly colorful and psychedelic. 

Describe yourself - who are you ?

I’m a forensic pathologist who listens to a lot of music and draws a lot. I have a lovely wife and a handsome baby boy.

What inspired you to make the Blur posters?

Blur are very visually stimulating. They seem to put great care in their packaging. That inspired me to try to imitate the thought process in designing posters.

We've Got a File On You-
A riff on countless pop art stuff
Poster Design- A Blur/Batman
animated series mash-up






















How did you get into Blur in the first place ?

For Tomorrow was a minor radio hit, and I remember thinking it was a very catchy tune. But like most others, the Blur bug bit me when Parklife was released. The variety of music is breathtaking, the quality of the songs even more so.

Name your favourite song - why ?

I can’t decide between Blue Jeans and Sweet Song.

What other music do you have in your collection ?

Like all the people who were in high school in 1994-1996, I have a soft spot for Britpop, even the second-division bands like Menswear, Dodgy, Octopus, Subcircus and Bennett. My favorite bands, other than Blur, are The Beatles, R.E.M., 10,000 Maniacs, The Smiths, Ryan Adams and Fountains of Wayne.

A Spell for Money- A fictional record sleeve
Elton John's Cock -
Design for a CD Single 
















What do you consider when designing anything ?

My approach can be divided into just two: do the opposite and do the appropriate. Blur has a distinct but varied visual identity, from the early days by Stylorouge and to the later days when they use Banksy and Graham’s artwork. Mixing and matching visual styles are always fun.

Who's your favorite member of Blur ?

For his cavalier attitude and extracurricular activities alone, it has to be Alex.

What's your favourite photo of the band ? Please link

This one - Just the sight of seeing them back together again!

Least favourite Blur song and why

It’s a three-way-tie between Mr Robinson’s Quango, Top Man and Crazy Beat. I don’t know why, but I find them incredibly annoying. The former even more so, because it interrupted the flow of two of my favorite Blur songs – The Universal and He Thought of Cars.

Any last words ?

Thank you so much for the opportunity! Love your site! 

Vintage styled Blur poster design
Blur poster with retro pixels 


Japanese-styled replica poster design

To see more of Andrew's Blur graphic designs, browse his gallery at andy2519.deviantart.com

Liked this BlurBalls feature ? Please comment (no fancy sign ups required) below, share it within your circles, tweet it, link it up!


September 4, 2013

Damon Albarn's Solo Album to feature Natasha Khan

At a recent August press interview, musician Natasha Khan who is known for her stage name Bat for Lashes said that she recorded a new song for Damon Albarn's solo LP.

In the article Khan describes how she recently recorded a track with Damon Albarn: “If I could go back and tell the 15-year-old me that I’d just sang with Damon for his new record, she’d probably wet her pants with excitement,” she said. “I had such a massive crush on him when I was younger.”

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Bat For Lashes is the pseudonym of British songwriter and singer artist Natasha Khan. Half English and half Pakistani, Khan's music style is bold, colorful and loud. Her songs often feature thunderous marching band drums, desert guitar, ballet school piano, harpsichord, sub-bass snarls, hand-claps and naive beats, with the women fluidly switching and swapping their instruments between songs.

It's not a wonder why Damon picked Bat for Lashes as one of his collaborators. Her track on Damon Albarn's new solo album is bound to be interesting and dynamic, and will likely reflect her usual varied style of instrument choice and beat.

Damon himself is also fond of using myriad instruments and sound devices to create his music, often with experimental elements embedded in the songs.

There have been no further news on when Damon's new album will be released. For now, the Blur frontman is busy with band tours all across the world.

For those interested in more about Bat for Lashes, check out her official website here.


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