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December 16, 2016

Blur Memories

Here are some old Blur photos to jog your memories!


















December 12, 2016

December Giveaway Sponsored by Stylewe

Hey everyone! It's been a while since we've done a giveaway but here's an exciting new opportunity for all of you loyal readers who want to win a little something back, or get a new outfit for your wardrobe. Our sponsor this month is Stylewe, a clothing shop selling the trendiest and cheapest clothing on the internet. 

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December 8, 2016

Blur beats Calvin Harris for Fiorentina celebration song

Blur beat Scottish DJ Calvin Harris to be selected to become the "celebration song" of a Series A football team Florentina.

Calvin Harris's hits My Way and Glows, along with David Guetta, were part of the fan vote at Fiorentina. However, supporters finally chose Blur's Song 2 to be played every time the team from Florence scores at home games. This isn't of any surprise, since Blur's Song 2 is known in the football world as the go-to song for the FIFA World Cup.

The winning tune was used for the first time during Sunday night's 2-1 win over Palermo.



December 3, 2016

Most Iconic Britpop Women of the 90s

1. Justine Frischmann- Elastica/ Suede

Being the ultimate girl idol of Britpop, Justine Frischmann seemed to have it all- good looks, multiple Britpop celebrity boyfriends including Damon Albarn from Blur and Brett Anderson from Suede, and awesomely good music. The daughter of the engineering consultant behind the NatWest Tower, Frischmann was, in the awestruck words of Alex James, bass player with Blur, "cash rich" and privileged.

In 1988 Justine moved in with Brett Anderson, a boy from Haywards Heath who was soon to form the band Suede. After breaking up with Brett, Frischmann moved on to become the girlfriend of Damon Albarn, the singer with the fledgling and then super popular Blur. The awkward love-triangle created so much bitterness that each of them grew determined to become more famous than the others. Anderson made it first, when Suede released a beautiful album full of lovelorn songs about Frischmann. The jealous Albarn responded by vowing to "dethrone Brett and his group of cretins".

Nonetheless, the ex-singer and Britpop princess is now residing in the USA and paints in her spare time.


2. Louise Wener – Sleeper

Like so many in the 90s, Louise Wener dreamed of being a pop star in the UK. But for her it all came true. As the singer with Sleeper, she hit the big time during the Britpop era in the mid-1990s. The life was everything she had expected it to be, and more. Their first single, Alice In Vain, entered the charts at number 76 and Louise set about securing a future by writing stand-up Top 10 pop songs and garnering as much press coverage as they can.

She stepped out of the limelight because of the way the media treated her: "Because I wrote frank lyrics, I was depicted as sex-crazed and whorish (imagine such an accusation being levelled at a male rock star), and because I didn't lie down, look pretty and wax lyrical about my feminine angst, I was summarily demonised. One music paper even published letters in which men brayed for me to be burnt as a witch."

After the band split in 1998, Wener began a writing career and has written four novels: Goodnight Steve McQueen, The Big Blind (aka The Perfect Play) The Half Life of Stars and Worldwide Adventures In Love. Her autobiography, Different for Girls: My True-life Adventures in Pop (aka Just For One Day: Adventures in Britpop) was published in June 2010. In addition to writing herself, Wener has taught novel-writing. By 2011, she and Sleeper drummer MacLure had married and moved to Brighton, where MacLure teaches at a music college.


3. Miki Berenyi – Lush

Miki Berenyi is of mixed heritage and of Japanese and Hungarian blood. She is the daughter of Japanese actress Yasuko Nagazumi who played minor roles in the James Bond movie You Only Live Twice and the TV series Space: 1999. At the age of 14, Berenyi met future bandmate Emma Anderson at Queen’s College in England. They found they had a common bond: their parents had bounced them both from school to school depending on family finances at the time. Two years later, the two teenagers wrote and produced a fanzine called Alphabet Soup, which only lasted for five issues.

Berenyi became the lead singer of the band Lush, which from1987 until 1996, she released several albums, singles and videos, and toured extensively through the UK, North America, Japan, Australia and other countries.

The band is actually returning to the music scene in 2016 for a new release, so check them out for the latest developments.


4. Sonya Madan- Echobelly

Sonya Madan was known for great things -a great many things. Besides the fact that many are struck by similarities with Audrey Hepburn, behind this exterior lies a talented musician who was the front-woman for acclaimed 90’s ‘Britpop’ band Echobelly.

The band formed in 1993 after Sonya met guitarist Glenn Johansson in a pub and the two actively pursued a career in music. They teamed up with bass guitarist Alex Keyser and drummer Andy Henderson, who had previously played with PJ Harvey’s band. Guitarist Debbie Smith, formerly of Curve, came on board in 1994.

Sonya recalls; “We formed just before ‘Britpop’ came into existence and we got caught up on the whole bandwagon. When we started, ‘Britpop’ didn’t exist and a year later it did, so everything happened very quickly. It was an amazing time. When you’re going through it you don’t think anything about it; you’re just part of it. Retrospectively it was an amazing time for British music – the buzz and the excitement that something was happening that belonged to us, and we were part of it. I know a lot of bands came from outside London, but most of them were here (in London), and we all used to go drinking together and clubbing – it was really good fun!”



5. Cerys Matthews- Catatonia 

Catatonia was formed in 1992, at the heights of the britpop scene (albeit a bit late). Cerys Matthew, being the front-woman of the Britpop band, subsequently sang lead vocals on, and co-wrote the music and lyrics for, the band's greatest hits. Songs she co-wrote included "You've Got a Lot to Answer For", "Mulder and Scully", "Dead From the Waist Down", and "Road Rage". Matthews also played guitar on the earlier material before second guitarist Owen Powell joined the band. She also performed a single with the band Space named "The Ballad of Tom Jones", which tells the story of two lovers who want to kill each other, but then hear a Tom Jones song that defuses their homicidal feelings.

By the late 90s Catatonia has gotten big and were everywhere, the toast of the town. But in 2001, after four albums, Matthews left the band, spent time in rehabiltation and dropped out of the limelight altogether. There are rumours that she moved to Nashville, USA, living in the woods and getting married. Matthews was voted the "Sexiest Female in Rock" in a 1999 readers' poll in the now defunct magazine Melody Maker.



November 30, 2016

Kaytranada says that a planned collaboration with Gorillaz failed

Artist Kaytranada has announced that a planned collaboration with Gorillaz, the UK's biggest virtual band, has fallen through. The Canadian music producer, who released his debut album ‘99.9%’ earlier this year, has worked with the likes of Anderson .Paak, The Internet and Craig David in the past year.

Taking to his Twitter for a fan Q&A last night (November 28), the 24-year-old told fans in a now-deleted tweet that an anticipated collaboration with Damon Albarn’s cartoon creations didn’t come to fruition (via The Fader). “I was supposed to, they hit me up one time and I didn’t hear back from them again,” he replied to a fan who asked him if he might feature on any new Gorillaz material. 

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The band are rumoured to currently be making their fifth studio album.

Kaytranada did confirm that a new song with Chance The Rapper was in the works, however – but revealed that the Chicago rapper still needs to send him vocals for their as-yet-unfinished track ‘They Say’.


November 19, 2016

Britpop Fashion 101- Tips and Trends

Who says you can't look like a 90s kid again? With winter coming up, it's time to put on some new clothing and update your wardrobe. Since we're all massive Blur and Damon Albarn fans, we've got some Britpop style tips for you to look like you walked straight out from a magazine in the heights of the British pop, grunge era. Here are 6 essentials you need to look like a proper Britpop kid again.

1. Leather loafers- shiny navy loafers like the ones you can get from Trendeo (a great British shop with many cheap apparel) is a Britpop fashion essential. You can see loafers being worn by bands like Suede, Elastica, Echo and the more grungey/ preppy bands of the 90s. In fact, loafers are one of Graham Coxon's staple pieces, since he's always



2. Harrington Jackets - Noel and Liam Gallagher were huge fans of the Harrington, a classic piece. In fact, it is probably the most worn item by Blur’s Damon Albarn. Usually worn by American singers like Steve McQueen, James Dean and Frank Sinatra, the 90s saw the coat revived and celebrated as a British design classic. It was first produced in Manchester by outwear makers Baracuta in the 30s. This cropped, short jacket usually comes with stripes and is perfect for formal occasions, as well as more casual looks.


3. White Trainers- or more specifically, Nike trainers with a huge logo on the side. Damon Albarn is known for his slouchy sweaters and white Nike trainers in his music videos, including his signature look in the Beetlebum music video. White trainers give any outfit a slightly laid-back vibe, which matches with the hazy, psychedeli, new age mood of the 90s. In the photo below, you can see that Damon Albarn pairs his trainers with blue jeans (note the Blur song reference), which makes it extra Britpop-looking.


4. Fred Perry - famous for their preppy, collared t-shirts for men, Fred Perry is the go-to brand for Britpop fashion. In fact, they're still selling pieces that can make you look casual, stylish yet put together at the same time. Fred Perry's polo t-shirts are Damon Albarn's signature pieces- you rarely see him without a Fred Perry tee in most of the Blur gigs.


5. Oversized Coat- for the Britpop ladies out there, it can get freezing cold in the UK. One of the most popular trend in the 90s was a giant, oversized waterfall coat which can be wrapped up around the waist. These quintessential, British pieces were seen on stylish celebrities such as Liam Gallagher in the 90s. This trend is more of a style for women, since Britpop boys usually wore shorter jackets.

 

6. Tweed - another classic Britpop material, tweed is old fashioned but still super in during the 90s era. It was a favourite of Graham Coxon, the eccentric guitarist of Blur. He is known for his Tweed coats, pants and even suits. In fact, Graham Coxon used to post on the official Blur forums under the nickname "Tweedo"- which was a surprise to all the fans! Definitely shows his love for tweed.


Damon Albarn, Justine Frischmann and Graham Coxon's definitely got these wardrobe staples in their closets (or at least used to). Hope you like these tips!


November 17, 2016

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November 14, 2016

Top 10 Blur Songs of 2016

Since 2016 is nearly coming to an end, here's our wrap up of the top 10 Blur songs of all time. We've included the most recent Blur tracks in our compilation, to reflect on the growth and development of the band. Here's the list of Blur classics that you're all going to love.

10. Young and Lovely - the joys of Blur is that they have the best B-sides any band could ever have. This song hits the spot at all the right places. It's lovely, it's young and it's simply soothing.



9. Ong Ong - it's our favourite pick from Blur's latest offering from their album The Magic Whip. Born and bred in Hong Kong, this song is wacky, fun and cheerful- the perfect combination.


8. Tender- the Blur classic that even your grandparents would have heard of (even if they're not from the 90s). This classic is definitely on the list of the best Blur songs out there. Damon Albarn's heartache is really felt in his lyrics and gentle crooning.

7. The Universal - we chose this partly because of the music video. Admit it, this song's great, but the music video is the icing on the cake.

6. Country Sad Ballad Man - an unusual choice that not many people would think of as a classic Blur hit. But we beg to differ, since this track is definitely deserving of a mention. The song is melodic, slightly psychedelic and very Blur-like. It grows on you!


5. Eine Kleine Lift Musik- an unusual track and again one that is often unheard of. But give it a listen and then tell us whether we're right. This song's a lesser known track that the band recorded as part of a charity album in their early days.


4. London Loves - we're loving the London vibes in this song. If you've ever been to London and visited the sites, you'll know that Blur captures the dusty, restless London vibe perfectly in this classic hit.


3. Beetlebum - written when Blur was high (in the literal sense), this song's the perfect epitome of the 90s. It's cool, it's sleepy and it's very, very good. It's also the UK number 1 of that time.

2. Chemical World - this song ranks as number two on the list because of it's cheerful and underrated vibe. It's a brilliant song, and the music video makes it extra special. Again, not a popular choice but we beg to differ.


1. Coffee and TV - our top pick of this year, and the song that everyone should be playing when they're alone on the subway, on the bus or just feeling low, is Graham Coxon's Coffee and TV. One of Blur's biggest and greatest hits, this song is sure to make you feel better after a long day.


We are going to make more playlists and compilations for all you Blur fans out there in the coming months. Stay tuned and do share!


November 13, 2016

Gorillaz and Klaxons are working on New Music - 2016

Gorillaz and the English band Klaxons are working together on a new collaboration to release new music before the end of next year.

Gorillaz guitarist Jeff Wootton revealed the news to NME at an event at Abbey Road Studios on November 10th 2016, held to launch Stella McCartney’s first menswear collection.

Speaking before the show, Reynolds said the guests were: “A stellar line-up of teenage heroes.” He added that DMC had told the band it was the first time he had ever performed Run DMC classic ‘It’s Like That’ live. “He said he’d never played it live… did he not realise it was a mega smash hit?” said Reynolds. “He was going: ‘This sounds amazing live!’ He was so excited that we were playing that song.”

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Wootton and Reynolds revealed that they’ve been working on a collaborative project since August, with a plan to release new music next year.

“We’re taking different backgrounds and cultures and trying to push music forward,” said Wootton. “It’s a perfect time now with what’s going on in the world and everything else. Me and Jamie have great chemistry together and it’s really magical. It’s very fast. You think of great bands like The Smiths and it’s always fast. This has certainly been like that. Even being asked to play tonight, it feels like something’s bubbling” he said.

As well as playing guitar with Gorillaz, Wootton has also played live with The Last Shadow Puppets, Beady Eye and Damon Albarn.


November 9, 2016

Damon Albarn on President Trump- "Don’t fall for Donald Trump because he’s a chump.”

With the results of the US Presidential election confirmed, we can now say with no doubt that President Trump has come into power. Akin to an "American Brexit", this situation has been criticised by many in the international stage. Brexit has serious implications for the EU and UK, as does the new presidency which in no doubt throws much of politics into question.

However, what does Damon Albarn, Blur's renowned frontman got to do with President Trump?

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In November 2015, Damon Albarn was interviewed about President Donald Trump. What has he got to say? Here's what:

What about American politics? Any thoughts on Donald Trump? 
Hmm. Maybe we could get him to do "Parklife" with us!

Earlier last year, Damon Albarn also branded Donald Trump ‘a chump’ during New York show. In a show promoting The Magic Whip, Blur played a rousing version of ’13’ opener ‘Tender’, with Albarn taking a shot at Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during the song’s outro, singing “Don’t fall for Donald Trump/because he’s a chump.”

As the lights switched on at the end of the song, the frontman sarcastically commented “democracy, right?”

We guess America really did 'fall' for Trump- we should have listened to Damon Albarn's wise words!



November 5, 2016

New Interview by 2D from Gorillaz Hints at New Album Direction - 2016

If you think Gorillaz aren't up to something- think again. The band has been making headlines all around the internet lately. Now their latest antic is to dish more excitement to fans out there in anticipation of their new album to be released in 2016 or 2017.

In an exclusive interview on High Snobiety, the lead singer of Gorillaz 2D gave an interview talking about his gap year, his journeys and bizarre adventures, ahead of their new album which has led fans speculating non-stop these few weeks. 2D even made a playlist for the interview.

Some excerpts from the interview can be read below.

What do you think is the most important thing you learned on your gap year? 

Being stranded on a tropical island taught me lots of survival skills. Like how to run away from crabs (sideways), and how to stay alive by eating your own clothes. Actually, when I was down to just my underpants, I learned my most important lesson – we don’t need all the things we think we do, like massage chairs, Capri Sun and 2 Broke Girls. We just need fresh air, sunshine and 2 Broke Girls. (I really love that show.)

Should everyone be required to take a gap year before university?

I don’t think people should be forced to do anything. Murdoc used to force me to dress up as a fox and run around the woods while he hunted me with his crossbow, which was really scary. Then again, he only did it because he’s an animal lover and would never hurt a real fox. That’s one of the things I admire about Murdoc.

After your extensive experience in eating whale meat, what is the best way one should prepare and eat it? 

I wouldn’t normally eat whale because I understand their plight – I’ve seen Free Willy. But when I’d eaten my last sock, it was do or die. I didn’t have a microwave so I developed a pioneering new slow-cooking method: put a big piece of whale blubber in tropical sunlight and wait for it to turn green. Normally takes about three weeks. Finally, season with a sprinkling of coarse yellow sand.

What’s one of the strangest things to ever happen to you while on tour? 

One time after a show Murdoc got very drunk. He pointed at me then one of the security guards escorted me to his trailer. When I got inside, Murdoc gave me strawberries and told me about all the tragedies in his life, stopping only to cry or smoke a joint. Afterwards he said I was a good listener, and not like all the other girls. We hugged, exchanged numbers, and I left. He never called.

If Gorillaz could score any film of their choice, what would it be and why? 

Gorillaz music often sounds happy, but it is actually quite dark and speaks about our greatest fears. So I would have to say Sharknado 4. There are lots of things to worry about in the world, but a sharknado has to be in my top three (behind global warming and Gok Wan). If you don’t know, a sharknado is a phenomenon where a tornado sucks up a shoal of killer sharks, then spins across the land eating and destroying everything in its path. Luckily, they’re quite rare.

What’s something in the world that you’d like to see fixed and why? 

There is a lot of pain in the world. I think part of the problem is that there are too many hard, sharp edges. If the world was softer, like if everything was covered in foam, there would be fewer accidents because when people fell over or walked into things they would bounce. I did have a slot on Dragons’ Den to present my idea, but on the way there my foam suit caught fire on a cigarette butt and I suffered quite severe burns. Which was a shame – I really wanted to meet Deborah Meaden and cheer her up. She always looks so sad.

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Apart from the interview, 2D also made a new playlist for the site. At the bottom of the article, the site said: "Stay tuned for release information on the new Gorillaz album." This implies that a new Gorillaz album is definitely coming onto the scene at any moment now.

The playlist 2D made sounds very catchy and upbeat. It also strikingly contains "Leisure- All Over You" - which is the song of Blur's first ever album and also it's title track. We can be sure that this playlist is what Damon Albarn has been listening to in the past few weeks- maybe it alludes to the style of the new Gorillaz album.

Listening to the playlist will give us hints of the sound of a new Gorillaz album. If that's the case, then everyone should get excited about the new song- because it sounds more energetic and spunky than ever.

Read the full interview HERE.

Stay tuned for the latest Gorillaz news on the internet!


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