August 10, 2012

REVIEW: Blur - Plymouth Pavillions Gig (Aug 2012)

Apparently, Blur's Plymouth Pavillions gig was something similar to those of a "mosh-pit band". The band's interaction with each other were great, but the audience that night was quite varied and wild. Blur forum member 'dave griff' wrote:

"Last night was a great performance, loved Bugman, Caramel, Puritan, No distance, Popscene. There were indeed some idiots in the mosh bit, during Bugman I just waded in all guns blazing to prove a point I guess. There was a really irritating large woman who tried to put we finger in my mouth at one stage when I was trying to get some air in my lungs - she also flailed her arms a lot, creating a large zone around her. Did anyone else see her? I thought the interaction between the band was very warm and they made several mistakes but had a laugh with it. Amazing to see Damon look younger and younger as the set went on. Too loud at the end though. My ears are screaming!"

Some mistakes were also made by the band. The same forumer and fan said: 

"Someone messed up the intro to London loves so they all stopped and there was minute of trying to work out what went wrong. Damon got some words wrong in for tomorrow, he nearly came in too early on one song, can't remember which one, may have been Popscene - someone help me out? There were some nervous glances across the stage from Alex and graham, seemed like Alex was looking to Graham for some cues for stopping songs. Damon kept playing piano through one of the stops on intermission - it was shambolic but really good. Graham was obviously in pain with his bad finger at times, but seemed to enjoy some of the crowd reaction. There was one great moment when the crowd started chanting his name after beetlebum and he looked quite chuffed."

grahamcoxon guitar, graham coxon live, blur plymouth pavillions, blur 2012
An unexpected but awesome 'London Loves' and a superb 'Tracy Jacks' are followed by an insane 'Jubilee' that elevates me to bounce my way to the front in sheer excitement. 'Beetlebum' is both deliciously dark and beautifully uplifting, 'Out Of Time' benefits greatly from Graham's presense and the delightful 'Young And Lovely' sounds like it could have been a long lost cut from Bowie's 'Hunky Dory', also proving that the band have some truly wonderful B sides in their cannon. 'Trimm Trabb' sounds astonishing, especially when Graham's guitar explodes with devasting power towards the end, while another '13' highlight 'Caramel' seems even more achingly stunning than ever. 'Sunday Sunday''s ideal snapshot of British life plays home to a brilliantly frenzied middle section, and it's hard to imagine anyone here without a smile on their faces during a joyous 'Country House' and a terrifically energetic 'Parklife'.

The sounds emerging from Graham's guitar are nothing short of incredible, ripping into 'Bugman' with mind blowing power. At one point during 'The Puritan' his instrument sounds like an old engine revving up, before the band launch into a berserk 'Popscene'. 'Advert' is delivered with blistering force, and the whole place erupts for an amazing 'Song 2'. This madness then makes way for the wonderfully delicate 'No Distance Left To Run', a much needed moment for the crowd to catch their breath, before 'Tender' arrives and affirms itself as a most glorious anthem. Damon dedicates 'This Is A Low' to Plymouth and other seaside towns like it, and the band disappear for a while. 

damon albarn live 2012, damon albarn 2012, blur live 2012, blur plymouth pavillions, blur warm up, blur hyde park 2012

Their re-emergence is greeted by massive cheers, and they conjure up a brilliant rendition of 'Sing', the only track from debut album 'Leisure' given an airing tonight. 'Under The Westway' already sounds like an all-time classic, and is played with perfectly splendid grace before they tear into a mental version of 'Intermission'. After a gorgeous 'End Of A Century', a joyous 'For Tomorrow' sees many hands in the air, inspiring a mass singalong just before 'The Universal' provides an absolutely dazzling climax, bringing tears of joy to my eyes and making for a perfect ending to an unforgettable night. 

Remember to read Mr Scott Music Blog's full review of this warm up show. Check out No Crowdsurfing's review of the gig too for more insight and a little bit more of Blur. The setlist was the following (credits to LizBerry): 

Two more days till Hyde Park ! 

Order the new Blur vinyl HERE
August 2012 Maida Vale gig full coverage HERE
Damon Albarn says it's the End of Blur! Read HERE
Margate Gig (2012) review and pictures HERE
Check out Blur's rumoured new album HERE


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May 24, 2012

Massive fallout between Blur and ex-producer William Orbit

NME tweeted that they were going to post an article about "Blur's new album" recently. Imagine the surprise and disappointment when instead, this article came out (source: NME magazine):

Damon Albarn has halted work on new Blur material, producer William Orbit has toldNME.

The producer, who worked on the reunited Britpop band's 1999 album '13', confirmed that the four-piece had been recording new material, but that the sessions were stopped "suddenly" three weeks ago. 

"The new stuff sounded amazing," he says in this week's NME, which is on newsstands from today or available digitally now. "Then it all stopped suddenly. It was all over with Damon, and the rest of the band were like, 'is this it?'". 
Orbit had previously hinted that he was recording with the band in a series of tweets. Back in January, he wrote: "I just found out that she [Diawara] has done tracks with Damon A, who I’m in the studio with from Wednesday!" He later added to the band's guitarist Graham Coxon: ‘Loving the guitars you laid down! Vocal session March 3!’, suggesting that the sessions?were with Blur and not one of Albarn's many side projects. 

However, another tweet later suggested the work may have stalled. Replying to a tweet from one fan who asked for Blur news in March, Orbit replied: "Blur could have been good. But Damon, brilliant and talented tho he is, is kinda a shit to the rest of Blur."

Last month, Albarn denied he was finished with Blur after earlier suggesting that their huge Hyde Park reunion gig to coincide with the close of this summer's Olympics in August would be their final show. 

Quite a sensational article that was quite over-hyped, but it definitely summed up the interaction between William Orbit and Damon Albarn in the last few weeks. Strange tweets, strange news and disputes... what is going on? 

The real deal! 
Then seconds later, suddenly...this happened: fans are told that the Blur boys are recording again! Check out Alex Jame's tweet fresh off his twitter feed today!

Guess NME isn't entirely accurate then. Fans, prepare for more excitement and news on the Blur roller coaster ride all the way until the Olympics gig 2012.

Damon Albarn says it's the End of Blur! Read HERE
Is Damon and Graham Coxon recording together? Find out HERE
Check out Blur's rumoured new album HERE


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