September 5, 2012

Damon Albarn having the 'party of his life' after Blur

Before we get to the details, look - Damon Albarn played Gorillaz during his Africa Expres Train tour!

Dailystar reports that Damon Albarn is "having the time of his life thanks to booze from the Olympics". According to recent interviews, the singer is having the ultimate musical party of his life after embarking on an Africa Express Train tour, all around the UK and Scotland.

And with many other prominent musicians, including Jarvis Cocker, Gruff Rhys, Eliza Doolittle, Rizzle Kicks and many African musicians on the train, the Africa Express is indeed a musical riot. 

Party!... from xlrecording's twitter 
Damon peering out of his train of music

Dailystar reports comprehensively: 

“It’s a 24-hour party.

"It’s not necessarily a massive drunken party, but it’s one celebrating music and how it makes us feel.” The final date this Saturday at King’s Cross Granary climaxes the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad Festival.

Damon added: “There’s a bar on the train, it’s booze left over from the Olympics that takes up a few carriages.” Africa Express began in 2006, with Damon wanting it to show the brighter side of the continent. 

He explained: “It reminds people that Africa isn’t the cliché of this struggling place ravaged by war and famine. Those are very big problems there, but it’s also a very exciting continent, futuristic and forward-thinking in many respects.” The gigs, including “some pretty surprising” guest stars on Saturday, are totally unrehearsed. 

Damon laughed: “It’s rhythmical, groove-orientated stuff, so you go into a bit of a trance on stage. “Although, on a bad day, you think: ‘Oh, this is getting a bit boring.’ It’s a fine line. “But that’s what we’re doing on the train, getting inspired together, so hopefully by London we’ll be fairly articulate.”

Last year’s album Rocket To The Moon which Damon made with Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, 49, and drummer Tony Allen, 72, was inspired by them travelling to Lagos for Africa Express. And Damon revealed: “I might well make another record with people on this trip, you never know.

“That’s one of the joys of Africa Express, that spontaneity.”

Could this mean a new album for Damon Albarn after the tour ends?

The Africa Express train tour is currently up in Glasglow, Scotland as of today. It will end in a finale concert on September 8th 2012 in London's Granary Square, King's Cross.

Check out Africa Express's official website with lots of pictures here 

Although tickets were long sold out, do check out The Guardian's live coverage of the entire tour as it goes along. Damon Albarn sure is looking very happy up on his musical train. It is looking to be an excellent tour.

Tune in for a later post with the very best pictures of Africa Express 2012 - the highlights.

Order the new Blur: Parklife (Live at Hyde Park CD / DVD) HERE
Order the new Blur boxset HERE
Blur first ever 2012 gig-  Maida Vale gig full coverage HERE
Blur Exhibition review and photos HERE
Margate Gig (2012) review and pictures HERE
Rumours: Blur still play live after Hyde Park? HERE


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April 24, 2012

Tickets for the African Express Train ? Damon Albarn reveals new tour plans

The London Olympics start in less than 100 days, and one of the key players in the event, Damon Albarn, has revealed that there will be a third London 2012 Olympic related project.

Damon Albarn has stated in a BBC 4 interview that his new project after the summer Hyde Park gigs will be called the "African Express Train". The ensemble of African musicians, along with Albarn and others, will "travel across the UK" and play music in places including Doncaster and Bradford. They will be playing "concerts in the evening" and be visiting schools.

African Express is Albarn's side projects, and its noted for it's diverse mix of Western and African talents. It's the epitome of Albarn's collaborative spirits, and love of African music which grew after the last Blur album Think Tank, in 2003.

So, it seems that Damon is getting on with Dr Dee and it's album release, playing with Blur this summer and then start touring with African Express - it seems 2012 will be, as usual, a varied year for Damon's many projects.

If the African Express Train tour is in place, it is likely that Blur, Albarn's first commercially successful band, may not be making any new material for a long time.

Where's the Blur train heading too? Has it already reached it's final destination, the Olympics 2012 ?

Listen to his interview HERE (from 9:00 - 13:00 mins)

Read Damon's full Guardian interview deeming the end of Blur HERE
Read all about Blur being BASHED AT THE BRITS (Adele!) HERE
Read all about Blur talking about their bleak future HERE
New "tear jerker" song HERE and check out their newest track Under the Westway HERE and read our REVIEW HERE.

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