July 25, 2013

Blur- Splitting up was best thing we ever did

Blur bass player Alex James says that that best thing the band ever did was split up and that Damon Albarn and Noel Gallagher are now best mates who smoke cigars together.

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Blur bass player Alex James says that that best thing the band ever did was split up and that Damon Albarn and Noel Gallagher are now best mates who smoke cigars together.

Speaking ahead of Blur's gig at IMMA, Dublin on Thursday, August 1st with support from Bat for Lashes and The Strypes, James told Today FM's Ray D'Arcy about his new life as a cheesemaker and farmer.

"Blur came to an end in 2003 and at that point we'd been doing the same thing for 15 years and after that amount of time it does become cyclical," he said. "We needed to go off and do other things. 

"We've all worked with other people since then. I think splitting up was the best thing we ever did." 

During the interview, D'Arcy recalled having the old Blur vs Oasis argument with his friends "in Snaffles Nightclub in Kildare" and asked James who did he think eventually won The Battle of Britpop.

"It's funny because these days Damon and Noel are best mates," James said. "They go off and smoke cigars together. I think we realised we were all on the same side eventually."

 The 44-year-old father of five now lives on a farm in Berkshire and makes cheese. "People throw cheese at me when I'm on stage. Some musicians get underwear," he said.

"Ireland is a fantastic place for cheese. I was over there last year looking at Bries. "There are so many great Irish cheeses. Did you know Brie was invented in Ireland? The French monks took it back to Normandy. They stole it!"

Asked what was the most rock `n' roll thing he'd ever done, James said, "We sent a spaceship to Mars."


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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October 28, 2012

Damon Albarn - There Could Be a new Gorillaz album

Damon Albarn has hinted at a future new Gorillaz album, and this time it's without Jamie Hewlett.  

In an interview with Shortlist Magazine, Damon Albarn said nothing will change if Gorillaz went ahead and made a new album without Hewlett's illustrations. The only aspect that would be missing is bass player Murdoc's cartoon drawing. 

He said: "It was very much Jamie [Hewlett] did the visuals and I did the music. The music won’t change, so there could be another Gorillaz record tomorrow. It wouldn’t necessarily have Murdoc - the cartoon aspect to it - but musically, no, nothing’s changed whatsoever."

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One moment it's over, the other it's on again - Damon Albarn
The Blur frontman also denied rumours that Gorillaz were "over" for good. Damon said that Gorillaz would undoubtedly continue on if Jamie Hewlett and himself reconciled their differences that contributed to their fallout this year. But wait - Damon also mentions how Gorillaz are still going strong in another much earlier interview.

"Jamie wants to do other things and I understand," he said. "But you never know, in a few years he might have a burning desire to draw those pictures again, and as soon as he does that, as far as I’m concerned, there could be another Gorillaz album." 

It seems very likely fans of Albarn and Gorillaz will be getting a new album. It is merely a matter of when the musical pair will agree to work together again. Looks like Gorillaz was, and is not over.

What will be the New Gorillaz sound ?

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 for Spain and Porto HERE
Blur Europe Tour News  HERE


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June 23, 2011

More Doctor Dee Opera updates - Damon Albarn on NME and interview

Just some more updates on Doctor Dee - Damon Albarn's new opera that's going to premier this July. Thanks to 2-J (Gorillaz Unofficial ) from the forums for the heads up.

From this week's NME MAGAZINE - an article with a few new pictures of Damon, sporting a massive beard and talking about his new opera. Click the scans below to enlarge.

Albarn has written 10 new songs that he's going to perform solo in the opera. Looking forward to that very much, especially as one of them, Apple Carts, has been performed in BBC a few days ago. Check that out HERE

And thanks to the Gorillaz Unofficial website, Damon did a little interview about the opera with fan submitted questions. Here is what is on the website:

Last week we gave you the opportunity to send in questions about Dr.Dee (through our blog, forums and twitter) which we'd pass on to Damon. The level of response was great and thanks to all of you who submitted questions - these were the ones that Damon picked out to answer, and his responses. A big thanks to Damon and well done to those who got their questions answered!

1. Is Tony Allen going to appear live in the opera?
Damon: Yes

2. How do you think the change in our concepts of 'science' and 'magic' impact on contemporary culture, particularly British? What's your agenda on that, that you'd like to get across [in the opera]? 
Damon: I like to imagine a reality where we had held on to ritual a little longer in England, bring back tea ladies!

3. What composers influenced you when you composed this opera?
Damon: I don’t know how much rubbed off on me, I hope a bit but I listend to a lot of Notre Dame School French Music.

4.Damon, did you get to handle any of Dee's artifacts at the British Museum? Specifically the Shew Stone?
Damon: There was talk of it but as of now I have not physically held it

5. Is it a comedy or a tragedy?
Damon: I think it might be more of a Requimedy

6. when you were creating the opera's music was it possible to travel back in time and start the composing from Dr. Dee's england? In other words how accurately can you channel your mind to a specific place or time when composing? or does it come naturally?
Damon: Music is time

7. In the trailer for Dr. Dee, the music that is played through-out features an African chime which flows with the imagery in it. Will this style of music be present in your new opera?
Damon: African Chime one of 7

For More information on Dee check out http://doctorjohndee.tumblr.com/.

Stay tuned and remember to subscribe to Blurballs via email or RSS for the latest, quickest updates on everything Blur, Gorillaz, Damon Albarn and Graham Coxon. 

June 1, 2011

Damon Albarn ranked 24th in The Music Power 100 - Guardian May 2011

Damon Albarn features in the Guardian's 'The Music Power 100'  (the most influential people in music today), at a rank of 24. The article writes, and I transcribe directly:

24 Damon Albarn
Artist: Blur, Gorillaz, The Good, the Bad and the Queen
Label Executive: Co-founder, Honest Jon's

Far from the knowing, ambitious rock frontman he was in the early days of Blur, Albarn has revealed himself to be one of British music's most invigorating renaissance men. As well as his involvement in Gorillaz and The Good, the Bad and the Queen, the Honest Jon's label he co-founded has brought African, Caribbean and obscure black American to young, hip audiences, and his experiments in opera are helping to dismantle the barriers between "high" and "low" art.  

Click on the picture below to read the scan full sized (credits to damon4president for the scan). 

I would say it's a pretty accurate and honest description. But he should have been ranked even higher, some of the rankings seem a bit sketchy. And Damon Albarn is definitely help breaking barriers in many many different areas, not just whatever "high" and "low" art is ! Any opinions ? 

April 23, 2011

New Damon Albarn Demo with Kid Koala

Damon Albarn is not the kind of guy who can sit still and leave a couple of years (or more) in between albums. 

He’s just finished with Gorillaz, more rumors of further Blur dates keep surfacing, and now it appears he’s been working on new material with Dan the Automator and Kid Koala. 

The latter just appeared on Tim Sweeney’s Beats in Space radio show, where he dropped this as-yet untitled demo, which is a choppy, trip hop-style collaboration between the trio. 

Albarn’s plaintive vocals help increase the already-downcast nature of the track, which is wrapped around a neat stuttering framework. Is this a long-term project for these three artists? We don’t know yet, but this demo certainly sounds promising. 

Listen HERE.

It sounds quite unfinished to me! Apparently it's just a modified version of a song released 4 years ago...

Hmm, why wasn't this released ever ? I think this is the only Gorillaz song I don't own yet!
What do you think ?

March 22, 2011

Song Review: Snoop Dogg feat. Gorillaz - Sumthin Like This Night


So the song "Sumthin Like This Night" from Snoop Dogg's latest album Doggumentary is out on youtube.

The song features Snoop Dogg's signature drowning rap and clever lyrics, then Damon Albarn does the vocals, or the first part of the chorus "but you never tried it... something like this night...somethin like this night....". The second part of the chorus doesn't sound like Damon, it sounds like someone else, but we can still hear the Damon Albarn backing vocals all through out.

Listen below and keep reading on for a bit more reviewing.

The tune is much like Doncamatic (All played out), Gorillaz's non-album single released a few months ago. That was because Damon felt Plastic Beach didn't have a single that was "pop" and synthetic enough, so he created the song for the sole purpose of it being a non-album single that can sell. Anyways, in Doncamatic (listen below) there is an electronic trumpet instrument that blares the sounds all through the song. The rhythm is basically constructed of the electronic trumpet item blaring the tune of the song. In Sumthin Like This Night, similar sounds were used, and I think it worked better in Doncamatic to be honest.

I would say this isn't good single material. It's catchy but rather repetitive, and definitely not dance floor material (usually those get to top the charts, admit it) and the song's rather mellow and down key. I do hope it will chart if it gets released as a single from Snoop Dogg's album, though I somehow have doubts about that.

I just wish Gorillaz would make a more single worthy song like 19/2000 or Clint Eastwood soon! And release their b-sides.

March 15, 2011

BlurBalls Caption Contest 4

TUESDAY NIGHT, people, time for another weekly BLURBLOG CAPTIOCONTEST! Apologies for the erratic times, tough times call for a bit more flexibility on the postings. I've been up to drawing more pictures of Blur, going to the gym a few times per week, and generally doing what I do best - procrastinate. This week I present to you:

Come on guys! This one is A PIECE OF CAKE (or should I say bananas) ! Damon, Graham, two bananas, matching outfits, black shirts, damon's expression. You got a caption/ comment? Leave it below. 

The awesome winner for Blurball Caption Contest 3 is my amazing reader Rose  who didn't technically submit a caption, but committed Blur blasphemy by uttering Franz Ferdinand in a Blur website (gasp, horror!) with her comment mentioning how the line "Do you want to ? " was stuck in her head.

Really appreciate the long flowing comments, Rose. Keep posting. You get this awesome GIF as a prezzie. 

Thanks Rose. You can keep Damon! 
And for all you who are new or just stumbled upon this cozy little Blur blog across cyberspace, please leave a comment below!

March 11, 2011

Aped out?

I did another impression sketch... I don't know what's up with me these days! I'm feeling quite creative with the computer! Perhaps it's the Blur news that just keeps coming that's kicking me off?

It's the face. It's in the eyes...It's...GORILLAZ.

I'm "Aped"!

March 7, 2011

BlurBall Caption Contest 3 !

Last Friday night was spent spilling blood and tears over an essay. Now that that's over, I will dedicate this post (a tad late!) to announcing the winners of the BlurBall Caption Contest 2 and to kick start a NEW competition for this week! 

Ladies and Gentlemen (or neither)....time for the Monday morning BLURBLOG CAPTIOCONTEST! 

Thanks to Caitlin from the forums for putting up this hilarious picture. Damon and Jamie, partners in crime, partners in business and partners in goofing around. Can YOU think of something funny that was going on the minds of those two when the picture was taken? How about an awesome one-liner that goes with the monkeying around ? 

Speaking of which, Damon and Jamie kind of look alike here. Maybe it's the hair. Or the suits. Love them. 

The winner for Blurball Caption Contest 2 is NoWhereNoHow  who suggested the caption "With Prestige, there comes a foreboding burden..." with inspiration from the lyrics in Advert (Modern Life is Rubbish)! Congratulations!

Now that's one serious caption there. It's DEEP! You get a milky postcard as a token of extreme gratitude.

Aren't they the sweetest couple?
Dear readers, please leave a comment below on any suggestions/ comments and CAPTIONS for the new picture! Be sure to check out the Gallery for past contest winners. 

What's up with you guys? 

March 1, 2011

Gorillaz news - The Fall to be released in physical CD

Several online retailers, including Amazon.co.uk here and Amazon.com here are now listing a release of The Fall on CD, due out 18th April in the UK, on Parlophone, and 19th April in the USA, on Virgin Records. 

No news on the track listing or any packaging details yet, but I'm looking forward to it! 

Rumors of a vinyl record being released to coincide with Record Store Day is also hot on the news. More on this as more news are out! 

Speaking of which, I still haven't completed my The Fall review (BlurBalls style!)... Will do, I promise. Keep reading! 

Would you buy The Fall when it's out? 

February 28, 2011

Dennis Hopper is dead? Tribute for Gorillaz

After watching the Oscars this morning on live TV, and seeing the montage of dead persons in Hollywood, I got to say, I'm surprised.

I now know that Dennis Hopper and Pete Postlethwaite passed away. That's really something - when did they die? It wasn't like all over the front page of the news, or even the "entertainment" section.

Pete Postlethwaite is possibly the man with the most angular face shape I've ever seen. He was amazing in "Brassed Off" starring Ewan McGregor, and I read somewhere Steven Spielberg thinks highly of him, dubbing him the most versatile actor around.

Brassed Off premier
Dennis Hopper - at first I was like "Wait - wasn't he in one of the Gorillaz albums?" and then I did a quick search and found out that not only was he the guy who did "Fire coming out of the monkey's head" for Gorillaz album Demon Days.

He also performed and toured with the band during the promotion of Demon Days. I remember during my days where college work didn't bombard me with deadlines, words and essays, I used to watch the whole Gorillaz concerts online. Here's a particularly good performance featuring the one and only Dennis Hopper...

He is amazing. Simply amazing how an actor can work with Damon Albarn, the genius of creating music and combining people together, to create such a song. It plays great live too.

Dennis Hopper also features on Bananaz, Gorillaz's documentary film. He is hilarious... Damon's hilarious... Jamie's goofy. The clip below shows you the part he's in.

I think Damon just wants to use his American accent to show his gradual shift into the american music scene! Or to promote his album in the US ?

Dennis Hopper with Jamie and Damon at the Grammys
He will be missed... I'm now wondering how Damon took the news of his death. Damon and Dennis seemed pretty close and in good terms, at least on the business side of things.

It was a shock for me to learn he died, and only in the Oscars did I actually hear this news. It's sad.

Gorillaz lost another collaborator. Any thoughts?

February 27, 2011

Unseen Gorillaz interview

Check this previously unreleased Gorillaz interview. The interview was conducted while they were in France during the tour late last year. Check out the interview on Youtube below.

I love Damon's hat and that Jamie Hewlett is just a laid back, silly cool ape.

February 15, 2011

Gorillaz nominated for MTVU Woodie Awards 2011 - Best Video Woodie

First heard from mrbeats from the Blur Forums, Gorillaz's "Stylo" from Plastic Beach was nominated for an MTV-U Woodie Award 2011 for Best Video.

According to wikipedia:

"It was announced that Gorillaz would be performing on March 11, 2011 at the MTV Woodie awards. They have also been nominated for the Best Video Woodie for "Stylo" at the MTV woodie awards."

After doing a quick search, here's what I found out about the Woodie Award.

mtvU is a division of MTV Networks which produces a 24-hour television channel that is available on more than 750 college and university campuses across the United States. mtv U provides a more targeted alternative to MTV, and gives advertisers and music promotion companies access to college-age viewers, access that universities offer in an attempt to attract students to on-campus housing.

Basically it's MTV for University students, hence the "U". So what's the Woodie Awards?

mtvU has its own annual awards show, the Woodie Awards, which they say recognizes "the music voted best by college students." Previous winners have included Death Cab for CutieMotion City Soundtrack30 Seconds to MarsPlain White T'sThe Subways and Gnarls Barkley

Opposite Of Adults” Nominated For 2011 mtvU Woodie Awards
The Gorillaz "Stylo" is nominated for Best Video Woodie. The website features an epic picture of Damon performing at one of the gigs this year.

Damon on the mtvU Woodie Awards homepage
I hope Gorillaz wins Best Video this year. As I said before, it's awards season now and Gorillaz haven't won anything yet, even with all the nominations for NME, Grammys, Brits and Woodies....

So, keep checking Blurballs for the latest update on awards!

Vote for Gorillaz HERE.

Brit Awards - will Gorillaz win?

Hey all, it's the awards season! In my last post, we saw that Gorillaz and Blur didn't win anything at the Grammy Awards this year. So this morning, I was reminded by my dear friends on facebook that The Brit Awards are coming up!

The Brit Awards 2011 will take place at the O2 Arena in London on 15th February. This year Gorillaz were nominated for best British Group.

Best British Group:

Biffy Clyro 
Mumford & Sons 
Take That 
The xx 

This is exciting! According to an online friend from the official website, Gorillaz is one of the favourites of this category this year. Predictions have also mentioned that Gorillaz might win! 

Gorillaz at the 2006 Brit Awards
Graham knocking it back after Blur win 4 awards at the 1995 Brit Awards
What do you all think? Who'll notch up an award?

Check out the Brit Awards official website here

February 14, 2011

Blur and Gorillaz lose out on Grammy Awards 2011

Previously, I wrote about how Blur and Gorillaz were nominated for 3 awards in the Grammys 2011Some awards were handed out yesterday afternoon. Sadly both bands did not pick up a trophy. 

...and the winners were:

When You're Strange: A Film About the Doors (Best Long Form Music Video)

Bad Romance – Lady Gaga (Best Short Form Music Video)

Nessun Dorma -- Jeff Beck (Best Pop Instrumental Performance)

Blur's "No Distance Left to Run" was nominated for the same category but lost out to The Door's film "When You're Strange". 

As much as I love The Doors, it's a pity indeed that they robbed Blur of its nomination.

60s Rock Band The Doors
I've included links in the post to the winners' work. Feel free to leave a comment on what you think of the pieces. Personally I really think Jeff Beck's instrumental is nothing compared to Gorillaz's. It does not have flair, and sounds like an orchestral piece rather than a "pop" performance.

Gorillaz screams "Pop" in their sound, artwork and just everything!

Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/entertainment/List+2011+Grammy+winners+nominees+updated+evening/4268723/story.html#ixzz1DtTyYZ8N

February 13, 2011

Blur and Gorillaz - nominated for Grammy Awards 2011

I'm watching the Grammy Awards Clive Davis Party live online. Still a day before the real awards. Both Blur and Gorillaz were nominated this year, and it's the FIRST TIME Blur's ever received a Grammy Award. Ironic isn't it, how it's been years since they made any album and it's still the first time ever that they got nominated. 

Blur's documentary No Distance Left To Run was nominated for Best Long Form Music Video. 

Best Long Form Music Video
  • 2. WHEN YOU'RE STRANGE - The Doors
Gorillaz's were nominated for 2 awards:

Best Pop Instrumental Performance
  • "Flow" -- Laurie Anderson
  • "Nessun Dorma" -- Jeff Beck
  • "No Mystery" -- Stanley Clarke
  • "Orchestral Intro" -- Gorillaz
  • "Sleepwalk" -- The Brian Setzer Orchestra

Best Short Form Music Video
  • Johnny Cash – "Ain't No Grave / The Johnny Cash Project"
  • Eminem and Rihanna – "Love the Way You Lie"
  • GorillazMos Def and Bobby Womack– "Stylo"
  • Cee Lo Green – "Fuck You!"
  • Lady Gaga – "Bad Romance"

Bruce Willis in Stylo
Lets see if Gorillaz or Blur notches up an award! Keep checking this site for updates!   

February 12, 2011

The Fall - Review Part 2

Dear readers, I'm extremely tired after a long Saturday in college. Had class from 10:00am in the morning till 6:00pm at night. Fun eh?

Just before I head off to bed, I thought I'd fulfill my promise of reviewing some more of Gorillaz's The Fall ("...the first ipad album in the world!"). To read Part 1 of the review, click here.

4 - Detriot

I feel more awake after listening to this tune. It's fresh, clear and catchy, although very raw. Sorta techno, steady beat and rhythm all through out. It's more like an experiment in the beats and pop of the 80s... those disco hits. Highlights are the tune in the middle - love it. Short but sweet. 


I'm thinking an empty disco. Perhaps it's the hours before a big party at the club, and the DJ's testing out his new tune. He's head-bobbing and wearing dark sunglasses. Disco's empty, yet the lights and everything are fully blasted. Air-conditioning makes the room chilled, ice cold. 

Ice-cold room, empty only with the sound of Detriot

5 - Shy-Town

Damon is high pitch here. Very. The keyboards play a huge part in the song, with long notes played on and on. Shy-town has a strange atmosphere to it, sort of ghostly and reserved. There are also alien-radar sounds at the beginning of the song. Damon speaks in his monotone - Friday, Chicago and then starts singing. We hear waves and sounds of water. A beautiful song indeed, and one that could've made it to Plastic Beach with a little more refining. 


Underwater. Submarines. Damon and Paul Simonon in their pirate hats and striped outfits, sailing to sea  in a tiny wooden boat.

5 - Little Pink Plastic Bags

The tune's funky. Dark. Damon utters - "Little Pink Plastic Bags...blowing on a highway...they don't know where they'll go...they'll just float there" and then his voice goes off into echos. Long periods of whirling follows, sounds like some kind of fan or machine's backdrop. I think this song's the most unique song on The Fall. The tune's really wacky and it grows on you as you listen. 


Aw. This is too cute.

Little Pink Plastic Bags by ~7474

That's it for now. Stay tuned for Part 3.