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Posts Tagged ‘Blur’

Damon Albarn and Noel Gallagher To Make A Record Together?



THE animosity circus that was Britpop, with everyone trying to outdo each other by saying “we’re the best band in the world” and slating other bands was fun for 10 minutes. When bands like Scotland’s The Gyres started calling themselves the best band in the world, everything got a bit claggy.

However, one rivalry really caught everyone’s attention – Oasis versus Blur.

On one hand, you had the distanced Damon Albarn and his gaggle of middle-class artists, sidestepping the High Street to look at the way people lived. It was songs about lottery winners, girls who worked the check-outs, shipping forecasts and having sex with the telly on. On the other, you had Oasis – a gang of lads from some crap street, hungry for success and writing songs about having the best night out ever and immortality.

Everything about the rivalry worked, even though both bands were indebted to the same period of ’60s music (Oasis were aping The Beatles’ ‘Rain’ and noisy Freakbeat records, while Blur took a Ray Davies and ‘Penny Lane’ approach). Is was lads off the estate versus those that listened in school.

Many snide remarks were thrown back and forth and it was equally useful for both bands as the press and marketing teams gobbled it all up. It all came to the fore with Country House versus Roll With It. Both bands, in their own way won and, the ultimate loser was the record buying public as, once the fuss had died down, they realised they’d got suck into buying some subpar records.

However, they’ve all grown up now. Damon Albarn is a music magpie with a variety of collaborations and projects under his belt, while Noel Gallagher left Oasis, leaving Liam to tour with Beady Eye, the world’s best Oasis tribute act. Gone are the jibes wishing AIDS on each other. Damon and Noel, the statesmen of their respective camps, have grown to like each other away from all the din.

Albarn has, for a while now, talked of the times he bumped into Noel and, after a tentative start, they’ve grown to like each other. Now, in 2014, it looks like an album with them both is on the cards.

Damon revealed that making an album with Noel Gallagher is a “distinct possibility” and that the pair have discussed the idea “at least once”.

“I still see Noel from time to time. We text a bit,” Albarn says. When asked if the pair would be making a record together, he said: “I can imagine that being a very distinct possibility at some point in the future. But, as yet we haven’t really talked about it, although…”

“OK we have a little bit. We’re talking. It’s not anything to get excited about yet. I mean, he’s doing his thing. He’s finishing a new record. I’ve got my record coming out, but the principle of us making music together is something…you know, it would be fair to say, we have discussed it at least once.”

And if you missed it, Damon and Noel played on-stage together last year at the Royal Albert Hall for a Teenage Cancer Trust gig.

Could be a good LP, if they work it out.

Posted: 16th, April 2014 | In: Music, Reviews | Comment (1)

How the Hit Parade moved from phonograph needles, platters and sleaze to MP3s

SIXTY years ago, the first British singles chart – or “Hit Parade” as it was called – was published. It appeared in the New Musical Express, and it was a top twelve that contained fifteen platters, on account of the joint number sevens, joint number eights and joint number elevens. Al Martino was number one with Here In My Heart. Only one of the discs was available in the new-fangled 45-revolutions-per-minute 7-inch vinyl format; the rest came as easily-breakable shellac 78s, for which the term “smash hit” was all too apt.

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Posted: 25th, November 2012 | In: Flashback, Key Posts, Music | Comment

Q Magazine: Surely the most pointless music rag on Earth?

AWARD ceremonies aren’t anything to get excited about, unless you’re winning something. Notably, Q Magazine is a torch bearer for everything bad in music, namely, back-slapping and looking backward. And their awards underline that and how!

Winning this year, were the not-at-all-current Britpop bands Pulp and Blur as well as Muse (prog revivalists), Underworld (irrelevant since Beaucoup Fish), Emeli Sande (Radio 2 on legs) and further prizes going to Bobby Womack for album of the year and something for Dionne Warwick (hard to knock Dionne in fairness).

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Posted: 22nd, October 2012 | In: Celebrities | Comment

Damon Albarn strops out of Blur sessions

BLUR managed to endure where many other Britpop and 90s indie bands faltered. That’s mainly because Blur are considerably better than Shed Seven, Menswear, Echobelly, Molly Halfhead, Strangelove, Powder, Laxton’s Superb, Spirea X, The Mystics, Gay Dad and… the list is almost endless, thanks largely to Britpop being one of the most overrated genres in history.

Either way, Blur (pictured here 1994) got back together and played some shows and everyone cooed over Graham Coxon and Damon Albarn being pals again. Watching Damon and Graham perform together is, ostensibly, porn for thirtysomethings. Everything was (Villa) rosy in the Blur garden again!


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Posted: 23rd, May 2012 | In: Music | Comment

Sony Radio Awards: BBC Wins And Loses And Frankie Sanford’s Washing Tattoo

Sony Radio Awards: FRANKIE Sandford’s harness tattoo says “Sunshine and Showers”. Is this a promise to anyone reading the thing up close as they take it to “Maidenhead” with Amanda Holden?

At the prize giving, BBC 6 Music and BBC Asian Network won three gold Sony Radio Awards on Monday night. Yep, the two stations the BBC has earmarked for closure. Oh, how terrifically embarrassing for the Beeb.

Well, not really. Aside form the Rising Star award, which is voted for by the public, the other gongs are voted for by judges appointed by the Radio Academy, including Radio 1 controller Andy Parfitt and former Blur bassist Alex James. Yeah, a radio awards show that voted for two earmarked-for-the-chop stations to win top prizes. What are the odds, eh?


Picture 1 of 29

Anna Ford arriving for the Sony Radio Academy Awards 2010 at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London

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Posted: 10th, May 2010 | In: TV & Radio | Comment (1)

At Home With Blur’s Alex James, Geronimo, Galileo, Sable And Artemas

IT is a celebrity truism that the celerity chooses the baby name that best reflects not their child but themselves. So here in Hello! we get to pat the tum-tum of former Blur band member ALEX James’s wife CLAIRE and meet their children Geronimo, Galileo, Sable and Artemas.

Clair says she feels like she’s “living in a circus”. It’s more of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. It is also true that the unusual names make the children stand out, to become minor celebs in their own pod.

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Posted: 22nd, December 2009 | In: Celebrities | Comment

Hackney Council Finds New Way To Make The Place Uglier By Painting Over Banksy’s Blur Cover

banksy-hackneyWAYS to make Hackney even less pretty: paint over a Banksy original with black paint. The Banksy portrait was a spoof image of the Royal Family.

It is now a spoof image of the Royal Family as glimpsed though a tunnel, a dark one.

The painting featured on a building owned by Sofie Attrill, who was happy for the picture to be made for the release of Blur’s 2003 single Crazy Beats.

Says she:

“The workmen were smiling as they did it – they thought it was funny. I just burst into tears. But a crowd gathered and we managed to get them to stop before destroying it completely.”

Hackney Council had sent letters telling Ms Attrill that her painting would be expunged. It needed her consent. Only – get his – the council sent the letters to the wrong address. And with no consent forthcoming they painted over the picture it anyhow.

She continues:

“I don’t care about art or politics – I am just an ordinary girl who liked being cheered up by seeing this on my street. People have always been telling us to sell it or cover it in Perspex, but we only wanted it to be here for the public’s enjoyment. You can’t take a photo if it’s behind a thick plastic screen.”

Nor layer of Hackney Council No. 1.

She continues:

“We never wanted to make money out of it like many do – but it was a part of our lives. Now it’s gone. People are always doing down Hackney but this was something we could all be proud of.”

Says Cllr Alan Liang:

“The council’s position is not to make a judgement call on whether graffiti is art.”

No. Because to do so would require brains, intelligence and sensitivity?

The council drone goes on:

“As soon as we realised this, work stopped. We are now speaking with her about how to resolve the issue.”

Well, it was never about the money, so pecuniary compensation is out. What about allowing her to paint the council’s offices – it being only fair?

Anorak is no expert on art nor graffiti, either but I imagine a large Tag featuring the words “TWATS WORK HERE” and a massive foamy penis should do it…

How they killed Banksy – pictures

Posted: 4th, September 2009 | In: Politicians | Comment (1)