Happy Birthday @DaveRowntree ! 📸 Dan Massie https://t.co/DfiGE3nQ1n
We preview some of the top acts on the bill this year.
Summer festival season kicks into high gear this weekend with the first big event of the calendar taking place on the south coast. Tens of thousands of people will be heading to Seaclose Park on the Isle of Wight for a bill, which is top heavy on heritage acts that bring with them a sense of nostalgia. While recent years have welcomed the likes of Jay-Z, Calvin Harris and Kings Of Leon to headline, this time round it seems big names with an even bigger back catalogue are being used as the main attraction.
However, many of the headline acts seem to be experiencing a renaissance of sorts. For example, Blur, whose new album 'The Magic Whip', their first since 2003, has won critical acclaim. The former Britpop poster boys will take to the Main Stage on Saturday night in the knowledge that this is one of the first times that UK crowds will get to see this new material given the live treatment. You can expect a set heavy on those new songs, but peppered with all the classic singles, certainly a formula for a memorable festival appearance. It's a similar story for The Prodigy who'll headline the Main Stage on Friday after The Black Keys. Both acts have played the festival in recent years and here they're repeating the joint top billing that was given to Biffy Clyro and Calvin Harris last year. As with Blur, The Prodigy's new album, 'The Day Is My Enemy', has revived interest in the band following an extended period out of the spotlight. Elsewhere, Fleetwood Mac will bring proceedings to a close on Sunday, bolstered by the return of Christine McVie to the band, a set covering Rumours era gems like 'Don't Stop' and 'Songbird' is a strong possibility.
The ever-cheeky Blur bassist gave an interview to The Independent in which he spoke about Blur and Oasis' rivalry, the future of his group, and cheese (obviously).
Few Britpop figures were as memorable as Blur’s Alex James. With his trademark bass guitar pose of one foot on the front-of-stage speaker and cigarette nonchalantly dangling out of his mouth, he’s always admitted to loving every second of fame.
Now, in a new interview with The Independent, James has suggested that there could be room for both his reformed band and a reunited Oasis in today’s music scene, even going so far as to say that the two former rivals could play together in the future. But only if Oasis supported them!
Alex James gave an interview to The Independent
Continue reading: Blur's Alex James Hopes Oasis Get Back Together: "They Can Support Us"
After receiving near-rave reviews, the album has debuted on top of the UK Chart.
Remember Blur? The British rockers are back this week and topping the charts for the first time in a decade. Magic Whip, Blur’s first album in since 2003’s Think Tank was inspired by their travels in Asia.
Blur's latest album has been 12 years in the making.
The four-piece, which includes frontman Damon Albarn, guitarist Graham Coxon, bassist Alex James and drummer Dave Rowntree, first announced plans to release a new album back in February.
Continue reading: Blur's Latest Album, Magic Whip, Shoots Up To UK Number 1
The band will showcase 'The Magic Whip' in full at a free show in Brooklyn this Friday (May 1st).
To support the release of their new album The Magic Whip, Blur have announced that they’ll be playing a free concert in New York later this week on May 1st.
The British group, promoting their first album in over a decade, will appear at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn in an event sponsored by Converse Rubber Tracks, and will play the record in full alongside a selection of their greatest hits.
Blur at the Q Awards
Continue reading: Blur To Play Free Show In New York On Friday
There’s still over three weeks to go until ‘The Magic Whip’s’ release, but the critics are already welcoming Blur back with open arms.
The countdown until the release of Blur’s much anticipated comeback album is on and the early reviews are showing this one will be well worth the wait for fans. The Magic Whip is the band’s first release in 12 years and was produced by Stephen Street, the man in the studio behind the group’s most successful period.
The Magic Whip is Blur's first album in 12 years
The album was recorded in May 2013 when the band found themselves with five free days in Hong Kong after the cancellation of the Tokyo Rocks Music festival. While singer Damon Albarn was skeptical that any of the music would ever see the light of day, guitarist Graham Coxon opted to work further on the recordings with Street back in Britain.
The band unveiled their first material in over a decade at a small London nightclub.
A limited crowd of very lucky Blur fans landed the ultimate prize of hearing the fans comeback album 'The Magic Whip' live for the first time in a London club; and it was an event that had a profound effect on lead guitarist Graham Coxon.
Blur performed 'The Magic Whip' live in London
The show took place in London's 300-capacity Mode nightclub and was exclusively streamed online by Beats by Dr. Dre. Blur were performing their first studio album in 12 years from start to finish, having recorded the record in secret alongside producer Stephen Street. It was an album that everyone had been waiting for, and Coxon admits he was certainly aware of the pressure.
Continue reading: Blur's Graham Coxon Recalls 'Powerful' Performance Of 'The Magic Whip'
Coxon spoke to Uncut magazine about the sense of guilt he had about his exile from the group in 2002, and how it motivated him to work on their forthcoming LP 'The Magic Whip'.
Coxon left the group during the first sessions for the band’s seventh album Think Tank, because he was still in rehab at the time receiving treatment for his addiction to alcohol, but didn’t tell anyone. When he didn’t turn up to the sessions as expected, the group was frustrated at the lack of communication and barred him from the process.
Coxon (far left) with his Blur bandmates in 2012
The band’s first album in 12 years is set for release next month.
Blur played their upcoming The Magic Whip album in its entirety last night, during a special fanclub-only gig at London club Mode. 300 of the band’s most dieheard fans were in attendance for the intimate show, as the band showcased their first LP in 12 years track by track.
Cover art for Blur's The Magic Whip
Opening the gig singer Damon Albarn addressed the crowd saying, "So obviously, we're going to play our new record The Magic Whip in sequence from beginning to end. Are you ready?” The band then launched into opening track 'Lonesome Street’.
Band announced for the Barclaycard event taking place in London this June.
Barclaycard Presents British Summer Time Hyde Park has announced that Blur will be headlining the festival in June 2015, marking their fourth ever gig at the legendary London venue and setting a record as the only artists to do so.
They'll be joining some amazing acts who will be performing this year including The Rolling Stones, Bon Jovi, Lionel Richie, Jennifer Lopez and more. But being one of the biggest bands from across the last two decades, Blur is recognised a particular headline gem. Jim King, Senior Vice President Live Events, stated: 'There are few things in life that are as brilliant and as quintessentially British as Blur playing an outdoor gig in London.'
Blur are returning with new album 'The Magic Whip'
Blur have announced details of The Magic Whip, their first album in 12 years. In a hastily arranged press conference in a London Chinese restaurant, the band said the follow up to 2003's Think Tank was a return to "the way we recorded when we started. It wasn't a flash studio, it was pretty claustrophobic and hot. We went in and knocked about loads of ideas."
Blur have announced a new album, 'The Magic Whip' [Getty/Gareth Cattermole]
Initially conceived in Hong Kong the band spent five or six days creating ideas for the album before enlisting Stephen Street to produce. It features the original line-up of Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Alex James and Dave Rowntree.
Continue reading: Blur Announce New Album 'The Magic Whip' In Chinese Restaurant
It seems the PARKLIFE! craze has finally come full circle as Brand has now offered up his own parody video.
“Verbal dexterity plus Estuary accent is what leads to parody of...'PARKLIFE'!” Yes today the inevitable has happened, Russell Brand has created his own ‘Parklife’ parody video.
"PARKLIFE", it's Russell Brand
Brand has teamed up with Irish comedians The Rubberbandits for the video, which he released on Youtube as part of his 'The Trews' series.
Albarn sets about clarifying his comments on drug abuse, but still insists it wasn't a mistake
Damon Albarn has already told us that heroin was a great source of creativity, for him anyway. And now he’s opened up on his days of drug addiction in a new interview with Time Out Magazine, in which he admits he found the drug “very agreeable” to begin with.
Damon Albarn, Looking Pensive
The former Blur frontman has recently embarked on a solo career having collaborated with different musicians following his departure from the 90s Britpop legends. The subject of drug abuse has been a perennial talking point for Albarn of late, and in his latest public chat, he says he didn’t “totally see” his drug use as “a mistake”.
Pulp's Common People is the ultimate Britpop track
Pulp's Common People has been named the ultimate Britpop anthem by BBC6 Music listeners, beating the likes of The Verve's Bittersweet Symphony and Oasis's Wonderwall. More than 300,000 listeners voted for the track to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the 90's genre - which created various personalities but very few decent bands.
Jarvis Cocker and Pulp Wrote The Greatest Britpop Song, Apparently
One of those decent bands - who were actually excellent - were Pulp, Jarvis Cocker's Sheffield outfit.
Continue reading: Is Pulp's 'Common People' Really The Best Britpop Anthem?
Damon Albarn is focusing purely on his new record 'Everyday Robots'
Damon Albarn, who is busy promoting his new album Everyday Robots, says he can't foresee a new Blur record in the near future. Rumours had suggested that the group would begin work on a new album this year, though frontman Albarn suggested it was unlikely his bandmates would be in a position to record again soon.
Damon Albarn's 'Everyday Robots' Is Released in April
Speaking with Rolling Stone magazine, Albarn - whose new album comes out on April 28 - said "It's a big part of my life. I'll never abandon the spirit of it ever. It's kind of in me.There is material.But I can't foresee us in the near future being in a position to finish it. We're just all doing other stuff."
Continue reading: Damon Albarn Just Ruined Our Week, "Can't Foresee New Blur Album"
The band are loving the London Underground ticket barrier that sings their song.
Blur have joined the thousands of fans who are celebrating the fact that there's a London Underground ticket barrier that squeaks "Woo-Hoo!" every time it opens. Londoner Ritch Ames was the first to notice the barrier's unusually tuneful noise and uploaded a mash-up to YouTube featuring Blur's 'Song 2' cut with the barrier's now world-famous squeak.
Blur Have Given The Thumbs-Up To A Tube Barrier That Makes The "Woo-Hoo" Sound From 'Song 2.'
As the funny video has picked up speed, with nearly 180K views at the time of writing, the amused Britpop band have given their verdict on the similarity between the barrier's noise and their hit's chorus. "Laughing at this....Woo-Hoo!" the band tweeted, sharing an article that reported on what is sure to become a new must-visit destination on the London tourist schedule.
Blur frontman Damon Albarn set to unveil folk-soul 'empty club music' solo album.
Damon Albarn is finally set to go solo as he unveils his long-anticipated debut album Everyday Robots on April 28th 2014.
Blur is still an ongoing project
The Blur frontman is definitely a workaholic of the music industry, with his solo project being unleashed while his newly reunited Britpop band and his virtual band with Jamie Hewlett, Gorillaz, are still ongoing. Little has been revealed about the album as of yet, though in 2011 he told Q magazine that it would a record of 'empty club music' and last year he revealed in an interview to Rolling Stone that it would be 'sort of folk soul'.
Continue reading: Damon Albarn Finally Going Solo With Upcoming Debut 'Everyday Robots'
The World's End has received rave reviews, though the soundtrack could be a popular record this summer.
The World's End - the third and final instalment of Edgar Wright's 'Cornetto' comedy trilogy starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Paddy Considine - hits cinemas nationwide on July 19, 2013. It centres around five friends who attempt a notorious pub crawl in their unassuming hometown - twelve pubs, twelve pints and the only the strongest will survive.
Of course, the mind of Edgar Wright doesn't work think along quite such straight lines and the boozy group unwittingly become humankind's only hope for survival.
Also starring British talent Rosamund Pike, Eddie Marsen and The Hobbit star Martin Freeman, The World's End promises a hugely enjoyable finale for the trilogy - also featuring Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz - though the soundtrack is worth checking out too.
Continue reading: 'The World's End' Soundtrack Is A Glorious Tribute To The 1990s
Barcelona: arguably the most picturesque city in Europe. Situated on the Mediterranean coast in the heart of the Catalonian region, it's a landmine of history and culture. In amongst the beautiful landscapes and symbolic architecture; much of it crafted by Antoni Gaudi; lies the wonderful Park Guell, while at the city's highest point resides the Olympic Stadium, redeveloped with an increased capacity for the 1992 event. Then, of course, there's always the world famous Nou Camp, home to arguably the greatest and most successful football club of this generation, which is where our week long journey begins.
Arriving a day early before Primavera's festivities start enables us to take in the unique atmosphere as champions Barcelona narrowly defeat Real Valladolid by the odd goal. It also allows one final opportunity to contemplate this year's timetable where clashes aplenty are the order of most days. However, such a haven of choices marks a great festival, right? Right.
This year's event marks the thirteenth edition of Primavera Sound and, with weekend tickets having sold out months ago, it would be fair to say it's one of the few whose reputation and audience is growing despite the current economic decline. Mainly situated across three venues; the Parc Del Forum, Parc De La Ciutadella and Sala Apolo; Primavera has developed from an initial three-day weekend into a full blown seven-day event.
Continue reading: Primavera Sound 2013 - Live Review
David Shrigley has been installed as the 2/1 favourite to win the Turner Prize in December.
Glasgow-based artist David Shrigley, the director of Blur's 2009 track Good Song, has been installed as the 2/1 favourite for this year's Turner Prize. Shrigley is best known for his humorous line drawings, though also makes sculptures, animated films, photographs and paintings. Additionally, his jokes and commentaries have appeared on greetings cards as well as in records by Scottish band Franz Ferdinand and Talking Heads singer-songwriter David Byrne.
His latest exhibition, Brain Activity at London's Hayward Gallery, was nominated for its "comprehensive overview" that revealed Shrigley's "black humour, macabre intelligence and infinite jest." This year's Turner exhibition will be held at Ebrington in Derry-Londonderry, the UK's City of Culture of 2013, and sees Shrigley up against Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, French installation artist Laure Prouvost and British-German performance artist Tino Sehgal.
Established in 1984, the Turner Prize is awarded to a contemporary artist under the age of 50, living, working or born in Britain who is judged to have put on the best exhibition of the past 12 months. The winner will receive £25,000 at an awards ceremony on December 2, while past winners have include Damien Hirst, Antony Gormley and last year's recipient, Elizabeth Price.
Continue reading: Blur Music Video Director Is 2/1 Favourite For Turner Prize 2013
Was the switch anything to do with the poor attendance of Stone Roses' set last weekend?
It seems that Stone Roses reunion fever hasn’t quite made it over the pond just yet. After a disappointingly small crowd showed up to watch the Madchester legends at the first weekend of Coachella, Blur have now switched billing places with them and will headline at the second weekend of this year’s festival. However, the festival’s promoter insists that the switch was always planned.
Paul Tollet, the president of the concert promoter Goldenvoice insists “When the [lineup] poster came out, when we announced the show, each weekend's poster was different." He told Rolling Stone magazine: "The first weekend said 'Stones Roses/Blur' and the second weekend said 'Blur/Stone Roses.' This was planned from day one. It was a dual bill and we'd flip-flop them… There's not a chance I could take a headliner and demote them." Watching the Stone Roses last weekend, The Guardian’s Tim Jonze reported “There was something strange about seeing this most iconic of bands shuffling through Fools Gold to a crowd one-fifth of the size of Tegan and Sara's next door.”
Meanwhile, back home in the UK, The Stone Roses’ reputation is still very much intact and with a trailer recently released for Shane Meadows’ documentary about the band, enthusiasm for teh band's continued existence shows no sign of abating.
Happy Birthday @DaveRowntree ! 📸 Dan Massie https://t.co/DfiGE3nQ1n
RT @DaveRowntree: Episode 10 of my podcast is out today - the last of the series, all about @blurofficial B-Sides! Featuring Blur expert a…
Happy Birthday @Damonalbarn! 📸by @matzazzo https://t.co/TijNguleSt
Happy Birthday @grahamcoxon! https://t.co/LwkZfoTnkc
Blur's @DaveRowntree has composed the score with @ianarber for the new @netflix show 'The One' out today. https://t.co/iAxJ2W1rqx
@DaveRowntree has started a new music podcast on @Spotify, find it here: https://t.co/B3mXdVovNs
The soundtrack album to the TV series The Capture, composed by blur's own @DaveRowntree with Ian Arber, is out now… https://t.co/qzvqJXjGSr
To celebrate it's 25th anniversary, @parlophone are releasing a limited edition split vinyl version of The Great Es… https://t.co/Vb622MTNf5
War Child’s landmark 1995 charity album HELP, featuring blur's 'Eine kleine Lift Musik' celebrates it’s 25th annive… https://t.co/ru0Af15Cwa
@DaveRowntree will be doing another Twitter listening party, this time on The Great Escape - tonight at 10pm BST #TimsTwitterListeningParty
Blur stands with artists, road crew, agents, promoters, venues and more, in appealing for the UK Government to supp… https://t.co/YxoI5mQ2xH
Blur's 2009 @glastonbury set is available to view in full on @BBCiPlayer @bbcglasto: https://t.co/BObIQC6Wab
RT @boilerroomtv: @Damonalbarn performing music from his latest project "The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows" live on Boile…
Tune in now 📺 @boilerroomtv https://t.co/ke1DQ1Lp74 https://t.co/UrTuvcxKJI
Damon will perform music from ‘The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows’, his new Iceland-inspired proje… https://t.co/M4X7EgrcfK
Music is My Radar Tony Allen knows what a boy can do He really got me dancing https://t.co/oO1qf9qQCT
Happy Birthday @grahamcoxon! https://t.co/d4bi7QuO0J
@DaveRowntree's @BBC6Music radio show 'One Better Day' is available on the @BBCSounds app: https://t.co/t0m3fIdYyw
Bloodwitch album by @grahamcoxon is out now on all digital platforms! https://t.co/7qqYMTGqWM https://t.co/TFzZrCEiQy
@DaveRowntree's @BBC6Music show 'One Better Day' is now available on the @BBCSounds app: https://t.co/t0m3fIdYyw