Wednesday, October 26, 2005

has damon shelved blur or not?

I'm a bit confused about where Blur stand at the moment; Damon doesn't really make himself very clear - I wonder how much of it is real angst at the departure of Graham and how much is a keenness to be seen in good light in the event of the split. Damon has always talked a very good game and it's tempting to think that his attitude towards Graham is designed to reiterate his reasonableness and devotion to his friend through a difficult time in his friendship; which is all well and good 'til you note how Graham obviously still bears a grudge. Either way, I note via No Rock and Roll Fun that Albarn has "turned his back on rockers(!) Blur because he hated performing without Graham Coxon". The article, on contact music.com, is headlined 'Albarn: Blur died without Coxon'.

A closer look suggests that that's probably not the case, although it's not entirely clear. Gorillaz have been a going concern for several years now and it was always obvious that Damon would do another stint with them, so to say he 'turned his back on Blur' once they finished marketing Think Tank is a bit of an overstatement, and only applicable if the break was absolute.

Albarn was quoted as recently as late September saying that there was a new Blur record on it's way, although it would - because of his deficiencies as a guitarist - be "stupid and basic punk rock". The most likely explanation leading from the contactmusic article is that Albarn doesn't want to see Blur as a back-catalogue band any more. I saw the band three times the year that Think Tank came out and they were great on every occasion - downright brilliant on one. Nevertheless, it was odd hearing the old songs without Graham, and I suspect we may have heard the last of those tracks live; or at least the last of so many in one set.

The article bears this out:

Albarn says, "I got sick of the ritual of performing. I never really liked the last Blur tour. I hated playing the old material. I just found that really depressing without Graham.

"It was a painful experience to play songs that belonged to a band where one member was missing."


Most Blur fans, I suspect, would like to see Graham return some day. I doubt it'll happen. But Think Tank was one of Blur's best records to date so it'd be real shame if that new material never materialised.

1 comment:

Tim Rutherford-Johnson said...

Those quotes are lifted from a Sunday Times interview with Damon; it's still online (for a couple of days at least), so worth reading to get the context of what he's saying:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/newspaper/0,,2774-1832720,00.html

My feeling reading it was less 'I hate Blur now', more that he couldn't see the point of going through the motions without someone central to the whole thing there any more.