Archive for the ‘Damon Albarn’ Category

Damon Albarn The Great Hall Queen Mary University of London 1st May 2014

Damon Albarn The Great Hall Queen Mary University of London 1st May 2014 damonLaura, David and Shauna and I went to see Damon Albarn play a special intimate show at The Great Hall Queen Mary University of London last night. David and Shauna are students there, so when this gig was announced Laura and I decided we would go down and join them for it. Demand for tickets was huge, with tickets limited to two per person and special arrangements to prevent touts from selling them on. We managed to get two seats, a single seat and a standing ticket, so we were spread out around the hall.
Albarn has just released his new studio album, Everyday Robots, which features cameo appearances by Brian Eno and Natasha Khan (Bat For Lashes). The album has been quite well received: “an intimate, introspective album that takes tentative steps to reveal the soul behind the star” (The Independent), “He’s arguably the foremost creative innovator of our times” (NME), “Beautiful, but subtle, cloudy and elusive” (The Guardian).
The Great Hall, part of Queen Mary’s historic People’s Palace, was re-launched in February 2013 following a £6m refurbishment project to restore the building to its former glory and install new technology.image Its a pretty amazing venue, and has a history of hosting gigs in the past; a poster on the wall shows that Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, Genesis, Curved Air, Edgar Broughton and others played there in the late 60s and early 70s. George Foden, Corporate Events Manager of the University said: “We’re really excited to be involved. The promoter was considering several venues around London, so we’re delighted they chose the Great Hall for this high-profile show. When the venue was refurbished we ensured that the technical equipment installed was of a high-specification in order to attract artists of this calibre. We hope this will be the first of many live concerts in the Great Hall for staff and students and the local community to enjoy, as the venue has a long history of hosting live music events.”
imageThe set was a mix of tracks from the new album, and lesser known (by me anyway, but judging by crowd reaction the audience knew them) songs from Blur, Gorillaz, The Good, the Bad & the Queen, and Rocket Juice & the Moon (Albarn’s collaboration with Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers). Biggest crape reaction was for the Gorillaz hit “Clint Eastwood” which featured guest rapper Kano. Albarn moved from singing centre stage, to sitting at a piano, to rocking with a Graham Cxon signature Fender Telecaster. The pace and mood of the songs change similarly, with some intense rockers balanced by moody, delicate piano-based treatments of Blur songs, such as closer “This Is a Low”. Damon is accompanied by his excellent new band Heavy Seas and a small string section.
A great show 🙂 which demonstrated the breadth and richness of Albarn’s catalogue. Laura and I were up early to get the first Grand Central train home (07.52 😦 )
Setlist: Lonely Press Play; Everyday Robots; Tomorrow Comes Today (Gorillaz); History Song (The Good, the Bad & the Queen); Hollow Ponds; Slow Country (Gorillaz); Kids With Guns (Gorillaz); Three Changes (The Good, the Bad & the Queen); You and Me; Photographs (You Are Taking Now); Kingdom of Doom (The Good, the Bad & the Queen song); Poison (Rocket Juice & the Moon); Hostiles; El Mañana (Gorillaz); The History of a Cheating Heart; Out of Time (Blur); All Your Life (Blur). Encore: Clint Eastwood (Gorillaz; with guest Kano); Mr. Tembo (with choir); Heavy Seas of Love (with choir); This Is a Low (Blur)