Blur

Blur

Biography

Blur (formed 1988)
Blur is an English alternative pop band. They rose to fame in the 1990s when the UK music press created the 'Britpop' phenomenon. The lineup of the band consists of Damon Albarn (vocals), Dave Rowntree (drums), Graham Coxon (guitar) and Alex James (bass).

The Early Years: Graham Coxon and Damon Albarn were childhood friends and met Alex James at Goldsmiths College in London. Damon was already in a group named Circus, which also featured Dave on drums. The band recruited Graham and Alex and later re-named themselves Seymour. The name came from Seymour: An Introduction, by JD Salinger.

Seymour's debut gig was in the summer of 1989. An A&R man from Food Records, Andy Ross, was interested in the band, but the label disliked the band's name. Eventually, Food signed the band when the name was changed to Blur.

Blur toured the UK for four months in 1990, showcasing new songs and supporting The Cramps. In October that year, their debut single 'She's So High' was released and reached number 48 in the UK singles chart.

Rise To Success: Blur's trouble in creating a follow-up single to 'She's So High' ended when they paired up with a producer named Stephen Street. 'There's No Other Way' was the band's next single and reached number eight in the UK charts.

Blur's debut album Leisure was release in 1991 and reached number seven in the UK album chart, though it's critical reviews received a mixed response.

Finding themselves £60,000 in debt, Blur embarked on a 1992 tour of the USA, dubbed the Rollercoaster tour. At the start of the tour, they released 'Popscene', which became a pivotal point for the band, even though it only reached 32 in the charts.

Upon their return from the USA, Blur found that the band Suede had achieved a great deal of popularity since they had been away. Determined not to be outdone, and aware that his band was on the verge of being dropped by Food Records, Damon Albarn insisted on enlisting Andy Partridge of XTC to produce their next album. The sessions were a failure and the band was once again united with Stephen Street.

The resulting recordings became the band's second album, Modern Life Is Rubbish, released in December 1992. The lead single was 'For Tomorrow'. The album peaked at number 15 in the UK.

Blur's third album, Parklife became another turning point for the band. The debuts single from Parklife 'Girls & Boys' was a commercial radio hit. The album debuted at number one and remained in the charts for 90 weeks. Around this time, the UK music press had created a new phenomenon they named Britpop - a backlash to the American grunge bands that had dominated for so long. Other bands included under the Britpop umbrella included Elastica, Pulp, Sleeper and Menswear. Blur won four awards at the 1995 BRIT awards.

The press also created a rivalry between Blur and Oasis when the release of Blur's 'Country House' and Oasis' 'Roll With It' singles coincided. 'Country House' became Blur's first number one single; the first to be released from their fourth album The Great Escape. The album also went straight to number one. Though the press was initially rapturous about the release, the tide of opinion soon changed and Blur were publicly ridiculed. Relations within the band became strained.

Blur decamped to Iceland to record to the follow up to The Great Escape. The next album, entitled Blur, was released in February 1997. The debut single was 'Beetlebum', which went to number one in the UK. Likewise, its follow-up, 'Song 2' was also a hit. A collection of remixes by the likes of William Orbit and Thurston Moore, named Bustin' + Dronin' was released for the Japanese market.

In August 1998, Graham Coxon released his debut solo album The Sky Is Too High as the band prepared to record their next studio album. Blur's 13 was produced by William Orbit and was a further step away from the Britpop sound. The lyrics reflected on Damon's split from his girlfriend, Elastica's Justine Frischmann. The single 'Coffee + TV' was the first Blur single to feature vocals by Graham Coxon.

Following the release of 13, Damon formed Gorillaz with Jamie Hewlett, Graham continued to make solo albums and Alex co-wrote songs with Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Marianne Faithfull and worked with Fat Les (featuring Keith Allen).

Whilst relations in the band continued to disintegrate, they worked on the next album, Think Tank, with DJ Fatboy Slim (Norman Cook) as producer. Coxon was eventually asked to leave the band. The album was released in 2003 and Simon Tong of The Verve was hired as the touring guitarist.

Blur announced a reunion late in 2008 and in summer 2009, the band played at the Glastonbury Festival, two sold out gigs at Hyde Park, London as well as the T in the Park Festival in July.



Biography by Contactmusic.com

Damon Albarn Bemoans The 'Failure' Of Democracy At Glastonbury


Damon Albarn Blur Glastonbury Festival David Cameron

The Blur frontman was one of the first acts to take to the stage at Britain's Glastonbury Festival on Friday (24Jun16), and grasped the opportunity to vocalise his thoughts on the so-called Brexit (Britain's exit from the European Union).

"I have a very heavy heart today," Damon said. "To my mind, democracy has failed us, because we were ill-informed. And I just want all of you to know, that when we leave here, we can change that decision. It is possible."

The audience, who had gathered to see the 48-year-old musician perform with The Orchestra of Syrian Musicians on the Pyramid Stage at the festival site, cheered and applauded Damon's comments.

Continue reading: Damon Albarn Bemoans The 'Failure' Of Democracy At Glastonbury

Damon Albarn Tells Glastonbury "Democracy Has Failed Us"


Damon Albarn Glastonbury Festival Blur

Blur frontman Damon Albarn has said, “democracy has failed us”, after the results of the historic referendum came in, showing Britain had voted to leave the European Union. Albarn joins a host of celebrities who have expressed their dismay over this morning’s results, including Harry Potter author JK Rowling.

Damon AlbarnDamon Albarn has told Glastonbury, “democracy has failed us”.

Speaking from the Pyramid Stage, Albarn said: "I have a very heavy heart today, because, to my mind, democracy has failed us. Democracy has failed us because it was ill-informed. And I just want all of you to know that when you leave here, we can change that decision. It is possible.”

Continue reading: Damon Albarn Tells Glastonbury "Democracy Has Failed Us"

Wonderwall Leads Father's Day Karaoke Poll


Oasis Blur

Just in time for Father's Day, the rock ballad has beaten Blur's Parklife and Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen, with 32 per cent of the vote in a Sunfly Karaoke website poll.

More than 3,000 dads took part in the survey.

Also making the top five: David Bowie's Heroes and Hey Jude by the Beatles.

Continue reading: Wonderwall Leads Father's Day Karaoke Poll

Damon Albarn 'Still Angry At Adele Album Snub'


Blur Damon Albarn Adele

The Blur frontman revealed last year (15) he was asked to work on the 28-year-old's record-breaking album, which was released last November.

British newspaper The Sun reports that Adele's manager Jonathan DICkins approached Damon at the Ivor Novello Awards on Thursday (19May16), but the indie rocker refused his attempts to reconcile with Adele.

"I got treated appallingly. You know, I know it, she knows it. I want her to call me, not you say it for her," Damon was allegedly overheard saying at the bash, where he was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement award.

Continue reading: Damon Albarn 'Still Angry At Adele Album Snub'

Damon Albarn Awarded King Title In Mali


Damon Albarn Blur

The Parklife singer, who often visits the African nation to work with local musicians, was given tribal king status during a recent trip.

Damon was preparing to perform at the Festival Acoustik Bamako when he was surprised with the title, according to the BBC.

The singer/songwriter also had a classroom at a local music school named after him.

Continue reading: Damon Albarn Awarded King Title In Mali

Damon Albarn Reuniting Syrian Orchestra


Damon Albarn Blur

The Blur star first worked with the Syrian National Orchestra for Arabic Music (SNOAM) at a concert in Damascus in 2009, and he later brought them in to perform on Gorillaz track White Flag and took them on the road for the band's Escape to Plastic Beach Tour.

However, the orchestra split in 2011 after war broke out in Syria and the members scattered across the world as they fled the violence.

Damon is now bringing them back together, along with their conductor Issam Rafea, for an upcoming performance at the Southbank Centre in the British capital.

Continue reading: Damon Albarn Reuniting Syrian Orchestra

Chloe Dobinson's Top 10 Albums Of 2015


Blur Drake The Libertines The Weeknd Foals Kendrick Lamar Florence and the Machine Muse Wolf Alice Disclosure

Drake, The Libertines, The Weeknd

10. Drake - If You're Reading This Then You're Too Late
Making an impromptu release of his 4th studio album Drake made a return proving why he is one of the most in demand rappers. Highlights of the album include opening track Legend -which features a long instrumental introduction with background vocals giving a harmonic feel to the track. Track Energy sees keys help make the track come alive with the Canadian rapper pushing himself as an artist and pushing the boundaries in the rap industry.

9. The Libertines - Anthems for Doomed Youth
Released in September The Libertines marked a return to the music scene following their 2004 self-titled album. A decade on the band proves their songwriting skills never went away with tracks such Gunga Din a racous, fun indie track making fans of The Libertines feels as if they never went away. Athems for Doomed Youth is a softer album from a band who is constanlty in the headlines for the wrong reasons. Heart of the Matter is a highlight of the album catchy, light and will become a firm favorite when the band play summer festival next year.

Continue reading: Chloe Dobinson's Top 10 Albums Of 2015

Music Stars Help Dave Rowntree Raise $97,500 For Refugees


Sir Paul McCartney Alex Turner Coldplay Blur David Rowntree

The percussionist created the Star Boot Sale in aid of humanitarian charity the International Rescue Committee (IRC) after he was moved by the plight of those fleeing Syria's ongoing civil war.

Items put up for auction on eBay.com included clothing, a jewellery box, tour memorabilia, books, CDs and a milk jug belonging to MCCartney.

A Fender guitar signed by British rock group Coldplay attracted a bid of $3,450 (£2,300) and a jacket worn by Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner to the 2014 BRIT Awards sold for $3,975 (£2,650).

Continue reading: Music Stars Help Dave Rowntree Raise $97,500 For Refugees

Damon Albarn's Team Faced Musical Tweaks After Paris Attacks


Damon Albarn Blur

The Blur frontman created wonder.land, based on Lewis Carroll's classic Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, with Rufus Norris and Moira Buffini and the trio premiered the production in Manchester, England in July (15) before its transfer to London's National Theatre in November (15).

They have made extensive changes to the show between the runs, but kept in a scene where a male actor is involved in a zombie shooting game, although they were asked to take it out following the horrific gun and bomb attacks in Paris.

Norris admits it was not the only change requested, as they had to alter the appearance of the set during one scene as it resembled the World Trade Center towers, which were destroyed in a terror attack in 2001.

Continue reading: Damon Albarn's Team Faced Musical Tweaks After Paris Attacks

Damon Albarn Based Alice In Wonderland Musical On Daughter


Damon Albarn Blur

The Blur frontman unveiled his latest theatre project, titled wonder.land and based on Lewis Carroll's classic Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, at the Manchester International Festival in England in July (15).

The show transports the heroine to the digital world of the Internet, and Damon admits his 16-year-old daughter Missy was his inspiration.

"My daughter... it felt like she had got on a cruise liner to the other side of the world via her phone so I was pretty upset," he tells British newspaper the London Evening Standard. "She was completely self-absorbed and I think you can see that reflected in this play."

Continue reading: Damon Albarn Based Alice In Wonderland Musical On Daughter

GQ Men Of The Year Awards 2015

Blur - GQ Men of the Year Awards 2015 at the Royal Opera House - Arrivals - London, United Kingdom - Tuesday 8th September 2015

Blur
Blur
Blur
Blur, Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Alex James and Dave Rowntree
Blur, Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Alex James and Dave Rowntree
Blur, Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Alex James and Dave Rowntree

GQ Men Of The Year Awards

Blur - GQ Men of the Year Awards held at the Royal Opera House - Arrivals. - London, United Kingdom - Tuesday 8th September 2015

Blur
Blur

Blur In Concert

Dave Rowntree - Blur performing live on stage at Perth Arena - Perth, Australia - Friday 31st July 2015

Blur and Dave Rowntree

Blur Perform At BST Hyde Park

Blur and Damon Albarn - Blur perform at Barclaycard British Summertime - Day Two at Hyde Park, London on June 20th 2015 at Hyde Park London - London, United Kingdom - Saturday 20th June 2015

Blur and Damon Albarn
Blur and Damon Albarn
Blur and Alex James
Blur and Damon Albarn
Blur, Damon Albarn and Alex James
Blur, Damon Albarn and Alex James

Barclaycard Presents British Summer Time Hyde Park 2015

Damon Albarn and Blur - Barclaycard presents British Summer Time Hyde Park 2015 - Performances - Blur at Hyde Park - London, United Kingdom - Saturday 20th June 2015

Damon Albarn and Blur
Damon Albarn and Blur
Damon Albarn and Blur
Damon Albarn and Blur
Damon Albarn and Blur
Damon Albarn and Blur
Blur
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