Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn

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Biography

Damon Albarn (born 23.3.1968)
Damon Albarn is a singer and musician. He is best known for his work with Blur and Gorillaz.

Childhood: Damon Albarn was born in the Whitechapel area of London, to Keith and Hazel Albarn. His mother was a theatrical set designer and his father once managed Soft Machine and also presented Late Night Line Up on the BBC, as well as being the head of North Essex College of Art.

Albarn grew up in Leytonstone, in a middle-class, bohemian environment. He went to school at George Tomlinson Primary School. Whilst at school, he learnt to play guitar, piano and violin.

At the age of 12, he befriended Graham Coxon, when they both studied at Stanway Comprehensive School. Three years later, Albarn won his regional heat of the Young Composer of the Year competition. He briefly studied drama at the East 15 Acting School but left after just a year. He found work as a mime artist and as a tea boy at the Beat Factory studio.

Damon Albarn then attended Goldsmiths College, where he studied music. Before forming Blur, he was in other bands, including Two's A Crowd, The Aftermath and Real Lives.

Music: Damon Albarn formed Blur in 1989 with Graham Coxon, Alex James and Dave Rowntree. They became hugely popular in the 1990s. Their album Parklife became their breakthrough album, with the lead single (also named 'Parklife') featuring the actor Phil Daniels.

When Blur released their single 'Country House' on the same date as Oasis' 'Roll With It', the music press made much of the rivalry between the two bands, with Noel Gallagher and Liam Gallagher engaging in a public slanging match with the members of Blur. Eventually, 'Country House' won the battle to the UK singles chart number one spot.

Graham Coxon left Blur in 2002 and embarked on a solo career. The band disbanded not long after that, but reformed in 2009, playing Glastonbury Festival, amongst other dates.

In 1999, Albarn collaborated with Michael Nyman to produce a score for the film Ravenous, which starred Guy Pearce and Robert Carlyle.

Damon Albarn released a solo album in 2002, entitled Mali Music. The album was conceived when he traveled to Mali in 2000 to support the work of Oxfam. In 2009, Damon Albarn was credited with producing parts of Amadou & Mariam's Welcome To Mali album.

In 2003, he released Democrazy, which was a collection of demos that he recorded in hotel rooms on the US promo tour for Blur's Think Tank album.

Damon Albarn's song 'Closet Romantic' also appeared on the soundtrack for the film adaptation for Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting, which starred Ewan McGregor.

In 2004, Albarn also made a guest appearance on Fatboy Slim's Palookaville album.

After leaving Blur, Damon Albarn formed the band Gorillaz along with Jamie Hewlett (the artist who created Tank Girl). The concept of the band is that the music is fronted by four two-dimensional animated characters, named 2-D, Murdoc, Noodle and Russel. They style of the music ranges from rock, to hip-hop and electronica. They have released two studio albums, entitled Gorillaz and Demon Days.

The Good, The Bad and The Queen is a project announced in May 2006 and features Damon Albarn, Danger Mouse (as producer), Paul Simonon of The Clash, Simon Tong of The Verve and Tony Allen (a member of Fela Kuti's Africa 70). In April 2008, The Good, The Bad & The Queen headlines Victoria Park's Love Music Hate Racism concert and were joined onstage by Jerry Dammers of The Specials.

Jamie Hewlett and Damon Albarn worked together once more, adapting the Chinese story Journey to the West and 'Monkey: Journey to the West', along with the opera director Chen Shi-zheng. The show received its world premier at the Manchester International Festival in 2007.

Personal Life: Damon Albarn had a very public, lengthy relationship with Justine Frischmann of Elastica during the 1990s.

Albarn is now in a relationship with the artist Suzi Winstanley. They have a daughter together, Missy Violet, born in 1999.



Biography by Contactmusic.com

Blur's Damon Albarn Has To Be Carried Off Stage After Mammoth Five Hour Set


Damon Albarn Blur

Blur frontman Damon Albarn just didn’t know when to call it a night on Saturday evening and ending up being carried from the stage after playing a five-hour set. Albarn embarked on the lengthly set at Denmark’s Roskilde festival, where he was appearing with his Africa Express side project, which also features Nick Zinner from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Damon AlbarnDamon Albarn had to be forcibly removed from the stage on Sunday night.

At 4am festival organisers came onstage to ask Albarn to put an end the show, with the Blur frontman refusing to stop the party. Taking a microphone Albarn told the audience, : "F--k what everyone says. You want more, we're going to give you more." Before encouraging the crowd to chant ‘more’.

Continue reading: Blur's Damon Albarn Has To Be Carried Off Stage After Mammoth Five Hour Set

Damon Albarn's Musical Hasn't Received A Positive Reception From Critics


Damon Albarn

Just days after Blur frontman Damon Albarn declared that his latest project wonder.land would be "a little controversial", critics have chosen to disagree and have instead branded the storybook inspired musical "disappointing".

Directed by National Theatre’s Rufus Norris, wonder.land features many of the outrageous characters from Lewis Carroll’s original book, Alice in Wonderland, and tells the story of a 21st Century teen who becomes immersed in a psychedelic online game.

Damon AlbarnDamon Albarn's score of musical wonder'.land has not been met with praise

Continue reading: Damon Albarn's Musical Hasn't Received A Positive Reception From Critics

Blur Prove They're Well And Truly Back With Hit Packed BST Hyde Park Set


Blur Damon Albarn Graham Coxon Alex James

Blur showed they haven't missed a beat since their BritPop heyday on Saturday night when they played a hit packed set at the BST festival in London’s Hyde Park. The gig began with singer Damon Albarn handing out ice cream cones to fans in the front row, in celebration of the band’s comeback album The Magic Whip.

blurDamon Albarn during Blur’s BST Hyde Park gig.

The band opened their set with ‘Go Out’ from their latest record, with Albarn telling the crowd, "Let's have it.” "Thanks so much for coming back to see us again," the singer added later. "It's great to be back in Hyde Park. It's like home - well, it is home really. I love it here. I really love it here.”

Continue reading: Blur Prove They're Well And Truly Back With Hit Packed BST Hyde Park Set

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 Damon Albarn
Blur and Alex James
Blur and Damon Albarn

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
Graham Coxon, Damon Albarn and Blur
Damon Albarn and Blur
Damon Albarn and Blur

Blur headline the Isle of Wight Festival on Saturday

Blur and Damon Albarn - Blur headline the Isle of Wight Festival on Saturday at Isle of Wight Festival - Isle Of Wight, United Kingdom - Sunday 14th June 2015

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

Blur headline the Isle of Wight Festival on Saturday

Blur and Damon Albarn - Blur headline the Isle of Wight Festival on Saturday at Isle of Wight Festival - Isle Of Wight, United Kingdom - Saturday 13th June 2015

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

Blur To Play Free Show In New York On Friday


Blur Damon Albarn Graham Coxon Alex James

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.

BlurBlur at the Q Awards

Continue reading: Blur To Play Free Show In New York On Friday

Celebrities at BBC Radio 2

Damon Albarn - Celebrities at the BBC Radio 2 studios - London, United Kingdom - Friday 24th April 2015

Damon Albarn
Damon Albarn

Early Reviews Show Blur's Comeback Album 'The Magic Whip' Is A Tasty Treat For Fans


Blur Damon Albarn Graham Coxon

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.

blur magic whipThe 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.

Continue reading: Early Reviews Show Blur's Comeback Album 'The Magic Whip' Is A Tasty Treat For Fans

Blur Guitarist Graham Coxon Talks About 'The Magic Whip' Recording Sessions


Graham Coxon Blur Damon Albarn Alex James

Blur guitarist Graham Coxon revealed that he agreed to record the new Blur album partly out of guilt left over from his original departure from the band in 2002.

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.

Blur
Coxon (far left) with his Blur bandmates in 2012

Continue reading: Blur Guitarist Graham Coxon Talks About 'The Magic Whip' Recording Sessions

Blur Debut New Album 'The Magic Whip' In Full During Intimate Fanclub Gig


Blur Damon Albarn Graham Coxon Alex James

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.

the magic whipCover 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’.

Continue reading: Blur Debut New Album 'The Magic Whip' In Full During Intimate Fanclub Gig

Our Guide To This Year's Mercury Music Prize Nominations


Mercury Music Prize Damon Albarn Royal Blood Bombay Bicycle Club FKA Twigs East India Youth Young Fathers Kate Tempest Anna Calvi Nick Mulvey

The 24th edition of the annual Barclaycard Mercury Prize is due to be held on Wednesday 29th October at London’s Roundhouse.

Last week we brought you our analysis of who we thought would make the dozen-strong shortlist from which the judges will pick the eventual winner. We got five out of the twelve correct, not bad as many pundits have expressed surprise at the relative obscurity of this year’s list in comparison to previous awards.

Only two of the nominated albums have reached the Number 1 spot in the UK Albums Chart, and only one nominee can realistically call himself a household name. There has also been a surprising snub for Sam Smith, who has made a huge impression on the British public’s imagination, with his debut album In The Lonely Hour sitting at the top the charts four months after its release.

Continue reading: Our Guide To This Year's Mercury Music Prize Nominations

East India Youth is Smart Bet For 'Mercury Music Awards' 2014


Damon Albarn East India Youth Kate Tempest Mercury Music Prize

The debut solo album from Damon Albarn has been nominated for the Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize 2014. The list of nominees - better than last year but still mostly uninspiring - also includes Kate Tempest, Royal Blood and Nick Mulvey. Hilariously, the Independent reports on Ed Sheeran and Lily Allen "missing out".

Damon AlbarnDamon Albarn is nominated for 'Everyday Robots'

This year's list of nominees also includes Anna Calvi, One Breath, Bombay Bicycle Club, So Long, See You Tomorrow, FKA Twigs, LP1, GoGo Penguin, v2.0, Jungle, Jungle, Polar Bear, In Each and Every One, Young Fathers, Dead.

Continue reading: East India Youth is Smart Bet For 'Mercury Music Awards' 2014

Latitude Gratitude: Damon Albarn is Thankful of "Brave" Festival


Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn isn’t exactly a stranger to playing in front of huge crowds at some of the world’s biggest music festivals, so hearing him thank Latitude for giving him a headline slot doesn’t quite add up. But the former Blue front man is thankful, and attributes his gratitude to Latitude – say it quickly, now quicker – for letting him headline the festival, despite his new solo effort being ‘slower’ than his previous sonic adventures. 

Damon Albarn
Damon Albarn at the Brixton Academy, London

“They offered me the slot that I’ve got, based on me just playing my record, and I thought that was very brave of them, because it’s quite slow. For a festival, it’s quite a risky thing to play,” he admitted. “I’m not just playing that record, but that’d why I chose it,” he said, having agreed that Latitude was ‘the type’ of festival to try new things. “It’s sort of a local gig. Imagine if we’d have had something like this when I was a kid I’d have definitely been here, definitely.”

Continue reading: Latitude Gratitude: Damon Albarn is Thankful of "Brave" Festival

Damon Albarn

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Damon Albarn

Date of birth

23rd March, 1968

Occupation

Musician

Sex

Male

Height

1.83