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Gorillaz Headline Inaugural Year Of Their Demon Dayz Festival

Gorillaz Damon Albarn

Gorillaz have launched their very own one-day summer festival named after their second album. Demon Dayz Festival will hit Dreamland Margate in the coming months, with the electronic duo slated as the headline act of the day for their first live show since 2010.

Demon Dayz FestivalDemon Dayz Festival begins this summer

The band's founders Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett introduce three stages at the forthcoming event, where all fans will receive free admission to the amusement park alongside their festival pass. It will mark Gorillaz first time performing live since their sold out Plastic Beach World Tour seven years ago where they hit North America, Europe, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand. It was 2010 that also saw them make their spectacular live debut as 2D (vocals), Noodle (guitar), Russel Hobbs (drums) and Murdoc Niccals (bass) at Coachella Festival.

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Wiley Praises Stormzy

Wiley Stormzy Kano Damon Albarn Blur

Wiley says Stormzy is leading the next generation of grime.

The 'Can You Hear Me?' hitmaker is really ''happy'' for the 'Shut Up' rapper for all of his success and hopes each generation going forward will bring something new to the grime genre.

He said: ''I'm happy man, big up Stormzy. I'm happy for him - I feel like he's pushed different doors and different barriers that needed to be pushed. I feel like different generation will do different things.

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Gorillaz Release New Anti-Trump Song 'Hallelujah Money', Their First Music In Six Years

Gorillaz Damon Albarn Donald Trump

Animated band Gorillaz have dropped their first new music in nearly six years with an anti-Donald Trump protest song featuring Benjamin Clementine, called ‘Hallelujah Money’, which serves as the first taster from the group’s upcoming fifth album.

Blur frontman Damon Albarn has been teasing new material from his sometime side-project Gorillaz for a number of months, but on Thursday (January 19th) a brand new video was released for the song, which “explores themes of power, big business and humanity”.

Damon AlbarnDamon Albarn fronting Gorillaz as they headlined Glastonbury in 2010

Continue reading: Gorillaz Release New Anti-Trump Song 'Hallelujah Money', Their First Music In Six Years

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.”

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Adele Named Songwriter Of The Year At The Ivor Novello Awards

Adele Ivor Novello Awards Damon Albarn

Adele has been named as Songwriter of the Year at the 2016 Ivor Novello Awards, which recognise achievements of quality in songwriting, having been overlooked in all the other categories.

The 27 year old British star was not present at the ceremony in London on Thursday (May 19th), having performed in Zurich, Switzerland the previous evening on her current European tour. However, she sent a video message in which she said she was “very grateful” for the honour.

AdeleAdele won the Songwriter of the Year Award at the 2016 Ivor Novellos

Continue reading: Adele Named Songwriter Of The Year At The Ivor Novello Awards

Damon Albarn To Perform With Syrian National Orchestra For Arabic Music In Southbank Show

Damon Albarn

Blur singer Damon Albarn will perform live with the Syrian National Orchestra for Arabic Music at a special concert at London’s Southbank Centre later this year.

The multi-talented songwriter, plus a number of other special guests yet to be revealed, will take to the stage with the orchestra on June 25th this year. Conductor Issam Rafea will be leading the orchestra, with the concert itself being presented by Albarn’s own Africa Express project. It’s also a part of the 14-18 Now programme, a UK arts initiative marking the centenary of World War I.

Members of the Syrian orchestra have fled to various parts of the world as a result of the on-going conflict in the war-torn Middle Eastern country. It will be the first performance the orchestra has given since fighting in Syria began.

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Idris Elba, Damon Albarn And Barbara Windsor Recognised In New Year's Honours List

Idris Elba Barbara Windsor Damon Albarn Goldie

Idris Elba, Barbara Windsor and Blur frontman Damon Albarn were among those recognised in this year’s New Year’s Honours List. ‘Luther’ actor Elba was recognised with an OBE for his services to drama and said he ‘couldn’t be more proud’ to receive the honour.

Idris ElbaIdris Elba was made an OBE in the New Year’s Honour list.

“Awards and honours come in all shapes and sizes, and all as significant as the other,” Elba said. “But this is beyond special as it comes from Queen and country, and I couldn’t be more proud for receiving this right now. What a year. On me head, son!”

Continue reading: Idris Elba, Damon Albarn And Barbara Windsor Recognised In New Year's Honours List

Damon Albarn Says That Alleged Feud With Adele Isn't True

Adele Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn has rubbished recent talk of a feud with chart-topping star Adele, saying that it was “not even true” that they’d had disagreements.

Albarn, the lead singer of Blur, told The Sun back in September this year that although they had collaborated together on material for her new album 25, the record would sound “very middle of the road” and that the songs they had worked on would probably not make it onto the final tracklisting.


Continue reading: Damon Albarn Says That Alleged Feud With Adele Isn't True

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

Blur Stage Mini Reunion At Latitude, Delight Audiences

Blur Damon Albarn Graham Coxon Latitude Festival

The weather over the weekend may have been unpredictable, but there was one nice surprise in store for revellers at Latitude Festival when Damon Albarn was joined onstage by Blur bandmate Graham Coxon

With a storm raging overheard, Damon Albarn began his encore with a solo rendition of Blur track 'End of a Century', before introducing his former bandmate and writing partner to the stage. Crowds stayed to watch the reunion despite heavy rainfall and the pair then sang classic Blur song 'Tender' to raptuous applause. 

Fans were in for a treat when Albarn (Second from Right) and Coxon (Far Right) Reunited this weekend

Continue reading: Blur Stage Mini Reunion At Latitude, Delight Audiences

Damon Albarn - Heavy Seas Of Love Single Review

He's well-traversed in various genres of music, from his history with Britpop success Blur and experimental virtual project Gorillaz, to his collaborative African music project, but Damon Albarn has finally ventured into solo territory with his debut album 'Everyday Robots'.

Damon Albarn - Heavy Seas Of Love Single Review

If his single 'Heavy Seas Of Love' is anything to go by, it doesn't necessarily feel like Albarn's treading new uncharted lands. For example, as much as 'Everyday Robots' is classed as his first solo album, the single is one of several to feature special guests. It has to be said, though, the addition of Brian Eno's low-pitched vocals and, of course, The Leytonstone City Mission Choir has added some rich depth to it.

There's strong piano, light guitar and a twinkling synthesiser behind a steady rhythm giving it cinematic, multi-layered vibe without overdoing it with a complicated melody. Indeed, like most simple melodies, it is indomitably catchy which can rarely be a bad thing with Albarn. The stand-out feature is the gospel-like choral harmonies that elevate the song, but don't engulf the listener.

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Damon Albarn Describes Heroin As "Initially, Very Agreeable"

Damon Albarn

Blur frontman Damon Albarn has controversially claimed that he found Class A drug heroin “initially very agreeable.” The statement comes just a few weeks after Albarn admitted he felt that the drug helped his productivity during his early days as a musician.  The Country House singer has also claimed that his days expermenting with drugs were "part of...growing up."

Damon Albarn NME awards Blur frontman, Damon Albarn, has opened up about his heroin use

Albarn told Time Out magazine “I wanted to say it. I wanted to explain something that was really profound for me and had a massive effect on my life 15 years ago. It was a long time ago. I’m not touchy. I’m just aware there’s an ambiguity and that my explanation can get lost in the sensational amplification of things.  So I'm left with two options: I either become really guarded and aloof and return to this reputation I've had of being a difficult b******, or I just don't talk at all.  It's really frustrating."

Continue reading: Damon Albarn Describes Heroin As "Initially, Very Agreeable"

Damon Albarn Describes Taking Heroin As "Very Agreeable And Very Creative"

Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn seems to show no regrets of being a past heroin user.

The 46 year-old musician recently described taking the class A drug as "very agreeable and very creative".

Albarn, who was a massive influence during the mid-90s Britpop era, made these shocking comments in an interview with Time Out magazine to plug a new solo album.

Continue reading: Damon Albarn Describes Taking Heroin As "Very Agreeable And Very Creative"

James Blunt In Remarkable Tirade Against Damon Albarn. Plums Are Involved.

James Blunt Damon Albarn

Being incredibly posh and remarkably privileged is okay, according to James Blunt – who just so happens to be incredibly posh and remarkably privileged – as long as you own up to it. And that’s his main gripe with former Blur frontman, Damon Albarn.

James BluntJames Blunt's name has become slang for a pejorative word we can't repeat 

In an interview with tabloid paper, The Sun, Blunt expresses his feeling towards Albarn in a candid manner, saying: "I was just the only one who didn't hide my accent. I mean, come on, Damon Albarn, he's right up there. He's got an orchard full of plums in his mouth and a silver spoon stuck up his arse."

Continue reading: James Blunt In Remarkable Tirade Against Damon Albarn. Plums Are Involved.

Damon Albarn Took Heroin "Five Days On, Two Days Off"

Damon Albarn Blur

Damon Albarn has spoken candidly of his heavy heroin usage during the "height of Britpop", saying he would regulate his intake to "five days and two days off." The singer-songwriter - who is now sober - said he became taking the drug after returning home from tour and finding it "in the front room".

Damon AlbarnDamon Albarn Took Heroin "Five days on, two days off"

"[Heroin] freed me up," Albarn said in Q magazine, "I hate talking about this because of my daughter, my family. But, for me, it was incredibly creative ... A combination of [heroin] and playing really simple, beautiful, repetitive shit in Africa changed me completely as a musician. I found a sense of rhythm. I somehow managed to break out of something with my voice."

Continue reading: Damon Albarn Took Heroin "Five Days On, Two Days Off"

Damon Albarn Just Ruined Our Week, "Can't Foresee New Blur Album"

Damon Albarn Blur

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 AlbarnDamon 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"

Damon Albarn Finally Going Solo With Upcoming Debut 'Everyday Robots'

Damon Albarn Blur Gorillaz

Damon Albarn is finally set to go solo as he unveils his long-anticipated debut album Everyday Robots on April 28th 2014.

Blur at the Q Awards
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'

Glastonbury Festival 2013 In Pictures: Sun, Cider And The Rolling Stones [Pictures]

Glastonbury Festival Rolling Stones Azealia Banks Arctic Monkeys Bobby Womack Tyler The Creator Damon Albarn Beady Eye Liam Gallagher Oasis Nick Cave Rita Ora AlunaGeorge Mick Jagger Keith Richards Tom Odell David Bowie Jessie Ware

And that's it. Another year passes and Worthy Farm closes its gates on the Glastonbury Festival revellers for another 12 months. Though there's always the distant murmur of someone professing it "the best Glastonbury ever," there was a palpable feeling that this year's festival was among the finest in history. Firstly, there was heightened anticipation given the fallow year in 2012 and secondly, the sun came out. Oh, and The Rolling Stones made their debut, rollicking through a two-and-a-half-hour set on Saturday (June 29, 2013) and scoring five-star reviews across the board.

Mick JaggerMick Jagger Performing With The Rolling Stones At Glastonbury Festival in 2013

The surprise return of David Bowie in 2013 had left many commentators speculating on the possibility of the Thin White Duke headlining the legendary festival, though there was no lingering thoughts of "What if?" once Glastonbury got underway on Friday with a snappy set from Sheffield heroes Arctic Monkeys. Bowie became all but a moot point after Saturday, when Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and company played a career spanning set that included 'Jumping Jack Flash,' 'Tumbling Dice,' 'Start Me Up,' 'You Can't Always Get What You Want,' 'Gimmie Shelter,' 'Doom and Gloom' and 'Midnight Rambler.' "The night belongs to the Stones. By turning on the charm as well as the formidable back catalogue, they prove themselves well worth the wait," said the Guardian's Dorian Lynskey. 

Continue reading: Glastonbury Festival 2013 In Pictures: Sun, Cider And The Rolling Stones [Pictures]

A Week In Music - James Blake Still Seeking His Niche, Yeah Yeah Yeahs Triumph With Lily Cole Video, Eels Stage A Love-In In Bournemouth

James Blake John Grant Die! Die! Die! The Eels Yo La Tengo Yeah Yeah Yeahs Laura Mvula Justin Timberlake Rolling Stones Noel Gallagher Damon Albarn Glastonbury Festival

James Blake Overgrown Artwork

Albums of Note... It’s been a long two years since James Blake released his debut eponymous album and now, the pioneering producer returns with Overgrown, album number two. Peppered with quality collaborations, with hip-hop legend RZA and electronic music’s figurehead Brian Eno, Overgrown is the sound of an artist still trying to find his niche, but releasing high quality, accomplished tracks, whilst he’s on his journey. Blake really is a talent to behold, as his ingenious moulding together of poles apart genres and production wizardry clearly shows… when you're already as accomplished at all manner of musical exercises as he is then it will obviously be hard to focus all this talent and all this energy into one place.

Splitting opinion like musical Marmite, John Grant returns with Pale Green Ghosts. This album may sound unrecognisable as Grant, to anyone already familiar with his work. He’s hooked up with Gus Gus’ Biggi Viera and has decamped to Reykjavik. As a result, a new reliance on vintage-sounding synthesisers and a nod to club-land has John Grant sounding like an altogether different proposition to the John Grant of days gone by.Grant's dyspeptic edge may be blunted, but when called upon the man can make a fine ass post-modern disco song, like we ever doubted that he could, and Blackbelt is a tweaked remix away from the transient world of A Lists, charts and chat shows. Cleverly poignant, its way with knock out disses would give Jake Shears something to think about if it proved to be a permanent change of direction…

Continue reading: A Week In Music - James Blake Still Seeking His Niche, Yeah Yeah Yeahs Triumph With Lily Cole Video, Eels Stage A Love-In In Bournemouth

Hatchet Buried: Noel Gallagher And Damon Albarn Unite Onstage For Teenage Cancer Trust

Noel Gallagher Damon Albarn Paul Weller

Noel Gallagher and Damon Albarn put their notorious Britpop feud behind them this weekend to perform onstage together in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust concerts that Noel was charged with curating. In the heady days of 90s Britpop, the two musicians’ former bands were pitted against each other by the UK music press and frankly, they did little to dispel the drama. Gallagher famously wished death on Albarn and when their singles ‘Country House’ (Blur) and ‘Roll With It’ (Oasis) were released on the same day in 1995, music fans were forced to take sides.

The water is well and truly under the bridge now, though, as Noel and Damon joined each other onstage at the Royal Albert Hall show and performed Blur’s ‘Tender,’ with Noel on backing vocals. They were joined by Paul Weller on drums, though according to the Evening Standard, he played “as though he’d never seen a kit before.” In fact, the concert itself was relatively unremarkable, other than the momentous occasion of seeing Noel and Damon singing together – a sight that once seemed an impossible feat.

Noel’s own performance still has him pegged as a “work in progress” when it comes to taking the role of frontman, in The Guardian’s review. And at £75 a ticket though, most of Gallagher’s fans were probably hoping it would have been his brother Liam with whom he had reunited onstage. 

Continue reading: Hatchet Buried: Noel Gallagher And Damon Albarn Unite Onstage For Teenage Cancer Trust

BBC Radio Marks Its 90-Year Anniversary With Simultaneous Broadcast

Damon Albarn

In all of BBC Radio’s 90 years, there has only been one scheduled simultaneous broadcast; in 1922 for the British Broadcasting Company’s first ever radio-wave outing. Now, 90 years later, Damon Albarn heads another in honour of the British Broadcasting Corporation, as they’re now known.

Reaching an estimated 80 million listeners, the show was hosted by BBC Radio 2's Simon Mayo from London's Science Museum at 5.33pm today (Nov, 14) and features iconic sounds such as Bertrand Russell in Morse code."There is a special musicality to some of the vocal messages, which I tried to preserve," Albarn told the BBC about the commemorative show. "Added to that, I got to do what I've always wanted - to play along with the pips." Albarn also chose to include a famous quote from philosopher Bertrand Russell: "Love is wise, hatred is foolish." Tim Boon, head of research and public history at the Science Museum, said: "The first broadcast by the 2LO 90 years ago marked the moment when radio moved from the realm of the 'amateur enthusiast' to the first proper public broadcasting service in Britain. "This exhibition takes visitors back to a time when everything, from the technology to the content of the programmes was still new."

The Science Museum is marking the 90th anniversary of BBC Radio with a display featuring part of the original 2LO transmitter.

Blur, Pulp And Muse Dominate The Q Awards

Blur Pulp The Stone Roses Damon Albarn Bobby Womack

Britpoppers Blur fought off competition from The Stone Roses to be named best live act, but lost out to Muse for the mantle of best act in the world, Sky News Reports.

Muse have had a huge 2012 , including a headline slot at the London Olympics concert on August 12, and the release of a new album, The 2nd Law. Q magazine's editor Andrew Harrison said: "It's been the most incredible year for British music. Our bands and our anthems transformed the Olympics. A string of great albums announced fantastic new talent on the scene. And amazing comeback shows from Blur and the Stone Roses showed the enduring appeal of our best-loved musicians." Another British export to win big were Pulp, who nabbed the Q inspiration award. Emeli Sande, who also starred in the London 2012 closing gig, was named best solo artist, while Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr and Killers' frontman Brandon Flowers were named Q heroes.

The evening also took an emotional turn, as Bobby Womack beat cancer and pneumonia to win album of the year, according to The Independent. "During the time I was ill in hospital, the thing that kept me alive was Damon," Womack said. "He was really interested in me. That's what brought me back to life." Accepting his award, Womack appeared momentarily confused, thanking his collaborator "Damon Osborne".

Damon Albarn Spearheads New Drive To Get Younger Fans Into Opera

Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn is among those who've lent their name to a new initiative aimed at finding more opera fans, as the once prestigious form of entertainment finds itself in danger of being eclipsed thanks to a younger generation who view it as something for an older generation. The initiative is being set up by the English National Opera and, as someone whose opera Dr Dee attracted 60% of first time opera ticket buyers during the ENO's 2011/2012 season, Albarn was there at the launch - although he stopped short of calling his work an opera.

"I don't really know what to call it," Albarn told reporters at the ENO's Coliseum theatre in central London. "I struggle with the word opera because it's quite clear that I'm sort of swimming in deep water when I ever mention that word, so I try and avoid it." Another joining Albarn in the drive was American-born film director Terry Gilliam, director of Berlioz's The Damnation of Faust.

He's planning on working with the ENO again, and said in a filmed interview at the event "I suppose I'm trying to bring in people like myself who didn't go to opera when they were younger, because I thought it was just for a bunch of old farts and a lot of bourgeoisie and people in dinner jackets. It was an art for the rich and the successful and the almost dead."

Damon Albarn Encourages ‘Jeans And Trainers’ Look For Opera Season

Damon Albarn Terry Gilliam

Damon Albarn and filmmaker Terry Gilliam are leading a campaign to attract more youngsters to the opera, encouraging first-timers to ditch the tuxedo and dicky-bow in favour of wear jeans and trainers. Anticipating that the youth of today will no doubt require a stern drink before and ideally after the show, Albarn also promised “club-style bars” for all!

The pair are just two of the numerous public faces for ‘Undress for the Opera’ – a new scheme launched by the English National Opera which will offer shows such as La Traviata and Don Giovanni to new audiences. Tickets will be considerably cheaper than the normal rates (just £25 for the very best seats in the house), while a post-show party will also be laid on, complete with cast and crew members. Bars at the London Coliseum will be transformed with beer promotions and operatic-themed cocktails and Gilliam even takes the mickey out of the whole thing in his tongue-in-cheek ‘opera etiquette guide’, “I thought opera was for a bunch of old farts - the bourgeoisie in dinner jackets. I thought it was an art form for the rich and successful and almost dead,” he writes, adding, “Thank God the English National Opera is housed in the Coliseum, because it's an old music hall and not an opera house. Another great thing about the English National Opera is that the operas are in English so there's no excuse for not turning up, English-speakers.”

Registration for the scheme opens on Wednesday (October 3, 2012) opens today at www.eno.org/undress and applicants must state whether or not they have attended the opera before.

Damon Albarn, Dr Dee Album Review

Damon Albarn has enjoyed a productive relationship with the Manchester International Festival since Gorillaz performed Demon Days Live there in 2006. The following year, he took Monkey: Journey to the West to the festival and then wrote the music for It Felt like A Kiss, an immersive theatre production, in 2009. And so, last year, following a stuttering collaboration with the comic book author Alan Moore, the man best known for hollering Cockney-pop sing-alongs with his band Blur, worked alongside theatre director Rufus Norris to create the opera Dr Dee.

Continue reading: Damon Albarn, Dr Dee Album Review

Damon Albarn

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Damon Albarn

Date of birth

23rd March, 1968