Hello once more and thanks for stopping in at the blog for a quick natter and I will keep it short as more must follow tomorrow. I know from a selection of people that I’ve been fortunate enough to know via the blog that Damon Albarn usually raises one of two reactions from most of you. Some (like myself) have been fans of Blur and his other projects for many years now and consider him one of the more influential English songwriters of the last generation. Despite the fact that he’s a Chelsea supporter I think the man is a talent and when I’ve spoken with him he’s a thoughtful and approachable guy. Others treat him more like Noel Gallagher used to and can’t stand anything he does although begrudgingly accept that his longevity alone makes him worth some consideration.
No matter what you think of Damon you have to take a step back and realise he was instrumental in two important events for Clash fans in recent years. Pulling Paul Simonon and Mick Jones to play with him in Gorillaz was a natural progression from the relationship he forged with Paul during The Good, The Bad and The Queen. While in the studio I can only assume that the chemistry worked as later in 2010 Mick and Paul joined the no longer animated lineup of Gorillaz on a world tour. I was lucky enough to see them on that tour and while I was thrilled to see Gorillaz it was seeing the two aforementioned share a stage together for the first time in decades that made the night complete, briefly chatting with both was just the icing on the cake. The other less heralded outcome was downplayed but definitely true as Mick confirmed that Damon’s affection for B.A.D. and proclamation that they were in some ways the model for Gorillaz played some significant part in convincing Mick to get Big Audio Dynamite back together.
Therefore I was very interested to read an in-depth interview with Albarn in The Guardian this week that looks at many subject but also confirms that according to him Gorillaz are no more. I know some of you are muttering ‘so what’ but don’t overlook the part he played in the above events if you can help yourself. Gorillaz haven’t made the best albums of the last decade nor do they capture the pulse that a band like The Clash can do but they were innovative, bold and ambitous as hell with good songs at the heart of it. Naturally the already unlikely chance of another Gorillaz tour with Paul (or even Mick) is now gone but the reasons for the split ironically were that Jamie Hewlett felt his artwork and animation were less important during the Plastic Beach promotion and tour.
“It was one of those things,” Albarn says. “The music and the videos weren’t working as well together, but I felt we’d made a really good record, and I was into it. So we went and played it.”
In the same interview he also calls time on Blur, but we’ve heard that before. On the other hand there is no reason to think that this closes the door on his work with Simonon, in fact it could reignite TGTBaTQ who also reformed in 2011 for the Greenpeace event in London. My money says that Damon’s Clash affections will lead to something else in the future. Read the interview though it’s worth your time. Incidentally I know Gorillas(z) are not primates but it made for a great blog title. More from me later, it’s pouring with rain here and Arsenal are playing soon – a perfect day really.