Popular band Blur have announced a new album, The Ballad of Darren which is out July 21 via Parlophone. It’s the band’s first new album in eight years following 2015’s The Magic Whip.
The band recently warmed up for their 2023 UK/EU tour with a very intimate performance in their hometown, Colchester, Essex at the Colchester Arts Centre The show, their first full set in eight years (they played three songs acoustic in 2019), featured the debuts of a few songs from their just-announced ninth album, The Ballad of Darren, including first single “The Narcissist,” and “St. Charles Square,” which opened the night.
They also played great Modern Life is Rubbish deep cut “Villa Rosie” for the first time ever, and dusted off few others like “Chemical World,” “Oily Water,” and “Popscene.”
There were of course lots of favorites in the set, including “There’s No Other Way,” “Coffee & TV,” “Song 2,” “Girls & Boys,” “Beetlebum,” “Parklife,” “To the End,” “This is a Low,” “Tender,” “For Tomorrow,” and “The Universal.”
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Recording Blur’s first new album in eight years has been “exciting and emotional”, bassist Alex James says.
“What’s incredible about this record is it just does feel like we’ve just sort of picked up where we left off. It just feels really relaxed and not trying too hard and kind of evolved as well,” James told Reuters in an interview.
“It is really exciting and emotional. We’ve been rehearsing the last couple of weeks and someone will turn up late and someone else will be cross about that and I’ll be standing there, thinking ‘why am I doing this?’ and then we start playing one of the new songs and I’m crying by the end. It’s mental.”
Blur’s last album ‘The Magic Whip’ was released in 2015’s with the group remaining coy about the prospect of new music since they announced their reformation last year.
The Britpop band has firm roots in Colchester. They had announced four warm-up shows ahead of their European tour, which will see the band take to the world-famous Wembley Stadium for two nights in July. The band is playing this year’s Primavera Sound and will headline two Wembley Stadium shows in July.