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So, What’s Next For Blur?

blur5Blur’s future remains in question following the release of Damon Albarn’s solo album, Everyday Robots, last month. So many questions remain, namely: will the band release any more new material and will they ever perform together again?

Despite the fact that the band planned to begin work on their highly-anticipated follow-up to 2003’s Think Tank, they seem to have reached an impasse in recording. Earlier in the year, singer Damon Albarn teased fans with the revelation that recent recording sessions yielded fifteen new songs but quickly confirmed that there would be no new album coming any time soon. ‘Just because you record fifteen ideas doesn’t mean that you’ve got an album,’ he told millions of disappointed fans. It does seem, however, that their recording sessions have been put on an indeterminate hiatus. So, that’s the album question answered for the time being.

Albarn later revealed the reason why Blur pulled out of their ill-fated headlining slot at Australia’s Big Day Out Festival. For legal reasons, ‘this is as frank as I’m prepared to be about what happened,’ he told the New Zealand Herald. ‘This was going to be the last Blur show — the end of playing together — and I didn’t want to finish on anything other than a very positive note, because Blur is incredibly precious to all of us. But I was genuinely concerned that the whole [Big Day Out] thing wouldn’t be quite as spiritually conclusive as we hoped it would be, because we weren’t sure if the organization was quite right, or supportive of our ambitions.’

The organizers ‘weren’t being straight with me about things, which they needed to be, and at that point I became disillusioned because I didn’t want what we’d done throughout the year, with Blur, to be undermined or tarnished in any way, by a show that wasn’t going to be what we wanted to do.’

‘We’d been playing for six months solidly, around the world, so I knew that we would deliver a fantastic show, a great performance and a communal event, which everyone would have enjoyed. All I asked was that the organization recognized that and I didn’t feel they did. So, that’s why unfortunately we couldn’t come.’

However, less than a month later, Albarn dismissed what seemed to many like a pretty definitive announcement of imminent retirement. He told the NME that the rumors were ‘bollocks,’ and clarified, ‘I said it’s the last gig of a brilliant period we spent doing these gigs and we didn’t want to sully it by going to something that was badly organized and where things weren’t as they should have been.’  (You’ll notice that, whatever his intended meaning, that’s not what he said).

Speaking about the future of Blur, Albarn paints a somewhat optimistic picture. ‘Everything is good between us all. I’m sure we’ll play again at some point. It’d be mad to go the rest of our life and never play any of those songs again.’ While it sounds like we shouldn’t be waiting for anything new from Blur on the horizon, the band are on good terms and open to playing together in the future.

Britpopping since I first heard 'Animal Nitrate' in 1993

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