Damon Albarn has set Britpop hearts a-flutter by revealing that he and former nemesis Noel Gallagher have discussed making music together ‘at least once.’ He told the NME, ‘I still see Noel from time to time. We text a bit.’ When asked about the possibility of a collaboration, Albarn replied, ‘I can imagine that being a very distinct possibility at some point in the future. But, as yet we haven’t really talked about it, though…’
But, wait for it.. ‘OK we have a little bit. We’re talking. It’s not anyting to get excited about yet. I mean, he’s doing his thing. He’s finishing a new record. I’ve got my record…, but the principle of us making music together is something…you know, it would be fair to say, we have discussed it at least once.’
Don’t get excited yet because, once again, Albarn has backtracked slightly on what he’s said. In a follow-up interview with Exclaim!, Albarn insisted his words were ‘distorted.’ He told the website, ‘What I did say was we have hung out on several occasions, and in the most sort of light-hearted and casual way, we have talked about working together. But for it to be translated like the way it was is ridiculous. It’s as casual as saying we should go out for another drink sometime.’
Albarn may not have set a release date and a tentative album title for the hypothetical Albarn/Gallagher collaboration, but, despite his later denial, it seems that the pair would be very open to working together in the future. It certainly sounds as if Gallagher may be more receptive to the idea of a collaboration with Albarn than an Oasis reunion. This begs the question: what would an Albarn/Gallagher collaboration sound like? Would it draw Damon away from his current electronic and world music influences to return to more of a guitar band aesthetic? Or would it give a whole new texture to Gallagher’s signature sound?
Albarn is already thinking ahead to his next album. Leaving the mellow, contemplative mood of Everyday Robots in the dust, he told Exclaim!, ‘I’m determined that my next record will be very upbeat, and I will try to set myself the benchmark of 125 bmp and nothing underneath that…If I did [invite any guests to appear], it would inevitably turn into the next Gorillaz album. Which it may well do.’
Meanwhile, there are a few happenings in the Blur camp. Graham Coxon is scheduled to appear at this year’s British Summer Time festival held on July 5 at Hyde Park. He is one of the latest additions to the line-up for the Libertines reunion show announced last month. Spiritualized, the Pogues, and Maximo Park also appear on the bill.