Saturday, April 07, 2012

Blur: No distance left to run (well, a little bit)

John Harris catches up with Damon Albarn for the Guardian, and discovers that we might just about be at the end of the Blur reunion period:

So no more Blur records?

"No, I don't think so."

And will you play live again after Hyde Park?

"No, not really."

This is even bigger news. So that's it?

"I think so, yeah," he says. A little later, he goes on: "And I hope that's the truth: that that's how we end it. I don't know: you can write scripts, and they always end up going… [pause]… well, one thing I've learned, and I'm sure you're exactly the same, is that everything I think I've got totally sorted out, and I know exactly what's going to happen – it never works out that way…"

So how should I put it? That in all likelihood, this is the end of Blur?

"In all likelihood, I would say. [pause] Oh, God…"
This isn't a very clean declaration of an ending - it's a 'ooh, footsteps going near the waterfall'-cum-'well, we never saw the body fall into the canal' conclusion, with a door clearly left open. Albarn is too shrewd - perhaps too realistic - to say 'never again'.

Harris is also very, very good at getting Albarn to talk about drugs, and in particular the extent to which 13 is Blur's smack album. John's honest enough to admit that there's a massive spoon of hindsight to his insight:
But even though Frischmann's drug problems were becoming well known, nobody who wrote about Blur – myself included – seemed to cotton on (much like, perhaps, when Britain averted its eyes from the fact that YMCA by the Village People was a joyous hymn to the gay lifestyle).
Read the full piece, though, it's an excellent interview in a lovely piece of writing - and it explains why Albarn is now friends with Noel Gallagher, but less so with Jamie Hewlett/