Blur return to the stage! Read our live review

How do you know when you’ve been to a mind-blowing, legendary gig?

Well when the lead singer of the band (in this case Blur’s frontman Damon Albarn) sings with such energy & gusto that the force of doing so actually blasts a gold tooth from his mouth…that’s a pretty good sign.

Interrupting proceedings with a relaxed chuckle, as the said-tooth was retrieved mid bounce on the stage by an astute member of the stage crew, Damon quipped comedically ‘should have used more Fixodent’!

Now in in their 50’s, with a tooth missing or not, nothing was going to stop the Blur Dreamteam (Alex, Graham, Dave and Damon) from kicking out the tunes and creating such marvellous music last night.

‘Eastbourne, Eastbourne, Eastbourne’ loudly chanted the band to a spellbound cluster of fans, in this intimate warm-up gig. Eastbourne Winter Gardens hosted the second of a series of these smaller scale concerts last night (in a run up to Wembley, and proceeded by Colchester to start the tour).

‘The Winter Gardens’ felt somehow inappropriately named, as this gathering was ‘hot-to-trot’ from the get-go. An audience predominately in their 40’s/50’s, very much embraced every very hot, sweaty mosh pit moment, and if anything like me, were instantly transported to being 17 again, jumping up and down to ‘Song 2’ and ‘Park Life’ during the two hour set. Even Phil Daniels made an appearance.

Damon got so hot at one point that he quipped ‘I always wondered why Elvis pulled a zip down to reveal his chest (whilst teasingly doing the same)…’it’s bloody hot in here’ he grinned! Lots of comedy gems were shared throughout, but also many tender and reflective moments too, with heartfelt love clearly visible between this band of brothers.

The night launched and closed with songs from the new album. If anyone is not yet familiar with the title: ‘The Ballad of Darren’, The soon to be released collection of new material forms the 9th studio album. It is scheduled for release on 21st July 2023 by Paraphone and Warner Bros. Records. With cover artwork by Photographer Martin Parr.

‘Who is Darren?’ you may rightfully ask. As an audience we were lucky to catch a peep of said fellow, with a shy looking man in headphones making a brief appearance (like a rabbit popping it’s head up fleetingly) – enticed out with a chant of ‘Darren, Darren, Darren.’

Blur have a way of transporting you to a place of nostalgic yesteryear, but in a way which feels strangely current, and still with every ounce of talent, skill and magic which has always been there.

I felt super-lucky to be bouncing around in the presence of so many other face-achingly smiling, transfixed fans, all swept up in a vibe of oneness, hopes and dreams.

My friend from ‘Art School days’ loved Blur so much (still does) that she dedicated her 2001 Degree Show project to them. Her wedding first-dance was of course to a Blur track. Despite trying, she couldn’t get tickets for the current tour but wanted to ‘preview’ the show in advance of my attendance.

Her prediction – ‘Incredible, awe-inspiring and shit-hot as always. Plus Damon remains the greatest DILF of all time. 5 stars.’

Do you know what, having attended in reality – that pretty much sums things up!

By Jenny Rushton

Image by Phoebe Fox

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