Damon Albarn review – anecdotes and emotion

Damon Albarn

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Manchester Central
While the music, a mix of new songs and previous hits, is usually melancholy, Damon Albarn is on unusually chatty type earlier than a grateful audience

It’s been some journey, these past 16 months of Covid-related stress, grief and restrictions. And for Damon Albarn, to add to the darkness, was the demise of his close good friend and long-time collaborator, the drummer Tony Allen.

Within the months leading up to the pandemic, Albarn was working on songs for a brand new album, The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows, a venture inspired by Iceland, where he has a house overlooking a black sand seashore, the sea and the mountains. It’s a great distance from the greyhound-racing venue in London that featured on the paintings for Blur’s 1994 Parklife album; a great distance geographically and musically too – the new work is quiet, delicate, reflective. This has turn out to be an indicator of Albarn’s profession – musical shifts and intriguing detours.

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