First reaction: disbelief. Second: WOOOOOOOO!!!!! I got Blur’s new Record Store Day single ‘Fool’s Day’ at precisely 9:34am today. No sneaky industry favours, I promise. I queued up with the other 300 people this morning at London’s Rough Trade East.
At about 9am, a nice man walked down the queue asking politely whether there was “anybody who would like the new Blur single?”. A massive show of hands goes up, into which the very nice man thrusts a piece of paper with the words “Rough Trade Exclusive” written on it. This, we were told, was our golden ticket. And so it was…
I’m at home now, just listened to the track for the first time. In short, it’s a bit bloody fantastic. Starts with a simple and slightly wonky ‘Song 2’-esque drumbeat, before Damon comes in – with Graham playing minor chords – singing about waking up on “the first day of April”.
It quickly becomes clear this is a song that’s literally about Damon’s day-to-day life. He’s never sounded more like Ray Davies, but, strangely, it’s the Ray Davies of today rather than the 60’s – with that slightly bunged-up, Landaaaahn voice that’s both all-knowing and a bit mournful. Hmm. Oh, and I wonder whether they actually wrote and recorded it on April Fool’s Day too – a studio exercise, maybe – seeing as that’s what the lyrics seem to be about.
“Porridge done, I take my kid to school, past the pound shop, Woolworths,” Damon sings at one point, while another line goes: “On my bike, down the Ladbroke Road, to the forthcoming dramas of studio and loveable sweet music.”
It’s quite touching in a funny way, and ever-so-slightly daunting. Normal English Life, complete with all its dreary complexities, summed up so perfectly in song always leaves me a little cold (in a good way – it’s what the word melancholy was invented for). That’s what this does, quite brilliantly. Anyway, then a swirly organ bit comes in, and Graham unleashes a wicked little riff and off he goes into solo heaven. How you’ll have missed that sound coupled with this backing band…
Is this the start of things to come? I really hope so.
The track’s already doing the rounds online, and you can download it for free from Blur.co.uk – so give us your reaction below.