Gorillaz become first British band to perform in Damascus

Damon Albarn's outfit stage one-off show in Syria

Andy Willsher
Pic: Andy Willsher
Gorillaz staged a one-off gig in Syria last night (July 25) - making them the first British band to play in the capital Damascus.

Damon Albarn's band travelled overland from Beirut in Lebanon to play the gig at the Citadel, an 11th Century fortified palace.

Usual band members and ex-Clash pair Mick Jones and Paul Simonon, plus De La Soul, Kano, Bashy, the National Orchestra For Arabic Music, Bootie Brown and Bobby Womack performed during the show. All of them feature on the band's current album 'Plastic Beach'.

"By virtue of being the first big western act to arrive in Damascus I think hopefully that's the beginning of a dialogue, and that in itself is meaningful for Syria as a whole," Albarn told BBC Newsbeat. "I'm surprised that no one has ever come here before, for us it's just a wonderful experience."

Syria is one of Israel's strongest opponents, and supports a number of armed groups that carry out attacks against the state.

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