Albarn visited communist nation as part of a 'mad spell' of travelling in 2013

Damon Albarn has revealed the name of the band who will be backing him at his solo shows: The Heavy Seas.

The singer-songwriter, who this week picked up the NME Award For Innovation at the NME Awards 2014 with Austin, Texas, was speaking to BBC 6 Music ahead of his performance at the 6 Music Festival in Manchester tonight (February 28).

Speaking about his performance – the first UK outing for his new band – Albarn promised alongside his solo material, crowds would hear one “very unheard Blur tune” plus songs originally released by Gorillaz and The Good, The Bad & The Queen.

Albarn also shared details of a “mad spell” of travelling at the end of 2013, including a trip to communist North Korea. “I went to North Korea researching something,” Albarn said. “I had a brilliant time there. It’s like a magical kingdom, in the sense that everyone is under a spell. I do intend to go back.”

Albarn’s forthcoming solo debut, ‘Everyday Robots’, is released on April 28. Following an appearance at SXSW in Austin, Texas next month, Damon Albarn and The Heavy Seas will play two special shows in London, at the Rivoli Ballroom on April 30 and The Great Hall at QMUL on May 1. They will then headline Latitude Festival on July 19.

Click here to read the full report from the NME Awards 2014 with Austin, Texas.