Blur singer branches out again after halting band recording sessions
Damon Albarn is set to perform at a poetry festival in London next month.
It is not yet clear what Albarn will perform at the event, which is organised by poet Michael Horovitz and will take place at the Queen Elzabeth Hall next month.
“Damon’s lyrics represent decent poetry, and he’s becoming more poetic all the time,” Horowitz tells The Telegraph. “He is very well read and likes poetry, including mine.”
Blur worked with Horovitz on a spoken word track calling for the reinstatement of the Notting Hill Carnival last year, which was ultimately scrapped when the annual street party was given the green light. Poetry is the latest change in direction from Albarn, who earlier this month (May 7) released a studio album of material composed for his opera Dr Dee.
This week NME revealed that Albarn had halted work on new Blur material. Producer William Orbit, who worked on the reunited Britpop band’s 1999 album ’13’, told NME that the four-piece had been recording new material, but that the sessions were stopped “suddenly” three weeks ago.
“The new stuff sounded amazing,” he says in this week’s NME, which is on newsstands or available digitally now. “Then it all stopped suddenly. It was all over with Damon, and the rest of the band were like, ‘Is this it?'”.
Orbit had previously hinted that he was recording with the band in a series of tweets. Back in January, he wrote: “I just found out that she [Diawara] has done tracks with Damon A, who I’m in the studio with from Wednesday!” He later added to the band’s guitarist Graham Coxon: ‘Loving the guitars you laid down! Vocal session March 3!’, suggesting that the sessions were with Blur and not one of Albarn’s many side-projects.
However, another tweet later suggested the work may have stalled. Replying to a tweet from one fan who asked for Blur news in March, Orbit replied: “Blur could have been good. But Damon, brilliant and talented tho he is, is kinda a shit to the rest of Blur.”
Last month, Albarn denied he was finished with Blur after earlier suggesting that their huge Hyde Park reunion gig to coincide with the close of this summer’s Olympics in August would be their final show. Click below to watch an NME video interview with Graham Coxon talking about the band’s preparations for the show.
The band are due to warm up for the show with a short tour taking in dates in Margate, Wolverhampton and Plymouth, along with headlining Sweden’s Way Out West in the same month.