Blur drummer Dave Rowntree elected as Labour councillor

Britpop musician-turned-councillor 'delighted and humbled' following election win

Blur drummer Dave Rowntree has been elected as a Labour councillor in Norfolk.

Rowntree, who unsuccessfully ran to be a Labour MP in the 2010 General Election, was elected to Norfolk County Council for University Ward, Norwich in England’s local elections yesterday (May 4). He won 59% of the vote, picking up 1173 of the 1997 overall votes cast.

Writing on Twitter, Rowntree described himself as “delighted and humbled”. Speaking to BBC NewsRowntree said he was putting his “music side was on hold” at the moment.

“Blur are not doing anything this year as a band. We tend to do things when something interesting comes along,” he said. “No-one else from Blur is running for county council but you never know. We are an unpredictable lot.”

Meanwhile, Rowntree’s Blur bandmate Damon Albarn has spoken about Brexit and the upcoming UK general election, arguing that the young are being dictated to by the old.

“We’re going down a route that doesn’t really listen to the voices of the young and it seems to be dictated by the more comfortable, older, English voter, Conservative voter essentially,” Albarn said in an interview with Channel 4’s Krishnan Guru-Murthy. “I’m not talking about the person who’d voted Labour. I’m talking about your classic, Conservative middle England voter, and they’re the difference between 48 [% that voted to remain] and 52 [% that voted to leave], to my mind. And I just don’t understand why the country is allowing that nostalgic, somewhat distant idea about what this country should be dictate to the rest of us who feel very strongly that, you know, there are huge problems that need to be addressed.”

Damon continued: “My daughter’s nearly 18 but she can’t vote in this election. She’s hugely frustrated by that and I’m sure she represents a huge amount of people who just don’t feel like they can change anything now. And this is a point when we need to change stuff. We need to keep talking.”

“I’m not trying to kind of, sorry, belittle the importance of people in middle [England], that specific king of person, who’s comfortable, doesn’t have necessarily a lot of financial problems anymore. You know, they’ve worked hard all their life, but they’re nostalgic. They want to go back. They don’t want to go forward. We need politics that moves, politicians that look forward and not nostalgic. Isolationism, to my mind, is going back. We need to go forward, we need to keep our minds open.”