Damon Albarn played a career-spanning 90-minute set at London’s Rivoli Ballroom last night (April 30), bringing out tracks from his Blur, Gorillaz, The Good, The Bad and The Queen and Rocket Juice & the Moon catalogues, alongside a host of material from current solo album ‘Everyday Robots’.
Kicking off with new album track ‘Lonely, Press Play’, Albarn moved to a piano to play the the title track of his debut solo album ‘Everyday Robots’. Gorillaz song ‘Tomorrow Comes Today’ – taken from the band’s 2001 self-titled debut – followed, before crowd members jokingly started calling out things to the stage.
The band then launched into The Good, The Bad and The Queen track ‘History Song’ taken from their 2007 LP, with Albarn leading the crowd to join in the “la la la la la” refrain, before returning to the piano to play new solo track ‘Hollow Ponds’.
He played ‘You & Me’ and ‘Photographs (You Are Taking Now)’ from the new album, before continuing on into old The Good, The Bad & The Queen single ‘Kingdom Of Doom’ and ‘Poison’, from his 2012 collaboration with Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea and Tony Allen, Rocket Juice & the Moon.
At one point the band walked off stage, leaving Albarn on his own. Teasing the crowd by telling them to “hold on and see if he can remember this one”, he then played old Blur single ‘Out of Time’ with the audience cheering and singing along before being joined again by his band for a raucous version of ‘All Your Life’ – the B-side to ’97 Blur single ‘Beetlebum’.
For the encore, Albarn introduced “an old friend” of his – rapper Kano – who joined the band for a run through of Gorillaz hit ‘Clint Eastwood’. The singer then introduced a choir to the stage to play new track ‘Mr. Tembo’ – written about an elephant who’d lost its mother – and album closer ‘Heavy Seas of Love’. Albarn concluded the evening with Blur favourite ‘This Is A Low’.