Blur frontman revisits his childhood homes for 'The Culture Show'
Damon Albarn is the subject of a special edition of BBC2’s The Culture Show to be screened on Monday.
In the programme, Albarn admits that he found his first solo album “difficult”. He said: “I’ve spent so long in bands, playing to large groups of people, that doing a solo album is quite a difficult thing for me to do. That’s why I put it off for so long.”
Albarn lived in Leytonstone until he was nine. He says: “Growing up in multi-cultural London in the 1970s played a big part of who I am.” Contrasting it with his family’s next home in Colchester, Albarn said: “It’s a very Anglo-Saxon, quite conservative place, the antithesis of Leytonstone. But it’s got a magical Englishness about it. Those are the two big influences of my life, the Englishness and the multi-cultural.”
Included in the programme are excerpts of songs from ‘Everyday Robots’, including ‘Hollow Ponds’, ‘Hostiles’ and ‘Mr Tembo’. Of the latter, about a baby elephant Albarn saw in Tanzania, Albarn said: “The guys who look after him are very religious and they play a lot of gospel music. So the elephant’s grown up on gospel and I thought he might like the song – if he ever gets to hear it – if it has a gospel element.”
The programme also shows a clip of Albarn’s father, artist Keith Albarn, displaying an interactive installation on a 1960s episode of BBC1 science show Tomorrow’s World.
Albarn releases ‘Everyday Robots’ on April 28. He says in The Culture Show: “If you like my melancholic, introspective stuff, you’ll like this album.”
Albarn announced two intimate shows in London this week, and headlines Latitude Festival in July.