Damon Albarn documentary to air on BBC2 next week

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.

Entitled ‘Damon Albarn – Solo’, the half-hour documentary shows Albarn revisting his childhood homes in Leytonstone, east London, and Colchester, Essex, which inspired his new solo album ‘Everyday Robots’.

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.