Noel Gallagher and Damon Albarn put two decades of Britpop animosity behind them tonight (March 23), when they performed together at London’s Royal Albert Hall for a Teenage Cancer Trust gig.
Former Oasis man Gallagher once famously claimed that he wished Blur’s Albarn would “get AIDS and die”, while Albarn had retorted: “I can’t make up with Noel. Britpop would be over and heaven forbid that we’d ever admit we’d all grown up!” But the pair have been meeting up over the past few years, and were happy to pose together at the Brit Awards last month.
And tonight the thawing of their relationship was complete, as Gallagher joined Albarn on stage for a performance of Blur’s ‘Tender’ at around 8:30pm (GMT). You can watch fan-shot footage of this historic coming together below.
Gallagher has curated this week’s series of shows at the grand London venue, and it had long been rumoured that he was set to collaborate with his former rock rival. But tonight’s joint performance still drew surprise from the audience at the sold-out show, as Albarn started saying “Noel? Noel?” during his scheduled performance with Blur bandmate Graham Coxon, Paul Weller and British beat poet Michael Horovitz.
Gallagher then emerged to cheers as he played guitar for a performance of Blur’s ‘Tender’ with Albarn on guitar and vocals, Coxon on guitar and vocals and Weller on drums. The ex-Oasis man had joked to NME the night before that he wanted to play ‘Tender’ with Albarn because it was “easy” to play on guitar.
The night continued with a full set from Gallagher.
Check the next issue of NME, out March 27 for an exclusive interview with Gallagher about the collaboration and pictures from the performance.