The Good, The Bad & The Queen played an hour-long set followed by a rare encore at South by SouthWest tonight (March 16).
The Damon Albarn-fronted group performed two songs that did not appear on their recent self-titled debut album, and brought in a guest rapper to do vocal duties on one of the tracks.
“We brought someone from Syria to perform this little story with us,” Albarn told the audience.
Prior to the encore, the band ran through several songs from their debut album, including ‘Kingdom Of Doom’, ‘A Soldier’s Tale’, ‘Northern Whale’ and title track, ‘The Good The Bad & The Queen’ as Badly Drawn Boy watched from the wings.
“This song is about a whale that swam up the River Thames and suddenly died,” Albarn said before playing ‘Northern Whale’.
The band’s performance was filled with theatrical flourishes. Albarn wore a black top hat, as did his all-female backing string section, the Demon Strings.
Former Clash bassist Paul Simonon moved across the stage like a groovy robot with a cigarette hanging from the neck of his guitar.
Albarn spent much of the set behind his keyboard, which was covered by a Union Jack flag.
The set was fairly subdued until the end, when the rapper encouraged the audience to make some noise.
Albarn politely thanked his band and guest performer before saying goodnight. “It’s been a pleasure playing for you,” he said, bringing Friday night at SXSW to a close.
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