Feature: Why Blur sum up a piece of British culture that we just can’t afford to let go of.Posted: February 24, 2012
This week has signalled a bigger comeback for Blur, ironically seeming to be bigger than their actual comeback in 2009. I’ve heard the band’s name more in the last few days than I ever did 3 years ago. This could be down to many reasons. Actually, there’s one main reason… THE BRITS.
The Brits has its highlights (and controversies) every year, some years more so than others. This year, the highlight and controversy rolled into 12 minutes, in the whole Adele-being-cut-off-for-Blur (My view: Adele should have said all she needed to in her first speech, just sayin’.) Cordon signalled the switchover to the Britpop heroes’ performance of an astonishing five song set. And boy, do Blur still have it. Since then, Blur Blur Blur, blah blah blah has been spoken a lot. Negatively and positively, but more so on the positive side.
Negative reasons? Hmm we’ve had ‘they were too drunk’, ‘waaah they cut of Adele when they rambled on so much themselves and it’s all their fault’ and finally the classic ‘Oasis>Blur’ conundrum. Nah-ah, not after this anyway (or ever.)
So why was this, THE moment of the Brits this year? Blur sum up a piece of British culture that we just can’t afford to let go of. They are a proper British band that we need to treasure, pioneers of the Britpop family they’ve been ever flying the British flag. This has been honoured in their only ‘major’ show of the year, the Olympic closing ceremony coinciding, ‘Best of British’ as well as their shiny ‘Outstanding Contribution to Music’ award.
We need more bands like them to push through in to success; otherwise we could be left with lots of One Direction clones. Going from zeros to (teen) heroes in a year and winning best single, why wouldn’t other youngsters want a part of that lifestyle? Though with fans of everyone from Rihanna to One Direction to Bon Iver back round to Ed Sheeran watching the most popular music event of the year, it’s not surprising that Blur have gained themselves some new fans. Who doesn’t love Phil Daniels’ sunny contribution in Parklife?
The band has a lot more than they let on. Damon Albarn is a musical god, without him we wouldn’t have those lovely animated Gorillaz making music or Monkey: Journey to the West. I read the other day about Graham Coxon still being the ‘Indie Kid’ of the band. That shouldn’t be a problem, his passion doesn’t lie in musicals, cheese or law, he’s a musician through and though. And a damn good one at that. Cheese and Law you say? These are the new careers chosen by Alex James (who without, we wouldn’t have ever been treated to a hefty portion of Vindaloo) and Dave Rowntree. The two, who seemingly want to leave the hedonistic days of being part of a five Brit award-winning band behind and do what they’ve (probably) always wanted to do. The pair both frankly look quite bored as they’re playing along, but that doesn’t affect the music, so it doesn’t prove to be a problem at all.
Blur are back, no one knows how long they’ll be sticking about for. Hopefully it’ll be for long enough. New track, ‘Under The Westway’ sounds promising and surely everyone will welcome them back with open arms if they decide to hang about. It would be nice, but I’m doubtful. Uncertainty aside, they’re back (again) and the majority are happy (even Noel Gallagher.)
See you at Hyde Park! x