Less than 6 months since Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Alex James and Dave Rowntree first came back together at Damon’s studio in West London to discuss the possibility of recording a new blur album, the band’s highly-anticipated new studio album The Ballad of Darren is released today on Parlophone.
The Ballad of Darren is blur’s ninth studio album – their first in 8 years and produced by James Ford – comprising 10 new tracks recorded at Studio 13 in London and Devon in spring this year. The May 18th album announcement came as a huge surprise to fans, coinciding with a tiny yet epic show at Colchester Arts Centre and the release of a brand new track ‘The Narcissist’, as well as the reveal of an already iconic album cover featuring an image by celebrated British photographer Martin Parr CBE which has put Scotland’s Gourock Outdoor Pool well and truly on the map.
The release of The Ballad of Darren follows a triumphant weekend of music and joy at Wembley Stadium on 8th and 9th July, two extraordinary and hugely emotional shows which captured “…a sense of momentousness [Financial Times ★★★★★]” and “…fizzed with the vibrant energy of a band in their prime [Evening Standard ★★★★★].
Next week sees the band back on stage in London for something completely different: a very special global performance of the new album, live streamed via Driift from London’s Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith on Tuesday 25th July 2023 at 9pm BST.
Titled ‘blur present The Ballad of Darren’, the performance will be the first and only time the band will play the complete album live from start to finish, allowing fans around the world to experience the new record together as part of an intimate one-off music event. Tickets and information here.
The band is on the road for the rest of the year with a tour which will take blur from Europe to Japan and back to South America.
Complete list of tour dates here:
22 July – Lucca Summer Festival, ITALY
25 July – Global Livestream from London, UK
8 August – Lokerse Feesten, Lokeren, BELGIUM
10 August – Øyafestivalen, Oslo, NORWAY
11 August – Way Out West Festival, Gothenburg, SWEDEN
13 August – Flow Festival, Helsinki, FINLAND
19 August – Summer Sonic 2023, Tokyo, JAPAN
20 August – Summer Sonic 2023, Osaka, JAPAN
31 August – Kalorama Festival, Lisbon, PORTUGAL
18 November – Capital Corona Festival, Mexico City, MEXICO
21 November – Movistar Arena, Bogotá, COLOMBIA
24-25 November – Fauna Primavera Fest, Santiago, CHILE
26 November – Primavera Sound, Buenos Aires, ARGENTINA
For tickets and information visit www.blur.co.uk