ANNOUNCE BRAND NEW ALBUM:
‘THE BALLAD OF DARREN’
OUT 21ST JULY 2023
LISTEN TO FIRST TRACK NOW:
WEMBLEY STADIUM SHOWS + UK WARM-UP DATES
LAST REMAINING TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE
blur will release their first album in 8 years, titled ‘The Ballad of Darren’ and comprising 10 new tracks, on 21st July on Parlophone.
First track “The Narcissist” is out now, watch visualiser here.
Produced by James Ford and recorded at Studio 13, London and Devon, ‘The Ballad of Darren’ is the band’s ninth studio album, their first since the chart-topping ‘The Magic Whip’ in 2015, with artwork featuring an image by British photographer Martin Parr.
Damon Albarn said – “This is an aftershock record, reflection and comment on where we find ourselves now.”
Graham Coxon said – “The older and madder we get, it becomes more essential that what we play is loaded with the right emotion and intention. Sometimes just a riff doesn’t do the job.”
Alex James said – “For any long term relationship to last with any meaning you have to be able to surprise each other somehow and somehow we all continue to do that.”
Dave Rowntree said – “It always feels very natural to make music together. With every record we do, the process reveals something new and we develop as a band. We don’t take that for granted.”
The complete tracklisting for ‘The Ballad of Darren’ is:
1/ The Ballad
2/ St Charles Square
4/ Russian Strings
5/ The Everglades (For Leonard)
6/ The Narcissist
7/ Goodbye Albert
8/ Far Away Island
10/ The Heights
The Ballad of Darren’ will be available as a Digital Download & Stream (10 tracks as above); Standard CD (10 tracks) and Deluxe CD (12 tracks, w. expanded packaging), Standard Vinyl LP – 12” heavyweight black vinyl; and – exclusive to blur.co.uk – Deluxe Vinyl pressed on 12″ clear vinyl with black swirls, in a gatefold sleeve, with poster, bonus 7” vinyl, album CD (12 tracks) and integrated booklet, including exclusive handwritten notes, sketches and lyrics; and Cassette (10 tracks).
Today’s surprise announcement comes ahead of the band’s return to the place where it all began – Colchester, Essex*– for their first ever performance at local landmark Colchester Arts Centre tomorrow, marking the start of a short run of warm-up performances which will see the blur visit Eastbourne Winter Gardens on 21st May, The Halls Wolverhampton on 26th May and O2 City Hall Newcastle on 28th May.
These warm-up dates are kicking off a summer of highly-anticipated live shows which will bring Alex James, Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon and Dave Rowntree together again to perform their iconic and much-loved songs across Europe over the coming months. The band’s first ever show at London’s Wembley Stadium on Saturday 8th July sold out in minutes – with a second Wembley Stadium show added for Sunday 9th July.
UK LIVE DATES
Warm Up Shows
19 May – Colchester Arts Centre – SOLD OUT
21 May – Eastbourne Winter Gardens – SOLD OUT
26 May – Wolverhampton The Halls – SOLD OUT
28 May – Newcastle O2 City Hall – SOLD OUT
8 July – Wembley Stadium – SOLD OUT
9 July – Wembley Stadium – Remaining Tickets
blur’s full list of live dates can be found here:
Since announcing their arrival with debut album Leisure in 1991, blur went on to revolutionise the sound of English popular music with six successive UK #1 albums ‘Parklife’ (1994), ‘The Great Escape’ (1995), ‘Blur’ (1997), ’13’ (1999), ‘Think Tank’ (2003) and ‘The Magic Whip’ (2015) and a string of Top 10 singles, including two No 1s with “Country House” and “Beetlebum”, helping to propel the band to mass popularity at home and abroad. One of the biggest British bands of the last three decades, blur have released eight studio albums and collected ten NME Awards, six Q Awards, five BRIT Awards and an Ivor Novello Award, and played live to thousands of devoted fans across the globe. The band’s new studio album titled ‘The Ballad of Darren’ will be released on 21st July 2023.
* Colchester is the hometown of blur bandmembers Damon Albarn, guitarist Graham Coxon and drummer Dave Rowntree, with Damon and Graham first meeting as teenagers at Stanway School. Graham later introduced Dave to both Damon and bassist Alex James. The band’s debut album ‘Leisure’ was released in 1991.
My life is a soundtrack, i track my life through music, photography is my passion, my escape, my expression. Without both i have pieces missing, thankfully i’m blessed and get to combine both.
Born in Manchester, lived in Australia for 22 years where i was heavily involved in the Australian Music Industry, firstly in bands (Singer) and then managing bands (all original), I moved back to the UK, Wales specifically 10 years ago and married my childhood sweetheart and life is good.