Damon Albarn, R6 Music Festival 28/2/14

On Friday 28 February 2014 my lady and I enjoyed our time at the Radio 6 Music Festival at Manchester’s Victoria Warehouse.  With two stages featuring a total of twelve acts between 4.15 pm and nearly eleven o’clock, the highlight was Damon Albarn’s set with his new band the Heavy Seas.  Yes, it’s a cliché, but as headline act for the first day of the two day festival, then surely that was only to be expected.  Again, well yes, but boy did he and the band deliver.

Starting with the title track from his new album, Everyday Robots, there really was no stopping our Damon.  I was a big fan of Blur (yes, and Oasis too), but I’m not so familiar with an awful lot of his work since (Gorillaz included).  I could therefore, have been a little disappointed that there wasn’t a great deal of Blur material.  However, I’m forty-four, not as self-indulgent as I used to be and this was a 6 music event, so I knew that this wasn’t going to be a Blur fest.  Furthermore, being stood within five metres of Albarn added to my enjoyment – I think perhaps that this was perhaps the greatest appeal of the whole event.

As for the gig itself, Damon Albarn conducted himself without any of the airs and graces which perhaps could be ascribed to a pop star.  He was up front about the fact that the gig was the first time that he and the Heavy Seas had played together.  It’s a strange paradox perhaps, but the overriding impression that I left the arena with was his humbleness.  These are some new songs, with my new band, I hope you like them… and us.

Set list:

Everyday Robots
Hostiles
Lonely Press Play
Tomorrow Comes Today (Gorillaz song)
The Selfish Giant (Live debut)
You and Me
On Melancholy Hill (Gorillaz song)
Hollow Ponds
Photographs (You Are Taking Now)
Kingdom of Doom (The Good, the Bad & the Queen song)
All Your Life (Blur song) (B-side from the Blur track, Beetlebum)

Encore (slightly delayed after drummer, Pauli The PSM, had put his foot through a drum skin):
Mr. Tembo (Live debut)
El Mañana (Gorillaz song)
Heavy Seas of Love (Live debut)

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