In the wake of their secret show on Friday 20th March, blur spoke with Beats by Dr. Dre about performing their new album for 300 lucky fans in a small, packed West London club.
The band played their new record The Magic Whip, live and for the first time, before closing the show with ‘Trouble In The Message Centre’ from 1994’s Parklife, a song they haven’t performed live in 20 years.
Beats by Dr. Dre exclusively filmed blur guitarist Graham Coxon and album producer Stephen Street talking about The Magic Whip after the show. The interview has gone live and will be available throughout April at www.youtube.com/beatsbydre/live
Talking about the making of The Magic Whip, Graham Coxon said:
“We were in Hong Kong, we didn’t even know we were going to record… We just thought, well, we can do it without telling anyone… it’ll take the pressure off. Then we had an idea to find a studio, go in there and see what happens… We didn’t really know what to expect, we just did it. We’d been playing with each other quite a lot since 2009, we were used to each other again and it seemed like an obvious thing to do. It’s an interesting record because there are familiar moments like 'Lonesome Street', and maybe ‘I Broadcast’ and the sorts of songs that people will be very familiar with… And sonically we had tons at our disposal so there was synth sounds, keyboard sounds… They sound like something different. So there was unfamiliar territory too.”
On playing for the fans last week, Coxon added: “Having an audience hearing them and playing these songs for the first time to a smallish room full of fans… there were moments when I thought we were all going to levitate. It just felt like this sort of power ran through everyone, it was amazing. During ‘There Are Too Many Of Us' when it is at its height, the last chorus just felt like something really special. It’s great to see an audience really, really get it.”
Stephen Street told Beats by Dr. Dre: “Parklife - that album stylistically hangs together as a really good solid piece of work. And I think that’s what we’ve achieved with this record. It goes from being something really experimental to a really soul-type song, to a real abrasive, kind of upbeat punky type thing, and it’s great that it still sounds like Blur. I think the gods were smiling down on us, they knew there had to be at least one more Blur record… and I think we’ve achieved it. I’m really excited to hear the band play it live'’ - Stephen Street
The Magic Whip is released on Parlophone on 27th April 2015 and is blur’s first album as a four piece in 16 years. The recordings, which began during a five-day break in touring in Spring 2013 - at Avon Studios in Kowloon, Hong Kong - were put aside when the group finished touring and returned to their respective lives. Last November Graham Coxon revisited the tracks and, drafting in blur’s early producer Stephen Street, he worked with the band on the material. Albarn then added lyrics and the 12 tracks of The Magic Whip are the result.
The Magic Whip will be available as a digital download, on CD and as a 2-disc vinyl set.
As the only artists to play Hyde Park four times, blur will return to the historic London park for a headline show on Saturday 20th June 2015 as part of Barclaycard presents British Summer Time Hyde Park.