The most frustrating band I know.
I like Blur, I really like them, but it’s been only in the last year or so I’ve really listened to them properly. Other than the odd popular song I never really took a huge interest. The whole Britpop rivalry never took my fancy and I still can’t see a similarity between Oasis and Blur, or enough of a one to cover-up the real rivalry; the one between record labels. Their latest album is neither here nor there, it’s alright, but you wouldn’t go mad for it.
When they were announced for Benicassim I was genuinely excited, and the limited collection I have in my iTunes of about 15-20 songs made up a pretty good setlist. Charmless Man, Country House, She’s So High – they’re brilliant songs. So when none of those three featured at the Isle of Wight Festival in mid-June, it was a low.
Nevertheless, it was their show (or so I was told) that would save their disappointing choice of tracks. Yet, 2 songs in, There’s No Other Way got an amazing reaction, not least from me. I’m thinking a mix between “yep, maybe they might play their ‘good’ stuff” and “why on earth aren’t they playing it?!” Coffee and TV, Beetlebum, the first 7 songs and there are classics tinting the early hours of Sunday morning on the Costa del Azahar.
Tender was always going to be the best for me from these recent setlists, a song that refuses to fade out and lingers like Graham Coxon just doesn’t want to let it go. It’s the song that got me into them, one I’d never heard years ago, and there’s no denying, Blur fan or not, it was a special moment in the weekend. Parklife, and Damon invited a fan on stage who, like anyone would, could hardly shout out that one word she was asked to. One can only imagine the amount of times she’ll have sung it word for word in her bedroom, put on a stage in front of 50,000 and it’s a bit more pressure.
Blur now head to Australia, with Jamie T supporting them and they’ll no doubt give their fans that’ve stuck by them over time a special experience. This current Blur aren’t for me, a good one to tick off the list, but a few swaps in the setlist would’ve ranked them a lot higher over the weekend.