Belfast Telegraph

Damon Albarn: I avoid Blur gigs

Blur rocker Damon Albarn has always dreamed about performing in New York with his band.

Musician Damon Albarn avoids playing with Blur like the plague, but always has the best time on stage.

The British rocker formed the group in 1988 and together with Graham Coxon, Alex James and Dave Rowntree they've produced hits such as Song 2, Coffee & TV and Country House. They went on hiatus after their 2003 album Think Tank but reunited six years on for concerts and in April (15) released their eighth record, The Magic Whip. Later this month (Oct15) they're set to perform at New York's Madison Square Garden, though Damon admits he doesn't often look forward to Blur gigs.

"I still try to avoid it like the plague, to be honest with you," he told Rolling Stone. "But something weird happens once I've stepped onstage: I just have the best time. And then as soon as we get off, I say, 'Never again.' It's very strange. There has to be some sort of psychological paper that explains that emotion of trying to not do something; and then doing it, and then loving it; and then as soon as you've done it, trying not to do it again."

Damon puts his negative outlook down to forgetting about all the work he put into the group many years ago. He feels an "emotional undercurrent" when on stage with his bandmates and describes the atmosphere as silly and noisy - a "fantastic recipe".

The turnout is bound to be big thanks to their large fan base, and Damon did let slip a hint of enthusiasm when talking about the Big Apple.

"I've always felt that we deserve at least one reasonably sized gig in New York," he added. "It's something we dreamed about back in the early days - you'd hear of someone playing there and think, 'Christ, that'd be something!' But we never did it."

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