Despite rumors here and elsewhere Nick McCabe has not been named the new guitarist for Blur. In an official announcement from the Blur camp, Simon Tong (read the "other" guitarist in The Verve and member of The Shining) has become the hottest guitar player south of Manchester. Um... well ... err... you'll still be hearing Graham on the new album (due out early summer) but Simon will now have to wallow in the corner during the live version of the Albarn show instead of Graham. ;-)
So you say you want a revolution? So do Robert '3-D' Del Naja of MASSIVE ATTACK and Damon Albarn of BLUR. As the NME has been reporting for awhile, the pair have been teaming up with CND and 'Stop The War' coalition to register their dissent with the British government's involvement in an upcoming (aka on-going) war in Iraq. 3-D has been extremely active in advertising his resistence through the NME and actively attempting to involve fellow musicians. According to a new NME story, their attempts are only to escalate as the push for war increases.
On a music related note, the new MASSIVE ATTACK album, as yet untitled, is still scheduled for a UK release on January 27. No word yet on an anti-war theme. ;-)
Well, we weren't gonna comment on this one until some definite confirmation came around, but it's officially starting to look as though GRAHAM COXON has left BLUR. Rumours started flying last week in the UK tabloids that Coxon had left the band -- but were quickly denied by Blur and Coxon spokespeople within the day. Then earlier this week it was discovered that the other three members of Blur - Damon, Alex, and Dave - had adjourned to Morocco to work on new recordings, while a seemingly unconcerned Coxon told NME he had no idea the band were even recording, claiming he's focusing on his next solo record. And now today, the news seems extraordinarily bad - Norman Cook (aka FATBOY SLIM), who is producing the new Blur record - went on record with The Evening Session and admitted that Coxon had effectively left the band and had not contributed to the new album. These statements were, to a degree, confirmed tonight by Blur's manager Chris Morrison, who issued a statement reading, "Blur and Graham are currently contemplating and deciding amongst themselves what the future arrangements will be." In other words, it doesn't look good for Coxon's continued presence in the band. We'll keep you updated.
Orbital, Leftfield, and Asian Dub Foundation will be contributing new music to The Beach sountrack. Moby will include a remix of Blur's 'On Your Own' and as reported earlier, New Order will include their first new track in over six years, 'Brutal'. The soundtrack will be released February 8th on London Records.
The MTV Europe awards were held last week on November 11th, and FATBOY SLIM took home the Best Dance Act award. The most notable award went to BLUR because they won Best Video for 'Coffee and TV' which is simply an amazing video.
Congratulations are in order for BLUR'S Damon Albarn, on the birth of his first child, a girl (yet unnamed.) Wee Albarn was born on Sunday to Damon and girlfriend Suzi Winstanley, according to reports published in The Mirror this week.
Looks like we can cancel those rumours about BLUR splitting up, at least for now. Onstage at Reading this past weekend, Blur frontman Damon Albarn announced two special shows later this year in London to help celebrate the band's 10th anniversary, but also hinted that the band was going to "do something else" after those two shows. One show will be held at Camden Palace, where the band promises to play through their vast repertoire of b-sides; the other will be a Wembley Arena gig, where the band will play all 22 of their singles in order.
Help, it's the attack of the Reproducing Pop Stars! Never to be outdone by Liam and Patsy, DAMON ALBARN of BLUR is now the proud papa of a baby girl. British tabloids say this morning that Albarn and girlfriend Suzy Winstanley have yet to decide on a name for the wee one. Hrm... Liam named his son Lennon... we suppose "Ray" or "Dave" or perhaps "Malkmus" arent quite girly-name material...
Could it be the end of the road for the band that could perhaps be called the epitome of the UK-Indie music scene? BLUR were certainly throwing hints this weekend in Scotland that it could happen. The band, making a rare live appearance to headline the annual T in the Park Festival, played almost entirely from their latest album, "13," and then encored with a stable of classics: "Girls and Boys," "Parklife," and "Song 2." BUT...
Tour rumor central! The 4AD site is reporting that MOJAVE 3 are planning an "extensive" tour of the U.S. in late March or Early April. A bit further down the road, BLUR may be returning to the U.S. this fall for a quick jaunt, already contrasting with their earlier plans to never tour again. Finally, click on tours for the newly announced dates for UNDERWORLD who will be touring in April in support of their third album, "Beaucoup Fish."