'Albarn really can't sing, he shouts': After a clumsy BRITs performance, perhaps Blur should mime their forthcoming Olympics gig
I was on my way back to my seat from the toilets at the O2 as the Brits drew to a close when I heard some drunken yelling from inside the arena.
It appeared to be coming from the direction of the stage. Was it some drunken reveller who’d wandered somewhere he shouldn't have Perhaps not, as he appeared to be joined by someone who was rather clumsily hitting a bass guitar and yet another musical incompetent bashing away at a set of drums.
They seemed to be attempting some vague, lumpen approximation of that Britpop classic, Girls And Boys. ‘This is quite some stage invasion,’ I thought, thinking that today’s headlines would be hogged by whichever miscreants were making the godawful racket onstage.
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A writer not a singer: Damon Albarn's BRITs performance was a case in point of the fact that Blur boast great songs but shaky live vocals
Turns out I was right. Except it was Blur playing a short set, not some inebriated office juniors from Polydor or EMI fooling about. And they’re in the headlines not just because they won a Brit last night but because it’s been announced that, along with The Specials and New Order, Blur will be playing at the Olympics closing ceremony this year.
Perhaps, they’ve been away too long, what with Damon Albarn writing Chinese operas and consorting with cartoon bands and Alex James making terrible cheese and writing pompous columns for newspapers. Perhaps they didn’t rehearse. But knowing what a perfectionist Albarn is, that seems unlikely.
Unpleasant to listen to Damon, who was joined on stage last night by Phil Daniels, arguably 'shouts' rather than sings
Something to consider Perhaps Damon should mime his forthcoming Olympics performance
IT WASN'T ALL BAD
Blur, who were honoured with the Outstanding Contribution To Music award during the evening, have seen sales of their albums go up by 2,700 per cent following their BRITs performance. They played five songs at the end of the ceremony.
Adele, who took home the awards for British Female Solo Artist and Album Of The Year, has also seen sales of her albums 19 and 21 increase by 166 per cent.
Ed Sheeran, who won British Breakthrough Act and British Male Solo Artist, has seen sales of his material shoot up by a whopping 796 per cent after the awards, according to Amazon.
Maybe, just maybe, Blur were never
really that good live anyway. I certainly have few good memories of Blur
shows. Albarn can’t really sing – he just shouts. The band he fronts
tend to sound like a washing machine falling down the stairs.
Their albums sound so good because Albarn writes great songs (the best moment last night came after ITV had stopped broadcasting when Blur played a rather good version of Tender) and their producer Stephen Street is a bit of a whiz tidying things up in the studio.
Also, and this tends to be forgotten, we’re no longer used to hearing bands play live. We’ve become accustomed to acts miming, so when Damon starts yelling like a drunken hobo in the street our eardrums find it rather shocking.
It could have been worse – it could have
been The Stone Roses. Ian Brown’s voice was rarely in the same postcode
as the tune being played by the rest of his band. When you’re there,
you don’t notice too much but on TV it sounds awful.
Out-dated: Maybe the problem is that audiences are no longer used to hearing a band perform live
However, you can’t argue too much with
the choice of The Specials, New Order and Blur to close the Olympics.
They do represent the best of British pop music over the last 30 years.
And they will make a change from the omnipresent Brian May and Paul
McCartney, who always seem to feature at these events.
But perhaps Damon should think about miming, for the sake of the world’s eardrums. After all, when Kevin from EastEnders outsings you during Parklife, as happened last night when actor Phil Daniels joined Blur onstage, then you know you have a problem.
It could have been worse: Ian Brown of the Stone Roses' voice was rarely in the same postcode as the tune played by the rest of his band
British classics: Despite their shortcomings, you cant argue too much with the choice of The Specials, New Order and Blur to close the Olympics