Britpoppers' on-again, off-again reunion to continue for another festival season
Tracking the state of Blur's fragile reunion is something like measuring the state of the actual union. Although the news is filled every day with temporary blips one way or another, you'll probably stay saner if you focus on the bigger picture instead. Damon Albarn has gone back and forth about whether his influential band of Britpop survivors will ever play again after their Parklive Olympic show at London's Hyde Park this past August, but now comes word the group will be playing at least one more concert.
Belgium's Rock Wechter festival has announced (via Pitchfork) Blur as headliners for next year's event, set for July 4-7. And other Blur dates are likely still to come. In a Facebook post earlier today, the band added that they "hope to travel in 2013 to play to more of our lovely fans who we haven't seen for a while. Don't know where yet, we'll tell as soon as we do."
Though not exactly surprising, the announcement comes on the heels of seemingly conflicting statements from Albarn about the reunion. Asked in April whether the band would play live again after Hyde Park, the Gorillaz maestro told the Guardian, "No, not really," later adding, "And I hope that's the truth: that that's how we end it." Later the same month, Albarn told Metro that Blur's reunion wasn't necessarily done yet. "Some days I feel one way and other days I feel the other," he said, calling the Guardian article "an interesting take on a very long conversation."
That Blur might continue to perform — and maybe even record — appears to be implicit in another of the band's recent moves. Blur are leading a group of artists threatening to withhold future releases over the upcoming sale of their label, Parlophone, as part of the same mega-merger that might kill off Now That's What I Call Music!. If Blur do have future releases, here's hoping they'll bring them on the road next year, and that they'll continue to be as this year's "Under the Westway"/"The Puritan" single.