Steve Sutherland interviews Damon Albarn, 16th September 1995. Photos by Kevin Cummins.
Seeing as I have the N.M.E. pile out and we’re all still flushed from seeing Blur on stage again at Glastonbury 2009 I thought I’d post this, the counterpart to this cover, which has proved extremely popular. Gasp again to the cut and thrust of Blur vs. Oasis; thrill to the shenanigans of Cuntry House and The Great Escape; or just simply drool over the lovely Cummins picture of the young Albarn.
The years are starting to show though aren’t they? Quite understandable for Albarn to change the lyrics in End of a Century from “the mind gets dirty, as you get closer to thirty” to fifty, given the circumstances. It doesn’t scan as well but I’ll forgive him.
So I dunno if I was naive, but I wasn’t expecting quite such a retreat to the ‘Britpop’ Blur – perhaps Damon & Co. needed to be reminded of what great work they’ve produced over the years to feel re-invigorated for the future? It has, lest we forget, been a long slog for them over the last 20 years. Something I was reminded of again today thanks to the serendipitous joys of Twitter when I read Rhodri Marsden’s first hand recollection of meeting Blur in their orignal Seymour form and then subsequently touring with them. Well worth reading and there’s this photo that shows why Dave gave up drinking.
It just so happens that I’ve managed to scan in a review from one of these early Blur performances where The Keatons supported. If you missed it the first time it’s here.
And let’s not forgot all of Blur’s festival unfriendly tunes. Here’s a Spotify playlist showcasing the gloomy side of Blur through the years.
November 23, 2008
Sarah Champion on Manchester’s Acid scene, 22nd October 1988.
The other 2 pages of the NME feature on the acid scene for everyone joining from Faith Fanzine forum. Do you want more of this stuff?
November 20, 2008
November 17, 2008
Keith Cameron interviews Blur in America, 8th October 1994. Photos by Kevin Cummins.
This interview showcasing that annoying habit N.M.E. had of overflowing any content that didn’t fit the paper into the back pages. I always hated treasure hunts. Still, it’s nice to see that classified ad for Shed Seven T-Shirts isn’t it? One thing I’ve also noticed in scanning this is that every member of staff has their direct telephone number listed in the paper. This seems quite extraordinary to me now.
For the young ‘uns and those of you not versed in UK radio history that Lambretta to America title is a pun on Alistair Cooke’s very famous Letter to America radio program – “The world’s longest running speech radio programme began in 1946, and continued till Cooke’s retirement in February 2004″.
Co-incidentally Alistair Cooke would have been 100 this week and there’s a tribute show that’s been broadcast tonight.
September 15, 2008
August 27, 2008
July 24, 2008
Damon Albarn on the cover of NME, 16th September 1995. Photo by Kevin Cummins.
Anyone that’s visited this site a few times will probably have deduced my preference for the Melody Maker but NME did generally have the best covers. Damon’s looking pretty in this picture non? He’s on my mind as I went to see Monkey: Journey to the West at the Royal Opera House tonight.
May 30, 2008
Sinead O’ Connor N.M.E. cover 29th October 1988. Photo by Kevin Cummins.
“A breathless Barry Egan stokes the elfin inferno” reads the byline to the article inside this edition, where Sinead lays into Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson and U2. Almost sacrosanct personalities at the time but now criticising these people seems reasonable, sensible even, given the perspective that a little time and distance provide.
Of course for Sinead, Nothing Compares 2U, the Pope incident and all her other traumas are still in the future at this point and given her long and tumultuous history it’s easy to forget what a great record her debut, The Lion and the Cobra, is/was.
Sinead’s wikipedia entry astounds me with the news that she recently came out on Oprah as having been diagnosed as bi-polar, apparently attempting suicide at the age of 33. I remember seeing Sinead on the Holloway Road around this time 98/99. It stuck in my mind because she just looked so, well, fucked basically. Now I know why.