Blur certainly know how to keep their fans on their toes…
Since their reunion in 2009, the former Britpop kings have officially recorded just two songs with signs earlier this year that an album was definitely on the way; that was until Albarn unceremoniously pulled the plug on a new Blur record along with Gorillaz. Saying that the reformed Blur line-up were planning to hang up the boots after their performance at the London Olympics later this year, only to backtrack on those comments several days later.
Then early last week he teased fans with a brand new, untitled Blur song during an acoustic set at the Poetry Olympics, teasing fans that the new sing-a-long tune would be available “in a few weeks.”
Turns out it was sooner as NME reports that this coming Monday 2nd July, Blur will be debut two brand new songs in a live video stream on Twitter.
The news first broke with a couple of tantalising images posted on the band’s twitter account:
The hashtags pasted on the images, presumably showing song lyrics, are now confirmed as the two new songs: “The Puritan” and “Under The West Way” which will both be performed in a special live stream this Monday.
Both tracks were written specifically for the band’s huge upcoming London concert on August 12, bandleader Damon Albarn telling NME “I wrote these songs for Hyde Park and I’m really excited about getting out there and playing them for people.”
A video from the band surfaced soon afterward, with narration from bass player Alex James explaining the event “On Monday 2nd July – somewhere in London, on a rooftop, we will be performing both songs live for the first time on Twitter. Which is the first time anything like that’s happened.”
James goes on to describe how “both tracks show completely different sides of Blur,” calling “The Puritan” “a big and bouncy, up and at ’em, sing-a-long special” while describing “Under The West Way” as a “hymn.”
Additionally, following the performance of “The Puritan” the band will be interviewed before debuting the second single. Both songs will then be made immediately available for digital download, with a limited edition double A side 7” single to be released by Parlophone in the lead-up to the Hyde Park Concert.
That’s in addition to the career-spanning boxset to be released at the end of July to celebrate the band’s 21st birthday called, appropriately, 21. A comprehensive set that bundles all seven of the band’s studio albums with a wealth of unreleased material across seven CDs, four discs of rarities, three DVDs, a special collector’s edition book and a very limited 7” single. All remastered and re-released in collaboration with longtime-collaborator and producer Stephen Street.
The combination of an exhaustive boxset and Albarn’s previous comments that their performance at the London Olympics Closing ceremony may be their last, still leaves a large question mark hanging over the future of the band. It’s worth noting that the Alex James-annotated promo video finishes with a typically cryptic message, remarking of the Hyde Park blow-out, “who knows if this will ever happen again… or if it’s the start of a new chapter.”
You can view the teaser video for the special Twitter concert below and stay tuned to Blur’s account for more details: