Blur's Albarn says Games are too corporate


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The Independent Online

Damon Albarn, the multi-faceted musician and lead singer of Blur, has criticised the Olympics for being "too corporate," despite agreeing to play a concert to celebrate the closing of the Games.

Blur is to headline a show in London's Hyde Park, which will coincide with the closing ceremony at the Olympic Park. The singer said he was doing it "for London".

He told the BBC: "The corporate side I find a bit depressing. There's too much of it," before adding: "A lot of people see it differently."

"I'm signed up to the idea of regeneration in London and putting on a good account of ourselves, definitely. It's celebrating our extraordinary multi-cultural potential; as a torch for the world in that sense. So yeah I'm there with that," he added.

Separate from his work with Blur, Albarn's "folk opera" Dr Dee, which opens at the English National Opera in June, is part of the London 2012 Festival, the programme of cultural events that run alongside the Games. The work, his second opera after Monkey: Journey to the West, focuses on Dr John Dee, an adviser to Queen Elizabeth I.

Albarn has said the gig at the closing ceremony could be the band's last, although later said "Some days I feel one way and other days I feel the other".

He said last night: "I'm seeing it as a punctuation point. That can be whatever you choose to make it." The group split in 2003 but reformed in 2008 playing festivals including Glastonbury the following year.

Last week, it emerged that Duran Duran, Snow Patrol, Stereophonics and Paolo Nutini were to play a concert in Hyde Park to mark the start of the Games. The line up prompted criticism, with one paper calling the choices "lazy and predictable".