Blur frontman Damon Albarn kicks off at lacklustre Coachella crowd: ‘You’re never seeing us again’

Blur frontman attempted to lead a ‘Girls & Boys’ singalong on multiple occasions

Tom Murray,Roisin O'Connor
Tuesday 16 April 2024 11:51 BST
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Damon Albarn was not impressed by the Coachella crowd during the first weekend of the festival.

Albarn’s Blur played a 13-song set, including Nineties classics like “Girls & Boys”, “Popscene” and “Song 2”, on the festival’s main stage on Saturday (13 April).

The frontman tried to lead a singalong during the bridge of “Girls & Boys” but was met with silence on multiple attempts.

Eventually, he told the audience plainly: “You’re never seeing us again so you might as well f***ing sing it. Know what I’m saying?”

“Song 2”, at least, was met with a huge reaction from the crowd, Albarn said: “This song has been so good to us. But I did get shown a TikTok of it being kind of performed by a vacuum cleaner which is you know…. It is humbling and inspiring at the same time.”

The viral video Albarn was referring to has been reshared in response to his callout.

Blur fans watching from home expressed their outrage on social media and defended Albarn after seeing the muted response from the live audience.

“The crowd for Blur at Coachella was so embarrassing Damon I’m so sorry I wasn’t there,” one fan tweeted.

“You know who we should book for the 7:30 Saturday slot here at Coachella?” one critic wrote sarcastically on X/Twitter. “Blur. Whose entire discography combined has sold slightly less in the United States than Limp Bizkit’s Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water did in its first 7 days on sale.”

However, others questioned whether booking Blur made sense given Coachella’s demographic.

“Blur ‘bombing’ at Coachella is so funny,” another wrote. “Sorry their target audience – 48+ media workers who lost their jobs and have two kids and also a dozen eggs is $9 – didn’t roll out for the $7,200/ticket concert. Does the band still get paid?”

Two people who were unlikely to be singing along to Blur’s refrains were Taylor Swift and her boyfriend Travis Kelce. The couple were seen watching Jack Antonoff’s band, Bleachers, perform at the festival.

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Damon Albarn of Blur performs at Coachella
Damon Albarn of Blur performs at Coachella (Getty Images for Coachella)

Back in January 2022, Albarn was the subject of controversy after he suggested in an interview that Grammy-winner Swift does not write her own songs.

Swift responded to Albarn’s comments about her saying she was “such a big fan” of the Britpop star until she saw his comments.

“I write ALL of my own songs. Your hot take is completely false and SO damaging. You don’t have to like my songs but it’s really f***ed up to try and discredit my writing. Wow.”

“PS I wrote this tweet all by myself in case you were wondering,” she mockingly added.

Albarn responded to Swift apologising “unreservedly and unconditionally”.

“I totally agree with you,” wrote Albarn on Twitter. “I had a conversation about songwriting and sadly it was reduced to clickbait. I apologise unreservedly and unconditionally. The last thing I would want to do is discredit your songwriting. I hope you understand. – Damon.”

The Gorillaz star’s response was widely criticised by fans who accused him of attempting to pass the buck.

Blur recently released their first album in eight years, The Ballad of Darren. In a five-star review for The Independent, Helen Brown called it “the band’s best record since 1999”.

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