Blur: Live At The 100 ClubBy Alex Miller
Er, so last night Blur played and now my face hurts. That's the closest my body has ever come to just shrugging and giving up; my fingers are wrinkled, my face is white, and thank fuck that they played something moody like "Trimm Trab" instead of something silly like "London Loves", otherwise my head would have fallen off.
In case you don't know because you're an American, the 100 Club is a tiny venue on Oxford Street in London; normally bands like Kitty, Daisy & Lewis or, I dunno, Blood Red Shoes play there. Not the Guardian Oasis. So people were hyped. Including a man in some shorts.
Look at the passion on his face.
It wasn't gonna be a greatest hits set, but by the time you're Blur, there is no such thing as an esoteric set list. Since 2009 the relationship between Britain and Blur has inversed; while the latter made their name writing love notes on picture postcards to the former, the love notes are now sent from Britain to Blur. Love notes in the form of endless broadsheet articles, magazine covers, documentaries, Brit Awards, massive Hyde Park love ins, endless forgiveness for Alex James being so annoying, etc.
These days Britain has looked to define itself through Blur - and not the other way round - by asking them to play the big Olympic mega show thing in a couple of weeks. Damon's ambition is so great, he's managed to become bigger than Ol' Bloody Blighty (as he might have called it in 1994).
So no, they're not starved of attention, and yeah, by the time you're Blur in 2012 there is no such thing as an esoteric set list. So when they start playing "Young and Lovely", the "Chemical World" b-side which was inexplicably left off Parklife, everyone loses their shit. And when they finish on "Under The Westway", one of two new songs played, everyone screams as though it's "This is a Low". Man, even "Bugman" was treated like the national anthem and I thought I was the only one who loved that song.
Anyway, last time I saw them was at Hyde Park in front of four billion people, this time it was in a cellar bar most famous for being the spot where Syd Vicious shanked Nick Kent, and for having pillars dividing the stage into two.
At about 11.00, Damon was staring into my eyes - he's got a really manic stare - and belting out "Jubilee" while high-fiving a lot of very small women and very fat men. I thought I was going to die from heat exhaustion. It was great, basically.
"Girls & Boys"
"Young & Lovely"
"Under The Westway"