Damon Albarn says Brexit has made UK ‘more remote’

Entertainment

It has been 30 years since Blur’s bolshy brand of pop set the tone for the 1990s – a cultural and musical moment that became known as Cool Britannia.

Today the band’s frontman Damon Albarn thinks British isolation is decidedly uncool.

In government, he said, there are “a lot of people who are irretrievably tainted by Brexit and have not done the country a favour at all.

“And in fact they have made it more remote, and I think diminished us a bit,” he told Sky News.

According to Albarn, Brexit “definitely made it harder to tour but that feeds into that whole narrative about the value of the arts and creativity, and that’s been diminished.

“Brexit definitely hasn’t helped that.”

Blur’s new album, The Ballad of Darren, is their first since 2015, and the band’s ninth overall.

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It will be released in July, with first single The Narcissist released this week.

It sounds like somebody looking back – and distinctly like a Blur record.

Blur were formed in 1988 – but it wasn’t until a few years later that they reached international fame with breakthrough albums such Modern Life Is Rubbish in 1993 and then Parklife.

In their youth, their battle with Oasis for No1 was marketing and tabloid heaven – their music the soundtrack of a generation.

Since then whole formats have come and gone – and three decades have gone by since their breakthrough album.

They can afford some middle-age perspective.

“Thirty years ago we didn’t have the internet,” Albarn notes.

“Thirty years ago people hadn’t even imagined social media…Thirty years ago it was very different politically… Thirty years ago people weren’t bothered about climate change…”

So why make a new record now?

“It’s a good question, maybe when people listen to it they will say that exact thing, why did they bother making any more music,” Albarn said.

Guitarist Graham Coxon added: “It’s not really anyone’s business, it’s what you do if you ever feel the need to make music, or be creative if any way.

“It’s no one’s business.”

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