Blur: Damon Albarn leaps off the stage and leads Saturday night | Electric Picnic

It was never Blur vs Oasis. It was always Blur vs Blur

Artist: Blur

Venue: Main Stage

Date Reviewed: September 6th, 2015

What a mad, eclectic, unlikely band of genius Blur are. They don’t actually make any sense as a musical outfit, having, as they do, enough sounds for several different, totally viable bands. Yeah, it was never really about Blur vs Oasis – it was always about Blur vs Blur.

In this nearly two hour set they do South-of-Madchester psychadelia of There’s no Other Way, the gonzo grunge of Song 2, the Chas-n-Dave cockney mugging of Parklife and Boys and Girls, the trippy electronica of Thought I was a Spaceman and the big romantic John Barry Swells of To the End and This is a Low.

These are all great pop songs. Any biographical frisson you pick up from the touching way Damon Albarn interacts with long-time bandmates (wiggling cheese-mongering, bass-player, Alex James, head-down, party-political drummer Dave Rowntree and popstar-by-accident Graham Coxon) is overwhelmed by the fact they’re vessels for a legitimately significant repertoire. While most Britpop bands were happy to ram kitsch, witless, nostalgia down cool Britannia’s venal, Blairite throat, Blur had a bigger vision.

And that’s got a lot to do with the undoubting, charismatic Damon Albarn. Tonight he strides, skips, loafs and goofs across the stage (and off the stage) telling us he’s 11% Irish (he did a test), bringing a bunch of shell-shocked, delighted fans onstage and getting the crowd to sing happy birthday to their soundman. Then, at the end, everyone joins in for The Universal. It really, really, really did happen, though it’s a bit of a blur.

Three word review – Blur vs Blur

If you like this: check out Oasis (not actually playing at this festival)