Blur’s gig at the Empress Ballroom in Blackpool last night had to be stopped temporarily when a security barrier in front of the stage collapsed as the band began their set.
The band were performing ‘There’s No Other Way’ when the incident took place with the momentum of the crowd forcing the barrier to give way.
Blur stopped the gig temporarily before leaving the stage entirely while their crew fixed the situation. “The barrier’s broken,” frontman Damon Albarn said. “I hate it when that happens. Can everybody move back a metre?”. Despite the band not playing, the audience sang the lyrics to ‘There’s No Other Way’ regardless. Albarn attempted to fill the lull with small talk. “Is it alright now? No? I’ve never been to Blackpool before…Is there an expert here? Do any of you look like experts?”
Forced off stage, guitarist Graham Coxon flung his plectrum at security, while bassist Alex James ceremoniously lit a cigarette up onstage, before apologising: “We’ll be back in five minutes while they fix the problem.”
In the third of a host of warm-up gigs before the band headline BST Summertime at Hyde Park on June 20, Blur opened with ‘Go Out’ – from most recent album ‘The Magic Whip’ – and finished with ‘The Universal’. Albarn entered wearing novelty plastic Blackpool sunglasses, and praised the crowd. “Good evening we’re in Blackpool. It’s an amazing place,” he said, arms outreached, drinking in the applause. “This has to be the best venue in the world.”
After the short delay, the band played more new material including, ‘Lonesome Street’, ‘Ghost Ship’ and ‘Out Of Time.’ A horn section heralded the arrival of Graham Coxon showcase ‘Coffee & TV’, before Damon Albarn dived into the crowd during ‘Thought I Was A Spaceman’. “How do you feel now?” asked Albarn. “Do you want some more or should we fuck off?”. The band then launched into ‘Beetlebum’, before Albarn donned his shades again to perform ‘Parklife’.
For the encore, Albarn introduced ‘Stereotypes’ by saying: “I think this song was written about Blackpool”, with a cheeky grin. The band ended with ‘Girls And Boys’, ‘For Tomorrow’ and finished with ‘The Universal’.
‘There’s No Other Way’
‘Out of Time’
‘Coffee & TV’
‘Thought I Was a Spaceman’
‘My Terracotta Heart’
‘He Thought of Cars’
‘Trouble in the Message Centre’
‘To the End’
‘This Is a Low’
‘Girls & Boys’
Blur released their first album in 12 years during April, going straight to Number One in the UK. The band’s Blackpool gig is part of a series of intimate headline dates come ahead of their British Summer Time show at London’s Hyde Park on June 20.
Meanwhile, Blur have been announced for a 90-minute comeback episode of classic ’90s TV show TFI Friday, alongside fellow musical guests Liam Gallagher, Roger Daltrey, Mani and The Lightning Seeds’ Ian Broudie.