Photo by John Phillips
As Blur frontman Damon Albarn devotes his full attention to promoting the Gorillaz’ massive new album, Humanz, one of his bandmates has put music on hold to focus on politics. Drummer Dave Rowntree has been elected to the Norfolk County Council in Norfolk, UK, holding the seat for the Labour Party after former councillor Burt Bremner stepped down.
Rowntree earned 1173 of the 1997 votes (or 59 percent of ballots cast) in the local election, and it sounds like he plans to stick around for a while. The BBC quoted him as saying the “music side was on hold.” He also stated, “Blur are not doing anything this year as a band. We tend to do things when something interesting comes along.”
“No one else from Blur is running for county council but you never know,” Rowntree added, tongue in cheek. “We are an unpredictable lot.” The UK band’s most recent release was 2015’s The Magic Whip.
As Exclaim points out, Rowntree has run for office several times prior to this election. He unsuccessfully contested the Tories’ Marylebone High Street seat on Westminister City Council in 2007 and was also unsuccessful in taking the Labour seat for Church Street in 2008. In addition, he lost a general election in 2010 and failed in a campaign for Norwich South in 2011.
Now that’s all in the past, and the freshly elected councillor is thankful for the victory. “I’m delighted and humbled to have been elected County Councillor for University Ward, Norwich,” he tweeted.