Damon Albarn gave his fans a jolt to the heart on Friday night with a surprise set by Blur. The unexpected reunion popped up during his much-hyped Africa Express performance as part of the Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture celebrations in Leytonstone, UK.
Joined by members Dave Rowntree, Alex James, and Graham Coxon, Albarn led spirited performances of “Tender”, “Clover Over Dover”, and “Song 2”. In fact, as NME points out, this was the live debut of “Clover Over Dover”, a track that dates back to 1994’s Parklife.
The performance marks the first time the band has performed following their hiatus in the wake of 2015’s The Magic Whip. However, Albarn told NME last year that a “reunion is never not a possibility,” adding, ” think most definitely at some point we’ll play those songs again. I’d hate to think I’d never play with those musicians again.” So, there you go.
Watch fan-shot footage from the performance below.
Albarn’s Africa Express gigs have a storied history of surprise performances and jaw-dropping collaborations that includes luminaries such as Sir Paul McCartney, Björk, Brian Eno, Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones, Paul Weller, Johnny Marr, and the list goes on.
This past Monday, the outfit released a new EP called MOLO, which means “hello” in the South African language of Xhosa. The EP serves as a precursor to a full-length album coming this summer from the project’s newly created label, Africa Express Records.