Damon Front Row radio special / Under The Westway previewed
There was a special Damon edition of Radio 4's Front Row program yesterday. Damon talked extensively about his music, including Dr.Dee. He mentioned he is experimenting with Soviet-era Russian synthesisers for his forthcoming solo album. He also took to his piano to play a bit of the forthcoming Blur song Under The Westway
Download the mp3 of the whole appearance from Mediafire here
Listen to just the Under The Westway performance here
Report from Damon's Amsterdam secret gig
As we previously reported, Damon played a showcase gig in Amsterdam on 4th May for competition winners only (only 50 tickets were given away). Liz writes in with lots of information and pictures.
The songs played were: The Golden Dawn (Mike on organ) / Apple Carts / O Spirit, Animate Us / The Moon Exalted (only Damon's bit) / Cathedrals / Apple Carts / Tree Of Beauty by Damon on organ, while waiting for his guitar to get tune / The Marvelous Dream . Mike Smith was on keys and organ, Damon was on guitar, and Bill was on flute.
Afterwards there was time for a Q&A with Damon.
The show was recorded and should be available online soon - we'll let you know when.
Liz sends a writeup of interesting points raised during the Q&A, click 'Read More' below to read them!
She also sends some photos, click 'Read More' below to see them all!
Damon Sky News Report
Sky News did a news item on Dr.Dee and you can watch it online here.
Damon NYMag interview piece
NYMag.com has a new interview with Damon, mostly promoting Dr.Dee. You can read the interview on the NYMag site here
Check out some of the latest Dr.Dee reviews:- The Observer review (3/5) | The Guardian review (4/5) | Prefixmag (6.5/10)
Dr.Dee out now, iTunes content
Dr.Dee is out just about everywhere now. The iTunes bonus content has been revealed to be a 2-minute 'Dancing King' video. The video is in the style of the Youtube trailers. In fact, the audio is the same as the Dancing King trailer video already uploaded to Youtube, but the video is different (the iTunes one has previously unseen footage from the recording sessions, whereas the one on Youtube has nature shots from Mortlake).
Some more of Liz's photos from the Q&A:-
Liz's report from the Q&A:-
"I'll give you a bit of an insight of what Damon came to do at the Desmet in Amsterdam, mainly to promote Dr Dee because it was released that day here, and to answer questions from fans. Apparently it was the first time he ever did a Q&A and such an intimate session. In hindsight I should have just written down some of the stuff that isn't as clear to me now as it was there, but I still remember the good parts :)
Damon came on, and the Q&A started. He was very mellow, apparently he was in France the day before and still had a bit of a hangover, said "he should know better because he's 44 and shouldn't stay up too late". There were the usual questions that he couldn't answer (what's is favorite project/collaborator) and some stuff about Dr Dee I bet you already know from the interviews ( Tony had the drum kit made in Ghana, it's his most emotional project thusfar etc.). He was in a fantastic mood and made jokes and told some interesting bits inbetween :
-He was present at the casting of the voices that sing in Dr Dee, Dr Dee will also get a singing voice in the London shows.
-He revealed that The Universal originally was a reggae song in the demo version, and he still has it somewhere. Song2 originally also was a slow song, can you imagine?
-His favorite Blur song is This is a Low
-He sort of blurted out that he recorded something with Graham the day before, on the question whether Blur was going to quit. Then he mentioned he found it interesting to work with him again because his style has changed so much over the past 8 years, he was wondering what would come out now.
-He's not planning on retiring, because he loves making music too much.
-He dubbed Dr Dee a "song cycle with dramatic bits" instead of an opera that day. He felt he's only now learning how to write an opera properly, saying he would like Dr Dee to play in France, translated, and perhaps in more European cities. Damon also fancied the idea of writing something for the stage (he didn't specifically say what) that he will release upon the world "so that it can get a life of its own".
-He'll grab any chance to work with Tony Allen (not a big secret that, is it?)
-He told us that the bird sounds that play in The Golden Dawn and The Dancing King were recorded at his garden in Devon, by hanging a mike out of the window. He said he got up around dawn, went into the garden with his cat, walked, suddenly stopped, didn't put his foot down for a reason he couldn't remember. When he looked down, there was a badger he was about to step on. After that he explained that the version of the bird sounds we hear on the record is a shortened version, because the original contains Damon screaming "IT'S A BADGER!!" and then explaining to his cat what a badger was. Brilliant.
-Africa Express train will be their rehearsal space, and they will play at various stations of small cities (he mentioned Bradford).
-He wasn't sure whether Under the Westway was going to be released on the Blur21 box, because he's not keeping himself busy with stuff like that
Then they played quite a few songs, Mike on keys and organ, Damon on guitar, and Bill on flute:
-The Golden Dawn (Mike on organ)
-Apple Carts once it was finished - "I'm going to do that one again later on, because my voice is not warm yet"
-O Spirit, Animate Us
-The Moon Exalted (only Damon's bit)
-Apple Carts second time
-Tree Of Beauty by Damon on organ, while waiting for his guitar to get tuned
-The Marvelous Dream"