Damon Albarn | NME – June 1995

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Blur Takes Over

Damon reviews the singles (with a little help from James and William Street):

Zig & Zag

Hands Up! Hands Up! (RCA)

James: We like Zig & Zag, but we don’t think this is a very good record. We liked their old song better didn’t we?

Damon: Which one? ‘Dem Girls, Dem Girls’? The one that went, “I like to move it, move it”, sort of thing?

James: Yeah! We like to move it, move it!

James stands on his head on the settee.

Jesus & Mary Chain

I Hate Rock’N’Roll (WEA)

Damon: Do you know them? They’re sort of… well… never mind. See what you think of this anyway.

William: TOO LOUD!

Damon: Too loud? Blimey!

James: Too loud. It’s good but you can stop it now ‘cos we’ve heard it enough.

Damon: Alright. But if you want me to stop it, it’s not that good then is it?

William: It was OK.

Damon: That was called ‘I Hate Rock’N’Roll’, but he’s saying, “I love rock’n’roll” in the song. I don’t really understand that, do you?

William: No!

The Boo Radleys

It’s Lulu (Creation)

William: You don’t even need to put it on, because we know the song already.

Damon: How does it go then?

James: Wake up!

Damon: No, it’s not ‘Wake Up, Boo’, it’s a new one. See if you like this one as much.

James: I like it, but not as much as ‘Wake Up, Boo’. We know someone called Lulu.

Damon: You know someone called Lulu? Who is she?

William: A dog.

Damon: A dog? What dog?

William starts to take a toy out of his pocket.

Damon: Oh I see, is it a toy dog?

William (pointing at the pocket of his jeans): No, it’s a pony in our pocket.

Damon: It’s a what?

William: It’s a pony in our pocket.

Damon: A pony in your pocket?

James: Yeah.

(Ed’s note: A Pony In Our Pocket is, apparently, a pretty hot toy with the under-tens)

Damon: Er… right, I think that one got a thumbs up, didn’t it?

James: LULU! Going down the loo!

Damon: Going down the loo? I thought it was to do with that, at the end of the day.

James: My name’s James.

Damon: Yes, I think we know your name is James by now.

 M-People

Search For The Hero (deConstruction)

Damon: Come on, what do you call Heather?

James: Pineapple Head.

Damon: Pineapple Head, is that because of her hair?

William: Yeah! I won’t listen to it.

Damon: You’re not even going to listen to it? You’ve got to listen to it a bit.

William: No, I’m not going to listen! No, I don’t like it. I don’t like any of Pineapple Head’s.

Damon: OK. Fair enough.

Joy Division

Love Will Tear Us Apart (London)

Damon: This is a very famous song. It’s by a band that were sort of the big band in Manchester before The Smiths, before daddy’s band. William’s looking rather depressed at the moment. Do you think it’s a bit depressing?

William: Yeah.

Damon: Do you think his voice is a bit… erm… makes you want to do that does it?

James, for some bizarre reason, starts ‘goose stepping’ around the room until the song has stopped.

Damon: This is how the singer, Ian Curtis, used to dance.

Damon does the Ian Curtis dance and the boys just look at him as if he’s mad.

Damon: You weren’t very impressed with that, were you?

James: No. Boring!

Damon: Boring! They’ll be saying “sacrilege” at the NME!

Bon Jovi

This Ain’t A Love Song (Mercury)

James: We don’t like any of Jon Bon Bogie’s either!

Damon: Jon Bon Bogie?

James: Jon BUM Bogie!

Damon: Jon Bum Bogie, OK.

James: Jon Bon Bogie! He’s very stinky!

Damon: He’s very stinky is he?

William: Yeah! He’s very stinky, and very boring! This stinks and it’s boring.

James and William both fall on the floor and start making sobbing noises.

Damon: Oh dear, it makes you cry.

James: It looks like you’ve got lipstick on.

Damon: Lipstick? Me?

James: Yeah.

For some reason the boys think Damon is wearing lipstick. He refutes it, reckons it’s probably a red wine stain.

Damon: Anyway, back to the record. Joy Division made you want to do the goose step, and Jon Bum Bogie made you want to fall on the floor. Is that right?

William: Yeah!

Damon: Well, we aren’t doing very well. Let’s play something you’ll probably like then. Let me think… right, this is a bit of hip-hop.

House of Pain

Over There (I Don’t Care) (XL)

James takes his trousers off.

Damon: Oh my goodness, don’t do that! Ha ha ha! Keep it decent James! Just moon!

Sarah, the boys’ mum: DON’T DO THAT! It’s not funny!

Damon: What do you think of this track?

James: Rubbish!

William: I like it!

Damon: So we’ve got a big YES, and a RUBBISH.

William: I like the beat.

Damon: The beat? Yeah it’s definitely a good beat. Fair enough.

U2

Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me (Atlantic)

Damon: This is from the new Batman film.

James and William both start singing “BATMAN! BATMAN!”

Damon: What did you think of it?

James: Thought it was a bit boring.

Damon: It didn’t really have a very good tune, did it?

James: I think it stunk.

William: I think it’s really good.

Damon: OK, let’s settle it this way. Thumbs up is good, thumbs together is OK, and thumbs down is bad.

They do this all the way through the reviews from now on. U2 get a thumbs together.

James: What’s that?

James looks at the palm of Damon’s hand which has got the Streets’ address written on it. Damon admits that he was a bit confused when he got up that morning and had a very bad hangover (he’d been out with Phil Daniels until about six that morning).

Damon: That’s your address, because I had to get out of bed, get into a taxi, and come here. See, I don’t get up as early as you because I’m lazy.

James: Because your band’s good?

Damon: Do you think so?

James: Oasis are good. Cranberries are good.

Damon: Ha… How can you like The Cranberries and us?

James: Because I like the tunes.

William: I like The Boo Radleys and PJ & Duncan.

Damon: PJ & Duncan? You like that?

James and William start running around shouting, “Our radio rocks”.

Damon: OK, so U2 are a bit old, and we don’t really like them – what about Batman? Do you like Batman?

James: Yeah!

 Mike And The Mechanics

A Beggar On A Beach Of Gold (Virgin)

James and William leave the room and start beating each other up in the hall.

Damon: This is dreadful. Sorry, I can’t listen to this.

Prophets Of Da City

Da Struggle Continues (Nation)

James and William return, run around a lot, generally get into the track then start beating up Damon.

Damon: Ouch! You both liked that one, didn’t you? We’re getting a bit over excited now.

William and James are screaming and shouting.

 Skunk Anansie

I Can Dream (One Little Indian)

Damon: Blimey! What does that sound like? Iron Maiden? What did you think of that?

James: Didn’t like it.

Damon: I didn’t like it either. I thought it was dreadful. It sounded like Iron Maiden to me, or more sort of Megadeath. I think they’re barking up the wrong tree myself, never mind. A big thumbs down then.

Dusty Springfield and Daryl Hall

Wherever Would I Be Without You? (Columbia)

Damon: Dusty Springfield was famous a long, long time ago. Even before I was born! What did you think of that?

William: OK, I don’t really like the singing but I do like the tune.

Damon: I think they’re both good singers but, erm… it’s not very good is it? Fair enough.

Molly Half Head

Shine (Columbia)

William: I didn’t like the singing.

Damon: That’s strange! You like The Boo Radleys and Oasis, and this is a similar sort of voice. It’s that same kind of Manchester drool.

William starts shaking an invisible maraca and shouting, “MANCHESTER! MANCHESTER!”

Damon: These are third division though, aren’t they? I didn’t really like it that much either.

Tribute To Nothing

Think You Should (Go! Discs)

Damon: This is on Go! Discs. They usually put out pretty good records, so it might be quite good. We’ll see. Tribute To Nothing, they come from Malvern, which is a nice town with a nice hill. What do we think of that? Not sure? It’s the voice again isn’t it? The voices are very important aren’t they? The beats and the voices, and if neither of them are working you’re not really interested are you? I don’t blame you. Our keyboard player lives in Malvern, at the bottom of the hill. It’s a nice place. I’ve only been there twice. What’s this lot called again? About Nothing? Oh, Tribute To Nothing. Maybe that’s what they should have been called, About Nothing.

Natacha Atlas

Leysch Nat’arak (Nation)

Damon: I like this. What did you think?

William: Yeah, I liked it.

Damon: Natacha Atlas. I think she does lots of belly dancing as well. OK, where’s James gone? He’s disappeared. OK.

James is running up and down the stairs being told to calm down by his dad and basically creating chaos.

 Dodgy

Staying Out For The Summer (A&M)

Damon, James and William all dance to Dodgy, then both boys take turns to get into the sack that had the singles in it.

Damon: We quite like this song. Was it a good one?

William: Yeah!

Damon: Right, they’re a good band. A bit like The Boo Radleys and a bit like Blur. I think that’s the lot. What’s your Single Of The Week.

William: I like this one.

Damon: House Of Pain. So, William’s Single Of The Week is the House Of Pain. What about James?

James: That one.

Damon: Dodgy! I thought that one was good as well.

There is much applauding and shouting and throwing around of CDs. Business as usual, really. Time for lunch.

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