A month from today, Blur will release The Magic Whip, the eighth studio album of their career and the first since 2003's Think Tank. Few have listened to any of its tracks, but last Friday, 300 or so fans – as many as could squeeze into West London's Mode nightclub – heard a preview of all 12 when the British band performed them, as frontman Damon Albarn put it, "in sequence, from beginning to end."
Above, watch the foursome open with "Lonesome Street." Reporting from the show for Rolling Stone, writer Mark Sutherland included the song as one of those that "harked back to the classic sound of previous Blur incarnations." "'Lonesome Street,'" he continued, "with its chugging guitars and lyrical references to catching 'the 5:14 to East Grinstead,' could have fitted snugly onto 1995 album The Great Escape."
Last month, Blur announced the new LP in a Facebook-streamed chat with BBC Radio 1. Guitarist Graham Coxon, who recorded with the band for the first time since 1999's 13, said that he got the idea for the album while "sitting on the sofa." "Other people were making music and getting on the radio," he explained. "I hate sitting there not doing much when other people are making music and being told they're great. I thought it would be great to go back — now that it's fermented a while — and have a look."