Blur’s 1994 anthem “Parklife” isn’t the most obvious fit for a drunken pub sing-along, but Damon Albarn made it happen earlier this week at London’s The Red Lion, leading a rowdy crowd of Britpop fans through a spirited take on the track.
“You know the words,” says the jovial house band leader, launching into an awkward jig as Albarn begins the song’s trademark spoken word verses. The slurred attendees struggle with verbose lines like “Confidence is a preference for the habitual voyeur,” but they handle the two-note “PARK! LIFE!” chants with ease. The “All the people / so many people” also lands with extra gusto.
It’s a fitting time to celebrate all things Parklife, with the song and LP celebrating their 20th anniversary this week. But Albarn isn’t stuck in the past: On April 29th, he’ll release his debut solo LP, Everyday Robots, which he recently described to Rolling Stone as his most personal work to date.
“It had to be like that,” he said. “It’s a record about me. That’s how I conceptualize it – I’ve written a song about Damon Albarn, you know what I mean? That sounds a bit weird. Maybe I am a bit weird. But that’s how I see it.”
In the same interview, Albarn also teased the future of his other musical project Gorillaz. “I think there’s a very good chance I’ll make another Gorillaz record,” he said. “I think there is, yeah. But you’ve got to understand, making a Gorillaz record doesn’t require anybody else to do anything. I like making that kind of record. I love electro music – I haven’t done a lot of it for a while, and I really enjoy that. It gives me an excuse to buy loads more weird and wonderful synthesizers, which is always a good thing.”