Gorillaz premiered three new tracks during a concert at London’s O2 Arena last night. The event was a free show held for NHS workers and their families as thanks for their work during the pandemic.
The band debuted the songs in a row during their set with the help of several special guests: “Meanwhile” featured Jelani Blackman, “Jimmy Jimmy” featured AJ Tracey, and “De Ja Vu” featured Alicai Harley.
Gorillaz used the show as an opportunity to bring out the Cure‘s Robert Smith to perform “Strange Timez,” off the band’s album Song Machine: Season One – Strange Timez. New Order’s Peter Hook and De La Soul‘s Posdunos also joined Gorillaz on stage at various points.
Last year, frontman Damon Albarn told Rolling Stone that Gorillaz had been growing into a more serious live band in recent years. “I suppose we became a fully-fledged arena band when we did Plastic Beach, and we’ve been riffing with that ever since,” he said. “It was about trying to get the band to feel like they had the capacity to break out into Earth, Wind, and Fire if they needed to, do you know what I mean? Now, with this, I suppose we’re taking it to another realm, where you’re not quite sure what’s real and what isn’t.”