Fresh off releasing The Magic Whip, Blur‘s first new album since 2003, the band also dropped by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Thursday to make their first late-night U.S. television appearance in 12 years. On the program, Damon Albarn and the reunited rockers debuted The Magic Whip‘s penultimate sing-along “Ong Ong,” complete with a keyboardist, an extra drummer and an ensemble of backing singers.
Although host Jimmy Fallon touted Blur’s performance as their first U.S. late show appearance in 15 years, the band actually played on both Late Show With David Letterman and Late Night With Conan O’Brien during their Think Tank promo tour in 2003. However, “Ong Ong” did mark Blur’s first late-night American appearance with guitarist Graham Coxon in 15 years.
In addition to the Tonight Show visit, Blur will also play their first North American show in two years – and only their third gig on this side of the Atlantic in the past dozen years – when they crack The Magic Whip onstage at Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg Friday night.
“We thought, ‘We should really do a show while we’re there,'” Blur bassist Alex James told Rolling Stone. “It’s been a real scramble, but we’ve managed to work it out, and we couldn’t be more excited. It’s a miracle, really. I think we owe the fans something, ’cause it’s been a long, long time since we’ve been there.” However, the band is still undecided about embarking on a full-scale U.S. trek.
Watch Blur rock Think Tank‘s “Out of Time” on Late Show With David Letterman, their last U.S. late night gig before visiting The Tonight Show Thursday.