Last night, ahead of their Olympics closing ceremony gig on 12th August at Hyde Park and its attendant warm-up events in Wolverhampton, Plymouth and Margate, Blur performed two new songs live through their Twitter account @blurofficial.
Damon Albarn said: “I wrote these songs for Hyde Park and I’m really excited about getting out there and playing them for people.”
Alex James explains these events in a video, below, where you'll also find lyric videos for Under The Westway and The Puritan.
First, Max Raymond listened to the stream and wrote some words…
Are these really the last two Blur songs ever? That is a question that seems increasingly more difficult to answer on a day-by-day basis. These two new songs, Under The Westway and The Puritan, don't really give us any real conclusive evidence of the band's future – they were written especially for the Hyde Park concert, after all – but they are both mercifully better than the lacklustre comeback single, Fool's Day, released in 2010.
Under The Westway is nothing new in the grand scheme of things – another Albarn-penned ode to London – but it's also something truly wonderful. Whether or not this will get as euphoric a reception as the likes of Tender and Song 2 in a month's time is questionable but it is hard not to get swept up by its emotion. The lyrics in particular are some of Albarn's most touching for a while (“Where I stood watching comets' lonesome trails/Shining up above me, the jet fuel it fell/Down to earth where the money always comes first”).
On the contrary, The Puritan is a much more jaunty affair that substitutes grandiosity for lo-fi guitars. Driven by a very basic-sounding polyphonic keyboard that could have only come from a flea market of some kind, it allows Graham Coxon to really let rip with his guitar in a way that recalls some of the energy of their heyday in the mid-'90s.
Whearas Fool's Day was the sound of a band still trying to recapture some of the old magic, both Under The Westway and The Puritan have enough passion and punch to get people excited about Blur again. Which makes it a shame that it's all coming to an end. Or is it? These are two worthy additions to their back catalogue, either way.
Blur 21: The Box will be released on 30 July 2012 through Parlophone.