OPINION PIECE #11: Favourite Albums Of 2017

A year ago I said that 2016 wasn’t the best year for new music, but it was considerably better than 2017 in my opinion. There haven’t been many new albums that have stood out, but the following are my favourites from the year.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Gorillaz – Humanz

humanz-58d7d64208e38Seven years after the release of their last proper studio album, Plastic Beach, Gorillaz are back with their brand new album Humanz. Rumours of this album began to surface two years ago while Damon Albarn was touring with Blur and those rumours escalated last year with confirmed reports that he was in the studio working on a new album. The result is Humanz, a wonderful album that sees Gorillaz return to their very best.

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INTERVIEW: Dave Rowntree (Part 2)

A week or so ago I posted Part 1 of my interview with Blur’s Dave Rowntree where we spoke about very specific parts of Blur’s career that the band don’t get asked about at all by mainstream journalists. Part 2 is a continuation of that in some areas but we also spoke about The Magic Whip, Blur’s new album.

I’d like to start right at the beginning if I may. Your family was quite musical, so in many ways it was inevitable that you would get into music. But what made you want to play the drums?

There was a rule in my house that we had to learn an instrument, it didn’t matter which. In fact the rule originally said that we had to learn the piano, which I hated, so I complained long and hard until I was given the choice. Anyway, I thought I could subvert the rule and get out of music lessons altogether by picking the loudest and most obnoxious instrument there was, so I originally chose the bagpipes. However, I was only 10 and it takes adult lungs to inflate the bag, so I switched to the drums. I was hooked straight away, and played every spare moment from then on.

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INTERVIEW: Dave Rowntree (Part 1)

I had the pleasure of interviewing Blur’s very own Dave Rowntree recently, and we discussed a number of Blur and non-Blur related topics. The first part of the interview is as follows with the second and final part coming after Blur’s new album, The Magic Whip, is released.

Blur did sessions with Bill Laswell in 2000. Two of those tracks, “1” and “3”, appeared on the 21 box set in 2012. What other songs did the band record and what were the aims of the sessions?

The aim of the sessions was to try working with a new producer to see what would happen. Unfortunately it didn’t work out for one reason or another, and we didn’t do much recording.

In 2002 you became a member of the Labour Party, what was it that attracted you to politics at that time?

I felt that I was becoming more of a ‘taker’ than a ‘giver’ and I wanted to redress the balance.

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