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24 February 2023

Damon Albarn: Kate Bush Said Gorillaz Was “One Of The Best Shows She’d Ever Seen”

Damon Albarn End Of The Road Festival
Photo: WENN Rights/Alamy Stock Photo
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Damon Albarn has revealed that Kate Bush phoned him to praise Gorillaz‘ headline set at the 2010 Glastonbury festival. Albarn said that Bush called it, “one of the best shows she’d ever seen”.

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The revelation came at Q+A session with Albarn, Gorillaz visual artist Jamie Hewlett and comedian Alan Carr for Banquet Records, NME reports.

Albarn revealed that “Glastonbury was very memorable because it was so different to any other performance that had been before us. We wanted to just be, and not do the normal schtick of ‘hello Glastonbury, how are you all feeling?’ We wanted to just do our thing… I realised halfway through the Gorillaz set that the audience had no idea who some of the guests that we were bring onstage were, because I wasn’t introducing them.” Special guests at the show included Bobby Womack, Bootie Brown, De La Soul, Lou Reed, Happy Mondays‘ Shaun Ryder, The Fall‘s Mark E. Smith and Snoop Dogg.

“The next morning a lot of terrible reviews came through,” Albarn continued. “I did get a phone call from Kate Bush who said it was one of the best shows she’d ever seen. That was an amazing thing and I really needed it at that moment because I was feeling particularly vulnerable.”

Albarn went on to call Bush the “holy grail” for a Gorillaz collaboration. “I have fantasised about singing at the piano with her several times,” he revealed. “I remember when I first met her, it was back in 1992 and when I was introduced to her, I just got down on my knees.”

The Gorillaz musical mastermind went on to explain how Stevie Nicks came to sing on Oil, from the new Gorillaz album, Cracker Island, “I was working with [producer] Greg Kurstin, who happened to know her,” Albarn explained. “In my mind, Julian Casablancas from The Strokes was the person I was going to ask to do that song but Greg said, ‘Can I just try Stevie?’ ‘Well, of course’.

“I didn’t think for one second she’d want to do it, because it’s a weird song. The lyrics start with ‘interlocking clusterbombs’ which isn’t necessarily the first thing you share with somebody but she got what the song was inferring. It’s about man, it’s about war but she loved it. We were very lucky to get her involved.”

The new Gorillaz album, Cracker Island, is out now.

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