Fan club members get first choice on Gorillaz tickets

Tickets went on sale today for the long anticipated London Gorillaz gigs, the first in the capital for 9 years!   The only trouble is you need to be a paid-up member to purchase one!   Becoming a member of the Gorillaz G club isn’t really the problem – its paying the £25 fee that feels a bit too much like daylight robbery – sure you get a free Gorillaz toy and a few unreleased tracks that weren’t good enough to make the album, but the real and only incentive is to have priority booking surely!  This type of inclusivity feels a little bit like a tier system that favours the more affluent.

I’ve tried to think of many reasons why Albarn would generate such a corporately flavoured ticket scheme?  Maybe he sees it as a way of creating clans among music fans , creating a type of fan loyalty – in a world full of music fragmentation, unlimited access and decreasing musical tribes.   Maybe this is his idea of reconnecting with the teenage sub-cultures that were once seen roaming the record stores in Blur’s early years.  Although Gorillaz are very much a band of the pop mainstream, a band that straddle genres and epitomise modern-day eclecticism.

Maybe Albarn feels that Gorillaz have been a victim of these tough unit shifting times.  He may feel that due to a lack of touring commitment over the last ten years that they’ve lost they’re revenue potential and that he needs to recoup some of the lost funds!   However, looking at Gorillaz CD sales for the first two albums it is hard to see where they fell short?  7 million and 12 million worldwide sales for the albums respectively are not too bad for a so-called side project.  With Plastic Beach hitting the top spot in many countries it is unlikely that it will fail to follow in the footsteps – this of course generates royalties-a-plenty for the Gorillaz gang – a collective where no one is short of a bob or two?

So why the G fan club for what is already a massively succesful formula?  Is it a need to provide and guarantee for the most committed fan?  Even though Albarn is a constant advocate of musical independence and diversity?

Something around here has the faint smell of corporate bullshit!  The same kind of stench that is often found lingering around the corporate behemoths of U2 and The Rolling Stones.   It would be somewhat forgivable if the desperate EMI (Gorillaz record company) were behind this cynical idea and not the liberal, idealist Albarn!


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