Posts tagged ‘Gorillaz’

July 24, 2010

Gorillaz reschedule their world tour!

Gorillaz have rescheduled their world tour to incorporate a 20 date trip to the US, while cancelling three of their European dates! Their original tour of Europe included Glasgow, Newcastle and Milan – after selling thousands of tickets for these shows the Gorillaz management team have decided to cancel them completely while announcing new dates for other cities. Is this yet more proof of the complete lack of nous from Gorillaz beleaguered label – EMI? It’s standard for many gigs to be cancelled or rescheduled through illness or injury – it is another thing when gigs are cancelled and redistributed to other cities that are hundreds of miles away. Where was the sense in cancelling Newcastle and adding Brighton to the tour? Not many fans from Newcastle will want to travel down to the south coast town? Pity the poor Milan fans who’ve now seen their city date cancelled, only for the much smaller city of Antwerp get the nod instead!

The main reasons cited for this ill-advised and mismanaged rescheduling is the incorporation of a world tour rather than the initial European tour for the Gorillaz collective.  This type of fudged and hastily announced strategy change is unfathomable for a globally recognised band, especially in today’s mass marketed and corporative world of 12 month plans and targeted commerce.  OK, the one thing we all like about Gorillaz is the ad hoc, collective vibe of Albarn’s whimsy, although cancelling dates of certain cities and then announcing dates for different – smaller cities will only anger and disappoint.  Music fans invest a lot of time and money – gigs are expensive and have therefore become great social events where fans base whole itineraries around, cancelling venues where thousands of tickets have already been sold will diminish the incredible bond between bands and their fans.

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May 27, 2010

Gorillaz replace U2

In response to my article yesterday, about U2 cancelling Glastonbury and a look at the history of Glastonbury no-shows, I was surprised as much as everyone else with the quick announcement of Gorillaz as U2’s Friday night replacement!  Surely this is the greatest fill in band to ever grace the stage? Bookies favourite Dizzee was also my personal favourite to replace the Irish supergroup, it made sense to promote the east end rapper to the headline slot after such an incredible 12 months.   Although Gorillaz are far superior in terms of occasion, musical depth and exclusivity!   It just goes to show how much Damon has rekindled his desire for the spotlight and to reignite his inner showman.   I expect him and his band to seize the moment and steal the festival?

March 23, 2010

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!

March 17, 2010

Gorillaz caught stealing Eddie Grants tunes

Another week goes by in the music world and yet another musician complains of having their tunes stolen by another artist. This time its electro- reggae recluse Eddie Grant who is enraged about Damon Albarn’s lack of respect for his melodic copyright. His 1983 single, ‘Time Warp’ does sound vaguely like Albarn’s latest single, ‘stylo’, albeit with a quicker tempo, but in the age of pro tooling and mass sampling, unless the song is a complete identical rip off, no artist should be able to stake any claim to complete ownership.  After 60 years of modern pop recordings there are only so many different variations of melody and beat that it is humanly possible to create.  Music is a universal and free expression, unless a song is blatantly making money off the back of someone else’s hard work, then it should remain that way.   Florence and the Machine was recently accused of stealing Gang Gang Dance’s ‘House Jam’ for the melody in Rabbit Heart, although the exact similarities are dubious, as are Joe Satriani’s claims that Coldplay ripped off ‘If I could Fly’ in their single ‘Viva La Vida‘? In fairness Gang Gang Dance said that they just wanted a bit of gratitude from Florence Welch and didn’t expect any copyright rebate.  Although the sheer mention of the story instantly found them a whole new audience.   Something Coldplay don’t need if they were to ever question the authenticity of Jay Z’s ‘New York’ chorus and its similarities with ‘The Scientist’!

March 12, 2010

Pink Floyd win battle with EMI

Pink Floyd won a court battle with EMI yesterday to preserve their right to sell the album in its complete format rather than selling songs on an individual basis through services such as iTunes. This is yet another shot in the arm for the beleaguered record company and a legal endorsement of the album format – the judge said there was a written clause in the contract ‘to preserve the artistic integrity of the album’.

This is an interesting development on the battle between artists and record labels over the distribution of songs.  The industry, encouraged by new media platforms and digital distribution is pushing in the direction of individual tracks,  whereas the artist is clinging onto the conventional and creative art form that is the album.   However much we hear and read about the unstoppable cultural shift of single track listening the backlash of album creativity never seems to be more apparent, especially now EMI and iTunes have received a warning shot.

Three albums that have been released over the last month have rekindled love and appreciation for the long player.   Gorillaz, Joanna Newsom and Field Music ‘s albums are all epic and creative explosions of ideas and deeply mined emotions that are too grand and simultaneously too nuanced to encapsulate into a single song.