Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Seaside Tour 1995

In September 1995, at the time of the release of The Great Escape, Blur undertook a tour of British seaside towns that few (if any) bands ever went to. (Pictured above is the actual program, which I own a copy of...it seems to be the only common Blur tour program available). This tour has long been one I've been interested in. The tour dates and venues are below:

September 12th - Pier 39, Cleethorpes, UK
September 13th - Queens Hall, Dunoon, UK
September 14th - The Dome, Morecombe, UK
September 15th - Rooftop concert at HMV Oxford Street, London, UK
September 16th - Floral Hall, Eastbourne, UK
September 17th - Oscars, Clacton, UK
September 18th - The Showbar, Bournemouth, UK
September 19th - The Paradox, Brighton, UK
September 20th - Ocean Room, Great Yarmouth, UK

Besides the towns, which Blur would never visit again (except for Bournemouth and Brighton, which certainly don't fit in with the rest of the towns in terms of bands, including Blur, never visited), they snuck in a rooftop concert in London.

The typical set list for this tour was:

Jubilee
Charmless Man
Popscene
End Of A Century
Top Man
Mr. Robinson's Quango
To The End
Fade Away
It Could Be You
Stereotypes
Supa Shoppa
Girls & Boys
Parklife
Bank Holiday
Country House
This Is A Low
He Thought Of Cars
Globe Alone
The Universal

While the rooftop set list was:

Country House
Top Man
The Universal
Globe Alone
Parklife

(set list info courtesy of Veikko's Blur Page)

The most interesting thing is that these shows (along with the secret BBC gig from September 7, 1995) were the only times that Top Man was played live pre-early 2003.
All of these shows have been "Holy Grails" for me in terms of ever finding a recording (there MUST be some out there), mainly because of the uniqueness of this tour. If you have any, let me know! It's shocking how little documentation, in terms of video, audio, or photographs, there are of this seaside jaunt.

21 comments:

  1. That's a pretty awesome setlist!

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  2. Yeah! With the exception of Top Man (and tweaks to the song order) it's pretty much the set list for the Sept-Dec 1995 shows, although later in the year they added Entertain Me and the theme from The Great Escape as their intro music

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  3. I was at the Clacton Pier gig and I remember a camera crew filming the concert. I also remember that the ceiling was very low so the view of the band was pretty restricted so maybe they junked the footage.

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  4. I was at the Dunoon gig with my mate Mark...tickets like gold dust! Was given a pair by a local record dealer! Recall it was a very 'lively evening...probably more folk outside than in! Strong police presence....bit bizarre..but that's the west coast of Scotland for you! Biggest thing I think had happened in the wee toun for a long time....band was in excellent form...a real hark back to small venue gigs...atmosphere was...well as a gig should be...fantastic!! Coupled with bar at back of venue..reminded me very much of the Barrowlands Ballroom...what more could one ask for!!

    I am fairly sure this gig was recoreded...soundboard guys had gear hooked up to desk and my record dealer/shop amigo assured me they had recoreded it...so who knows..out there in the ether...more and more keeps surfacing!!

    Seems a long time ago now...Mark now in California and me in Canada...aye those were the days....crying into pint optional!!

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  5. Topman was played live ? how come no one has a recording ?

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  6. I was at the Bournemouth gig on the 18th Sep and the gig was arranged to coincide with Oasis playing the bigger B.I.C. venue about 200 meters up the road. I still have a unused ticket from that gig with serial No 00001 which I begged the doorman not to tear on entry. Would love to one day get it signed.

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  7. I was at the Morecambe gig working as bar man in the summer while at Uni. Always remember it came as a complete shock to have Blur playing what was a pretty iffy venue in a seaside town that was really struggling then. I wasn't complaining as I watched the whole thing for free from a very quiet bar at the back. Do remember having to pull together an awful lot of JD and Bud for the band!

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  8. I was working at the Pier 39 in Cleethorpes and watched the gig from behind the bar, whilst stood on an upturned beer crate. Although I didn't realise at the time, I am informed that the 'warm up act' was Matt Lucas, who performed a stand-up act - and fell flat on his @rse! Great gig, though muted response to The Great Escape stuff, because the CD had only been released 24 hours before, so little chance to get to know any of the songs.

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  9. My sister went to the Pier Showbar gig in September (I think Oasis ended up cancelling theirs at the BIC...?) and I went to the one at the BIC in December. I am afraid I can't add anything constructive to your setlist as I wasn't really into Blur then. However, I distinctly recall Parklife being one of the very last songs played - in the encore - possibly the last track played. As far as the physical set goes, I can remember a bloody great big burger at the top right of the stage!

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  10. Great stories, all! Sorry for the late replies, for some reason I only got an alert for the final comment. It was such a unique little jaunt for the band, and it's a shame that apart from some footage in the lost tour doc from '95-'96, no recorded documents exist (yet). Recordings from this tour are among my "Holy Grails." Do any of you know of any?

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    1. I am afraid that I don't - in the pre-mobile media device days bootlegs were a little more difficult to pull off! Have you tracked down any of the sound system chaps? They might have something tucked away. I'd love to hear something form those gigs myself

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    2. I haven't tried that...could be a way to go. Surely someone must have taped at least ONE of them back then, don't you think? Seems odd NOTHING has surfaced yet, but that's the way it goes sometimes :)

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  11. Went to The Showbar Bournemouth, Alex home town gig! I have photos somewhere and play list I was 15 the old man worked as security for the Bands that came to Bournemouth at the time so I was right at the front, Damon gave out cans of beer to the front rowers... think there must of been about 500 people in as only a small place it was my first Blur gig seen them the other two times they played at the BIC went back stage for the BLUR album tour think it was 1997? super fury animals were back up band they were the best gigs ever so much energy on jumping around which you don't get much these days. I went to the Oasis BIC gig later on that year Liam walked of stage as someone launched a bottle at him Noel had to do the rest of the set. Liam also told anyone that went to the Blur gig the night that the two bands should of played on the 18th September to do one! I met bonehead after that one and have a good photo of him in my collection I would have been so much better if we had the smart phone we have today though !

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    1. That's a great memory, thanks so much for sharing! I still cannot believe that not a single show has surfaced from any of these gigs...there HAVE to be some tapes out there sitting in someone's closet from one of them.

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  12. Watching Brit Pop at the BBC and for the life of me couldn't remember when the Seaside Tour was. Good old Google! Was also at Oscars at Clacton Pier. Remember it being very very hot and sweaty and Damon handing out cups of water. Managed to get reasonably close to the front. Best gig ever went home very happy!

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    1. Thanks for sharing and glad it jogged your memory! You haven't happened to heard of any tapes of these shows existing? It still blows my mind none have surfaced yet...there HAVE to be some out there!

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  13. I was at Bournemouth with my sister and friend. Git front row. Was an amazing night. I did have a newspaper cutting and graham's plectrum but it seems they have disappeared.
    Maybe email Bournemouth echo newspaper as they had a photographer there.
    By the way, the programme at the top of the article is full of photos from that tour but is actually the programme for the December 95 UK tour. The seaside shows didn't have a programme although they were selling the mile end show programmes cheap

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  14. I was at Bournemouth with my sister and friend. Git front row. Was an amazing night. I did have a newspaper cutting and graham's plectrum but it seems they have disappeared.
    Maybe email Bournemouth echo newspaper as they had a photographer there.
    By the way, the programme at the top of the article is full of photos from that tour but is actually the programme for the December 95 UK tour. The seaside shows didn't have a programme although they were selling the mile end show programmes cheap

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  15. I've got a live tape of the Brighton Paradox gig 19th September 1995!

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