Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

Hi everyone, here's my last post of 2009, wishing you all out there a healthy, prosperous, and happy new year in 2010! I'll be back to normal posting next week.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Two More 2010 New Year Resolutions

Two more 2010 resolutions I'll make:

1) to continue my dogged (and sometimes obsessive) pursuit of new and rare Blur live recordings (loads of pending ones coming my way within the next few months, hopefully);

2) to continue making interesting posts about Blur's live history

So far the response to this page has been 100% positive and I am truly flattered and humbled that all of you out there are enjoying it. I will strive to make it even better in 2010!!

Please feel free to comment!!

And shortly after New Year's Day I will post the current list of known recordings I'm looking for...perhaps you could help me out by donating any you may have on the list?

2010 Resolution: Preservation

One of my goals in 2010 is to finally get a huge external hard drive and put all 220+ live Blur shows of mine (which are all on CDR) into .flac format and loaded onto an external drive. I want to do this for reasons: to have backups in case anything should happen to my CDRs, 2) to preserve the audio long-term, as CDRs won't last forever. I feel it's vitally important to have a central repository for Blur's live history and want to work very hard to make this a reality.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

SHOW: Astoria, London May 13, 2003

Here's Blur's final show from their 5-night run at the Astoria in May 2003 the week Think Tank was released...enjoy!

If anyone out there has a recording of the May 10, 2003 Astoria show, please contact me privately!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to everyone out there. BLAAP will be back after the long weekend with more music and interesting posts. Enjoy the day with your family and friends...Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

SHOW: Glastonbury Festival June 28, 2009

Here's Blur's already legendary gig at this past years Glastonbury Festival. Perhaps you already have it (it's circulating freely) but if not, here you go! Enjoy!

Black Book now available at

For UK fans, there is good news...Black Book is now available at, which should make it even easier to order a copy.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

TOUR REVIEW: Singles Night Tour of 1999

In December of 1999, Blur undertook a short jaunt around the UK they called the "Singles Night Tour," where they played a handful of dates and the set consisted of all of their singles (to date), played in chronological order. The tour dates were (available recordings are in bold font):

December 1999:

4th - Centre, Newport, UK
6th - Waterfront, Belfast, UK
7th - Corn Exchange, Edinburgh, UK
9th - NEC, Birmingham, UK
10th - Centre, Brighton, UK
11th - Wembley Arena, London, UK

The set list (no surprise) was:

I Know
She's So High
There's No Other Way
For Tomorrow
Chemical World
Sunday Sunday
Girls & Boys
To The End
End Of A Century
Country House
The Universal
Charmless Man
Song 2
On Your Own
Coffee & TV
No Distance Left To Run

While these concerts have passed into legend in Blur lore and are a unique part of their history, fan opinion is split. Many fans (myself included) think of it as quirky little tour and the last chance to hear some songs the band absolutely hate and have no intention of ever playing again (Charmless Man, Country House, both brought back in 2009, Bang, I Know). Other fans think the predictability of the set lists made the shows uninteresting and boring. I can see their point, even though I like the shows.

Only the final night at Wembley is available, both in a complete audience recording and a nearly complete soundboard recording patched together from two sources. I find it shocking that more recordings from this tour aren't available...I had heard rumors of a tape of the Brighton show, but so far nothing else has surfaced other than the London show. If anyone out there has some Singles Night shows (or any others) please contact me privately.

What are all of your thoughts on this tour? Comments welcome!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Boston 1996 show update

It was brought to my attention that the link for the 2/11/96 Boston show was not working, so I re-upped it. Should work fine now, but if it doesn't, let me know.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Black Book makes a great Christmas gift!

Christmas is almost here and Black Book would make a great gift for the Blur fan in your life! Just click on the right or go to and order it from and have it shipped directly to you before Christmas! So far all of the response and feedback I've gotten from it has been 100% positive, so get your copy today!

TOUR REVIEW: Blur in Boston

Since this is my blog, I'm going to indulge myself in a little post detailing Blur's escapades in my city, Boston. Boston has a vibrant music scene with loads of local bands (some of which my brother used to be in) and is almost always a stop on any band's tour of the East Coast. In addition, some huge bands hail from the city (Aerosmith, Boston, The Cars, just to name a few). Below is a list of all of the times Blur has played here (available recordings are in bold type):

April 14, 1992 - WBCN Free Show, Axis
April 15, 1992 - WFNX Free Show, Venus de Milo
December 7, 1993 - Paradise Theatre
September 13, 1994 - Unknown Venue
September 15, 1994 - Venus de Milo
September 28, 1995 - Axis
February 11, 1996 - Avalon
March 7, 1997 - Middle East Downstairs
June 7, 1997 - WBCN River Rave
September 13, 1997 - Orpheum Theatre
July 18, 2003 - Avalon

You can check out Blur's 1996 show in Boston here as I've uploaded it previously. Additionally, I know of the existence of a recording of the September 13, 1997 show (including the soundcheck) and am trying to track it down. I myself was at the 2003 show and can attest to the fact that there is a large and loyal fanbase for Blur here in New England (of which Boston is the unofficial "capital" city of). It's interesting to note, too, that Blur kicked off their tours (1992) or legs of tours (1997 in March) here. They were also scheduled to play the WBCN River Rave in of 2003 (I was going to see them there as well) but they ended up being banned for life from WBCN for pulling out of the gig due to unforeseen circumstances. Damon even mentioned this at the July '03 gig I was at, rather humorously I might add. At least Blur can rest easy...WBCN went defunct this past year!

If you have any memories to share of Blur concerts you've been to in Boston, please comment and share them! And if you have any other recordings, please contact me.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

SHOW: Town and Country Club, Leeds, England May 31, 1994

Here's a short set from Blur in 1994, last gig of their Spring UK tour. Enjoy!


Perhaps no tour in Blur's history is as legendary or pivotal as their grueling 1992 slog across America. Traversing the entire country over three months, playing 44 shows, and spending nearly all of the offstage time getting blind drunk cooped up together on a tour bus rolling endless miles up, the band literally beat the hell out of each other and everything around them. It nearly broke the band up and depressed them so much that it led to the nadir of their then-young career at the (in)famous NME Gimme Shelter gig in July of 1992 (but that's a topic for another post).

Touring with the Senseless Things with no new album to promote, the penniless Blur were basically forced into this tour to sell t-shirts and merchandise to pay off debts their first manager, Michael Collins, had racked up with his colossal mismanagement and financial shenanigans. The tour itinerary is below (available recordings are in bold) and it should be noted even the tour dates were lost in legend until some months ago when I was able to uncover many of them through dogged research (the picture was later completed with some assistance from a friend in high places who shall remain nameless!):

April 1992

14th - WBCN Free Show, Axis, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
15th - WFNX Free Show, Venus de Milo, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
17th - Opera House, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
18th - Max’s, Ithaca, New York, USA
21st - Toad’s Place, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
22nd - Club Babyhead, Providence, Rhode Island, USA
23rd - Theatre for the Living Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
24th - City Gardens, Trenton, New Jersey, USA
25th - Marquee, New York City, New York, USA
26th - Max’s on Broadway, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
28th - 9:30 Club, Washington, DC, USA
30th - Empire, Cleveland, Ohio, USA

May 1992

1st - St. Andrew’s Hall, Detroit, Michigan, USA
2nd - Vic Theatre, Chicago, Illinois, USA
4th - First Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
8th - 86th Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

9th - RCKNDY, Seattle, Washington, USA
11th - Cattle Club, Sacramento, California, USA
12th - The Edge, Palo Alto, California, USA
13th - KITS Cruise, San Francisco, California, USA
14th - Anaconda Theatre, Santa Barbara, California, USA
15th - Price Center Plaza, UC San Diego, San Diego, California, USA
16th - The Palace, Los Angeles, California, USA
17th - After the Gold Rush, Tempe, Arizona, USA
20th - Trees, Dallas, Texas, USA
21st - Back Room, Austin, Texas, USA
22nd - The Vatican, Houston, Texas, USA
23rd - Tipitinas, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
26th - Centre Stage, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
27th - Ritz Theatre, Tampa Bay, Florida, USA
28th - Summers, Ft. Lauterdale, Florida, USA
29th - The Edge, Orlando, Florida, USA
31st - Cat’s Cradle, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA

June 1992

1st - Kahootz, Richmond, Virginia, USA
2nd - Zodiac Club, Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA
3rd - Graffiti, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

As you can see, only two gigs, surprisingly, are available from this tour. Both of them reveal a band that is drunk to the point of barely being able to speak, yet they still manage to deliver a show that combines erratic playing with moments of brilliance, mixed up with humor, menace, aggression, and everything in between. The typical set list (gleaned only from the two available tapes) was:

Slow Down
Won't Do It
Come Together
Colin Zeal
Oily Water
Never Clever
There's No Other Way
Pressure On Julian
She's So High

Forced to re-promote Leisure a year after its release and mixing in new material from the aborted second album (rejected by their record company), the set is an odd mix of old and new. It makes for interesting listening! (I have shared one of the gigs on here...check it out!)

For such an influential moment in the band's history, it is shocking to me that only two recordings are available. There must be more that exist and if they do I hope they surface for us to enjoy someday and to fill in the pieces of the puzzle for this tour. Of course, if you have any, contact me privately!

Monday, December 14, 2009


I've been sick the past week so there hasn't been much posted...I'll try to make it up to you this week, faithful readers (and new visitors, too)!

Friday, December 11, 2009

SHOW: Brixton Academy, London April 7, 1992

Well here's a treat for you...the only complete show from the Rollercoaster Tour of 1992, and the *ONLY* available live recording (to date) of Hanging Over...enjoy!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

SHOW: V97 Festival, Chelmsford, England August 16, 1997

Here is Blur's set from the V97 Festival in Chelmsford. Includes a rare version of Country House. This was sent to me by the taper years ago (around 1998)...I also have a full video of the show kicking around somewhere...I'll try to dig it out sometime. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

...It's like a Badhead in the morning...

Well between 8 inches of snow today and having a touch of flu, I spent all day today in bed, hence no posts of any sort (except for this one). I'll make up for it tomorrow so check back then!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

TOUR REVIEW: The "Festival Circuit Tour" of summer 1999

One of the interesting things about Blur touring in 1999 was that in the summer they focused exclusively on festivals, playing probably damn near every available one they could fit in between June and August. Here is the tour itinerary from summer 1999 (available recordings are in bold font):

June 1999

13th Tibetan Freedom Concert, RAI, Amsterdam, Holland
19th Provinssirock Festival, Seinajoki, Finland

20th Heineken Festival, Imola, Italy
26th Southside Festival, Munich, Germany
27th Hurricane Festival, Scheessel, Germany

July 1999

2nd Werchter Festival, Belgium
4th Roskilde Festival, Denmark
9th Quart Festival, Kristiansand, Norway
10th T In The Park Festival, Balado, Scotland

13th Rockwave Festival, Athens, Greece
22nd The Point Depot, Dublin, Ireland
31st Fuji Rock Festival, Niigata, Japan

August 1999

6th Benicassim Festival, Spain
9th Water Festival, Stockholm, Sweden

15th Saint Malo Festival, France
26th Goldsmiths College, London, UK
28th Reading Festival, UK
29th Leeds Festival, UK

In addition to the available recordings, I know of the existence of the Heineken Festival, Fuji Rock Festival, Goldsmiths, Reading Festival (complete AUD tape) and Leeds Festival tapes and am in contact with the tapers, trying to get copies, so stay tuned on that.

But what is interesting is that they only played two non-festival gigs: the Point in Dublin, and the Goldsmiths gig (as a warm-up) for the Reading show. While Blur had played loads of festivals in the past and would again in 2003 and 2009, there's nothing quite like the summer of '99 when that's basically ALL they played. The shows overall are solid, although the static set lists got old after a while and it wasn't until the end of the summer that they got away from the routine sets of playing all of 13 followed by some older songs in the encores. By summer's end, they were mixing up the sets, to much better effect.

If you have any of those recordings I'm seeking listed above, please contact me privately!

SHOW: T in the Park Festival, Scotland July 10, 1999

Here is Blur's set from T in the Park in 1999. The sound quality isn't perfect but this is one of my favorite shows from the festival circuit Blur played in the summer of 1999...enjoy!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Don't Touch That Dial!

Keep an eye out this coming week for what (I hope!) will be some interesting posts/discussions about live Blur!

Friday, December 4, 2009

SHOW: X96 Festival, Salt Lake City, Utah June 21, 1997

Here's a not so common show from the summer of 1997...Blur at a festival sponsored by Utah radio station X96 FM...enjoy!

TOUR REVIEW: US Winter Tour 1996

As promised, following the review of the European Spring 1996 tour, I'll now get into the US Winter tour. For some reason, Blur's touring year of 1996 has always intrigued me and remains one of my favorites. While the performances on the whole were uneven (there is seriously not one gig that is consistently excellent from
beginning to end, although some have more high points than others), it's fascinating in that it's the portrait of a band in transition. Tired of the hoopla of 1995, when they won 4 BRIT awards and released another #1 album to great fanfare, as well as their protracted singles battle with Oasis and the revisionist press backlash in the UK, 1996 finds them on the verge of implosion, forced to play the hits that made them famous while looking toward the reinvention of their next album.

The tour dates were as follows (available recordings are highlighted):

January 1996

25th Commodore, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
26th Moe's, Seattle, Washington
27th La Luna, Portland, Oregon
29th Fillmore West, San Francisco, California
30th Wiltern Theatre, Los Angeles, California

February 1996

1st Mercury Cafe, Denver, Colorado
3rd Trees, Dallas, Texas

4th Liberty Lunch, Austin, Texas
6th Cotton Club, Atlanta, Georgia
7th The Galaxy, St. Louis, Missouri
8th Metro, Chicago, Illinois
10th Roseland Ballroom, New York City, New York
11th Avalon, Boston, Massachusetts
12th Ballroom, Washington DC

As you can see, almost half of the tour is available on recording. I know of the existence of the show at Moe's in Seattle and a complete tape from Portland (the available one is incomplete) ...I'm currently working on getting copies of them all.

The typical set list was:

It Could Be You
Charmless Man
Tracy Jacks
End of a Century
To The End
She's So High
Mr. Robinson's Quango
Globe Alone
Bank Holiday
Supa Shoppa
Country House
Girls & Boys
He Thought Of Cars
This Is A Low
There's No Other Way
The Universal

Interestingly, for the first three shows of this tour, The Great Escape was still being used as the opening number...beginning with the fourth show in San Francisco, it reverted to Intermission, which would remain the opener until the end of the European tour in late March. What's interesting to note is that Entertain Me, which was played during the fall 1995 tours of Europe and Japan, was dropped for this tour, but brought back for the European tour in the Spring. Some gems were thrown in (most notably a rare and only performance of Rednecks at the Dallas show) but overall these shows are notable for the contrast between some brilliant performances and some incredibly lazy ones, often within the same song. Of note was Damon's habit during this period to get very lazy with his vocals, changing lyrics, forgetting them, adlibbing/swearing in the middle of songs, and holding out words to avoid having to finish verses. However, the effect is rather charming...they wanted to blow it all up, but they kept on trying in front of the enthusiastic crowds.

Any show from this tour is a fascinating listen and worth your time. And if you have any of the non-circulating recordings (Atlanta, Portland, Seattle) or any others, please contact me privately!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

SHOW: Kilburn National, London October 24, 1991

Here is a *blistering* live set from 1991, with a stunning version of Oily Water as one of the highlights. Great sound quality, and played on my wife's 13th birthday, so it's a little extra-special for me. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Pending recordings

The following recordings are ones I have definitive leads on and should (hopefully) have by the end of the year/early 2010:

Roseland Ballroom, New York City 3/30/99
Goldsmiths College, London 8/26/99
Reading Festival (complete AUD tape) 8/28/99
Leeds Festival 8/29/99
Civic Hall, Wolverhampton 6/24/09
MEN Arena, Manchester 6/26/09
Apollo, Manchester 11/28/03
Barrowlands, Glasgow 11/22/03
University, Manchester 5/29/93
Academy, Manchester 5/19/94
Regent, Ipswich 5/?/94 (need to research date)
Queen's Hall, Bradford 10/4/93
Brussels 10/25/93
Plaza, Glasgow 5/16/94
Camden Falcon, London 3/30/90

Also trying to track down some more, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

SHOW: Avalon, Boston February 11, 1996

Here is Blur's show in Boston from their US Winter Tour of early 1996. Great sound, solid show, great recording. I saw Blur at this same venue in 2003 and it was a great place to see shows (sadly it is now closed). Enjoy!!

TOUR REVIEW: European Tour Spring 1996

During the transitionary year of 1996, Blur played a short American tour during January and the first half of February (which I will blog about later) before embarking upon a European tour that began at the end of February and ran until the end of March. The tour dates were as follows (available recordings are in bold)

February 1996

24th Unknown Venue, Lisbon, Portugal
26th Aqualung, Madrid, Spain
27th Arena, Valencia, Spain
28th Zeleste, Barcelona, Spain

March 1996

1st Le Bikini, Toulouse, France
2nd Grenoble, Le Summum, France
4th L'Escall, Nantes, France
5th Olympia, Paris, France
7th Unknown Venue, Geneva, Switzerland
8th Volkshaus, Zurich, Switzerland
10th Messepalast, Vienna, Austria
12th Palalido, Milan, Italy
13th Teatro Tenda, Florence, Italy
14th Vox, Modena, Italy
16th Forum, Nuremberg, Germany
17th Vobi, Frankfurt, Germany
18th Capitol, Hannover, Germany
19th Biskuithalle, Bonn, Germany
20th Brielport, Deinze, Belgium
22nd Paradiso, Amsterdam, Holland
23rd Paradiso, Amsterdam, Holland

The typical set list was:

It Could Be You
Charmless Man
Tracy Jacks
End Of A Century
To The End
Entertain Me
Mr. Robinson's Quango
Globe Alone
Supa Shoppa
Country House
My Sharona
Girls & Boys
He Thought Of Cars
This Is A Low
There's No Other Way
The Universal

There are a number of reasons this tour has always intrigued me, not least of all that it is very poorly documented, both in terms of audio recordings and any video (save for some video of the Madrid gig) and photos, etc. Also, the set list is still focused on The Great Escape, although the shows tended to be played more aggressively and sloppily (if that makes sense). Also, the better performances were of the harder, edgier material from that album, like Entertain Me, He Thought of Cars, Stereotypes...pointing the way to the direction the band would take later in the year as they recorded the about-face that was their 5th album (released in early 1997).

I know that a recording of the Hannover and Florence shows exist and am working on tracking them down, but otherwise this tour remains rather a mystery, and I always loved trying to solve a puzzle!