Tuesday, December 1, 2009

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!


  1. hi, the madrid gig was not at aqualung but at La riviera.

  2. There was only one gig in Amsterdam, on friday the 22nd of March. There wasn't one on the 23rd.