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!


  1. I was at the Wembley show & had a great evening, although playing the singles in order meant there were frequent dips in energy from the band - most noticeably on the closing numbers.

    My most abiding memory though was Country House. Every knew they hated it yet they tore through it with gusto, Graham & Damon pogoing around the stage during the outro as the former wrung a mangled solo out of his guitar.

    In retrospect, it was a fun thing to do & it was good to hear a couple of tunes that I'd never heard live before.

  2. Hooligan, thanks for the memories and the story! I always love reading/hearing from people who have seen them live. Hope you enjoy the blog and hope to see you comment more in the future!

    Also, if you would like to trade, contact me privately :-)

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  4. I was at Wembley at the chronological order was perfect to know when to plan further for the bar and toilet! The sound of No Distance Left to Run fading to end as people started to leave was a pretty epic ending.