Thursday, June 24, 2010

TOUR REVIEW: Spring 1993 UK Tour

In the spring of 1993, Blur set out on a tour of the UK and Ireland to promote their new album, Modern Life is Rubbish, which had finally been released after being held up for more than a year by their record company. There isn't much known about this tour (I'm working on that!) beyond the tour dates and set lists. First, the tour dates:

May 1993:

25th - Washington Heights, Reading, UK
26th - University, Leicester, UK
27th - Academy, Hanley, UK
28th - Roadmenders, Northampton, UK
29th - University, Manchester, UK
30th - University, Hull, UK

June 1993:

1st - Irish Centre, Birmingham, UK
2nd - University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK
3rd - Stanmer Park, Brighton, UK
4th - Astoria, London, UK
5th - Tivoli, Dublin, Ireland
6th - Limelight, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
8th - University, Bristol, UK

Now, the known recordings are highlighted, but to date none of them have been circulated. A good friend of mine who taped the Manchester show is going to be sending it along soon so we may finally hear a show from this tour very soon. I've also been in contact with a fellow who has the Reading show, but so far no movement on that front. Now, there are a few reasons that make this tour and any recordings from it so desirable. First, there are NONE around right now, so there is a HUGE gap in Blur's concert history because of that. Second, set lists from the Reading and Leicester shows have been found and indicate that Blur played Starshaped at these shows. This fantastic song had not ever been even hinted at on other recordings, and if it was indeed played, this short tour would be the only time ever. In fact, the supposed set list from these shows, which is below, is quite intriguing:

Come Together
Colin Zeal
She's So High
Sunday Sunday
Oily Water
Pressure On Julian
Commercial Break
For Tomorrow
There's No Other Way
Chemical World
Never Clever

Not only is there loads of material from the first two albums, but the aforementioned Starshaped, as well as the first ever live versions of Parklife (I previously had thought the Cologne show from June 1993 was the first time they played this song...because right now this is the earliest available show from '93). Clearly, being able to fill in this period in Blur's history and hear if Starshaped was indeed played would be wonderful. Third, it would be very interesting to hear Blur's mindset and mood during this tour after they emerged from all of the damage heaped upon them in 1992, a year that still bothered them years later in their career.

In the meantime, we'll have to wait and see if anything surfaces. Do you have any of these shows on tape or know someone who does? If so, please let me know privately...thanks!


  1. I too would love to hear any show from this period and i'm excited as you to be able to hear a live Starshaped.

  2. Yeah it will be something if it turns out to be a true live version! So many times rumors like this start and it ends up being only a snippet or a few chords...if this is real, it will be great!

  3. This takes me back - I saw blur at Hull Uni on this tour and later on in the year (?).

    Cant remember much but the gig was relatively poorly attended (approx 400) and Parklife was played last.

    The gig was a corker and much better than the gig later in the year before things exploded......

    1. Great memories, thanks for sharing! Do you remember if they played Starshaped? I finally got a recording from this tour (the Manchester show...I know someone who has the Reading and Leicester shows but haven't been able to pry them loose yet) and they played it there, but it seems to have been dropped after this little tour, which is a head-scratcher since it was fantastic!

  4. The support band on this tour were a band called Darlingheart from Fife in Scotland who had just released their first album Serindipity on the Phonogram label.

  5. Went to the Astoria gig! Cornershop opened for them on that day..