By the end of 2003, Blur was exhausted. They'd spent the entire year touring every corner of the globe (or as Damon put it at a show near the end of the year, it felt like they played "anywhere in the world there was a place to play."). Even with Graham's absence, they embarked upon a grueling campaign around the world to promote Think Tank. By mid-November, when the last segment of the tour began (this UK tour) they were visibly and aurally wiped out. However, they still managed to turn in a set of inspired performances with lots of goodies thrown into the set lists.
The tour dates are below, with available/known recordings in bold font:
20th - Barrowlands, Glasgow, UK
21st - Barrowlands, Glasgow, UK
22nd - Barrowlands, Glasgow, UK
24th - Royal Court, Liverpool, UK
25th - Civic Hall, Wolverhampton, UK
26th - Civic Hall, Wolverhampton, UK
28th - Apollo, Manchester, UK
29th - Apollo, Manchester, UK
30th - King Georges Hall, Blackburn, UK
2nd - Brixton Academy, London, UK
3rd - Brixton Academy, London, UK
4th - Brixton Academy, London, UK
5th - Coronet Theater, London, UK
7th - Olympia, Dublin, Ireland
8th - Olympia, Dublin, Ireland
9th - Olympia, Dublin, Ireland
11th - Centre, Brighton, UK
12th - Bournemouth International Centre, Bournemouth, UK
The typical set list (with the goodies added in) is below:
Girls & Boys
She's So High
Out Of Time
Brothers And Sisters
To The End
End Of A Century
Music Is My Radar
Battery In Your Leg
On The Way To The Club
We've Got A File On You
This Is A Low
As you can see, She's So High, Music is My Radar, and Sing were all added and hadn't been played previously in the year (in fact, technically speaking Music is My Radar had never been played in a concert setting before its appearance during this tour). Additionally, Blur threw in a new song, Colours, which was their 2003 fanclub-only single at the time, during the early stages of this tour. Strange New From Another Star was also thrown in a show or two toward the end of this tour, although no recordings of it exist (at least at the moment).
So what do we have in these shows? A clearly exhausted (both physically and mentally) band that still manages to dig down deep and deliver very good to excellent performances. One thing that definitely marks this tour is Damon's very somber, almost depressing (at least to listen to) mood during the between-song breaks when he banters with the crowd. Especially during the final show in Bournemouth, it's almost as though Damon knows it's the end of the band, as he's constantly thanking everyone, from the fans, to the band, to the crew, "everyone who's ever worked with us," etc. He was clearly exhausted by Blur at that point, and as we all know, it would be another 6 years before the band would get back together and do anything (last summer's wonderful Reunion Tour, see HERE).
I will try post a recording from this tour in the near future (busy life permitting!)...if you have any recordings from this tour, please contact me privately!
And if you were at any of these shows, what was the general mood? What did you think of the concert(s)?