Monday, August 2, 2010

TOUR REVIEW: Pre-Release Promotional Tour of 2003

In early 2003, Blur undertook a rather interesting promotional jaunt to promote their forthcoming album Think Tank before it was released. Emerging onto the concert stage for the first time since Graham Coxon's departure from the band, questions surrounded the band and how they would fare onstage. As they came forth and began what would turn out to be a grueling year of touring, they introduced their touring guitarist, Simon Tong, and an expanded live lineup that featured a keyboard player, percussionist, and backing singers.

This tour consisted of a series of shows in scattered locations around the globe, culminating finally with a five-night residency at the Astoria in May when the album was finally released (see HERE). The shows on this tour are below (available recordings are in bold).

February 2003:

7th - Parlophone Showcase, London, UK

March 2003:

6th - MTV Brand Spanking, London, UK

13th - SXSW Festival, Austin, Texas, USA
16th - Bowery Ballroom, New York City, New York, USA

April 2003:

7th - Fritz Studios, Potsdam, Germany
9th - L’Espace Clacquesin, Paris, France
11th - Real Fábrica de Tapices, Madrid, Spain
22nd - Auditorio Nacional, Mexico City, Mexico
26th - Coachella Festival, Indio, California, USA

As you can see, most of this tour is available for listening. There are some interesting notes to these shows...for one thing, the two US shows in March (Texas and New York) featured a stand-in bass player, "Chris from Brooklyn" (as he was introduced by Damon) because Alex couldn't get his work visa cleared in time to play the shows! Also, for some of these shows, rare songs that wouldn't be played again in 2003 or beyond were tested out, including Top Man (played regularly during this period) and Colin Zeal (played only once). The shows themselves were rather low key with a typical set list of:

Moroccan Peoples Revolutionary Bowls Club
Out Of Time
Girls & Boys
Good Song
Trimm Trabb
Battery In Your Leg
On The Way To The Club
Gene By Gene
Brothers And Sisters
Top Man
Song 2
We've Got A File On You
Crazy Beat
This Is A Low

Damon can be heard during these shows marveling at the crowd singing along to the new songs weeks before the album has been released...that's the internet for you! All in all these shows offer a fascinating glimpse into a unique and rather uncertain time period for the band before the hit their stride at the Astoria in May and continued on to play anywhere and everywhere throughout the year.

FOR YOUR LISTENING, the New York show has been posted HERE...feel free to download it and have a's well played and interesting. One of the most unique Blur shows from their career.

If anyone has any recordings of the currently unavailable shows, I'd love to hear them...please contact me privately.


  1. dp u have a full show from 7th april, Potsdam, Germany ?

    i know that it was Broadcast on the radio (and i have it, but it's incomplete gig)

  2. I only have the incomplete far as I know that's all that's around right now, sadly!

  3. Hello
    I would like to know if you have Köln 1993 gig (in support of Duran Duran). And if the answer is positive, Could you share it with us one day, please?
    It's a "ganz prima" gig.
    Or i'll just rip a youtube version, unfortunatly missing popscene.

  4. i know that i asked about it 100 times but i do it once again-please share with us leeds 2003!

  5. or if u have a full overdrive show (from 1999) i'll be so so so much gradeful.

  6. Good informations