Wednesday, December 1, 2010

TOUR REVIEW: The Sugary Tea UK Tour of Fall 1993


As has been discussed on here, in Black Book, and elsewhere, 1993 was a turning point year for Blur. It was in this year that they harnessed their drunken energy and tightened up their live act, released a classic single (For Tomorrow) and (finally) released their landmark second album, Modern Life is Rubbish. As a touring year, 1993 was surprisingly light for early-era Blur...after a UK tour in the spring, they played some scattered shows in the UK and Europe before returning to proper touring in October.

This tour, called the Sugary Tea tour (after a line in Chemical World) encompassed most of October. The schedule is below, with the known and/or available recordings highlighted:

October 1993:

2nd - Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK
3rd - Keele University, Newcastle-under-Lyme, UK
4th - Queen's Hall, Bradford, UK
5th - Newcastle University, Newcastle, UK
7th - Forum, London, UK
8th - Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton, UK
9th - Municipal Hall, Pontypridd, UK
10th - University of Leicester, Leicester, UK
12th - Coventry University, Coventry, UK
13th - University of Exeter, Exeter, UK
14th - South Parade Pier, Portsmouth, UK
15th - University of Essex, Colchester, UK
16th - University of Sussex, Brighton, UK

Unfortunately, I only know of the existence of one recording from this tour, and that is the Bradford show. It would be great to hear more from this tour (if you have any, please contact me privately!). The set list for these shows (based on the Bradford show...if there were changes, I don't know them as the unavailability of recordings doesn't help) was:

Intermission
Popscene
Colin Zeal
Sunday Sunday
She’s So High
Girls and Boys
Come Together
Pressure on Julian
Commercial Break
There’s No Other Way
Chemical World
Coping
Parklife
For Tomorrow
Advert

A pretty standard set list, without too many surprises, although it is interesting that Come Together was still in the set, as it would be dropped by the European tour which began at the end of the month. Also, a pre-release version of Parklife, which was typical for the time, was included near the end of the set.

This is a somewhat "mythical" tour for the band, based mainly on the fact that, besides the cool name it has, there is hardly anything known about it! I do know that Salad were the support band, but beyond that, it remains a mystery, and as such, it is very interesting. It will take more detective work to bring more tapes to light (if they even exist) and to flesh out the picture of this tour.

25 comments:

  1. I have to others from 1993,not from the UK tour though.Copenhagen and Italy.

    http://www.megaupload.com/?d=OV2GJW85%20

    http://www.megaupload.com/?d=X45UOQU6

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  2. Phil, I've got those, great shows. Thanks for posting the links and sharing, I'm sure loads of other people don't have those and will appreciate it. Cheers! :-)

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  3. No recordings sadly, but I saw them in Pontypridd (pretty unusual choice of venue)! I remember Salad being great. Blur kept the crowd waiting for what seemed like 2 hours before they came on, by which time I think they must have been pretty drunk. There was a small set with a fake microwave which Damon climbed into and they aired Parklife, which seemed really quirky at the time, and Girls & Boys - to which the crowd went mental. Good times! And a nice silver pin badge of a steam train came free on entry.

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    1. Great story, thanks for sharing! And sorry for the late reply :)

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  4. who opened for them on this tour >_< i saw them on the 14'th on portsmouth and i cannot remember who it was

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  5. ^^ n.b. * i could swear it was not Salad for this gig

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  6. Pretty sure Salad opened throughout the tour, didn't they?

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  7. Salad definitely opened at Bradford - that is for sure. Before Salad came on, there was a band called The Bobby Charltons.

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    1. Andy, thanks for the conformation on the openers!

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  8. Do you know where I could get hold of the recording of the Bradford Queens Hall concert?

    You mention it is available as a recording?

    Thanks

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    1. Hi there! I've got it...the fellow who sent it to me didn't want it shared out, and honestly it sounds really bad. It's a lousy-sounding audience tape. I'll check with him, if he's OK with it I may be able to up it.

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    2. Hi - yes please that would be great. Don't really care what the quality is like - it would just be good to hear it as a Blur fan. Thanks

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    3. Hi - just following up on your previous post regarding the live recording at Bradford Queens Hall .

      Any chance of you uploading it?

      I don't are if it is bad quality - would just simply love to hear it again seeing as I was there! :-)

      Thanks

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    4. I've still got to check up on this, thanks for the reminder! :-)

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    5. Hey there DrBlur - please could you share the Bradford recording?

      Really would be great to hear it again.

      Thanks!

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    6. Hi there! The problem is finding the time, my life has gotten exponentially busier in the last couple of years, but I'll see what I can do.

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  9. At Coventry University the supports were Mr Toad, Salad and Sleeper. Blur didn't come on until 11:40 or so!

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  10. I was at the Pontypridd gig and got in free as my g/f was usherette at the Muni. I remember Blur had a kind of set made up of a microwave, bed and other furniture. Ive still got my badge!

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  11. Me and my mate remember seeing the poster outside the muni but sadly we bever actually saw the gig...no idea why as we were both into blur and gigs at the time. For a while I actually thought I dreamt it...until I looked it up

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  12. Great memories, all! It's a shame so few tapes exist from those shows...they were a really watershed moment in Blur's career!

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  13. Salad opened in Coventry.

    Prior to the gig the band did a Q&A in the NUS bar on the perils of the music biz. My memory may be getting faded, but there can't have been more than 50 people or so who turned up to sit yards away from Damon to hear him talk. A big change to just a year or so later.

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  14. The Forum show was my first ever gig! I believe Neil Hannon (The Divine Comedy) opened the gig with a solo set, followed by Salad.

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  15. Seen the wton wulfren show .salad supported .she was fit and she hosted mtv .and we had a free modern life is rubbish badge on the door.

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  16. Seen the wton wulfren show .salad supported .she was fit and she hosted mtv .and we had a free modern life is rubbish badge on the door.

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  17. I knew it she'd left the stage and come up and snatched me. I mean, I can't argue with a woman concerts Utah

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