Saturday, December 22, 2012

Burned, Baby, Burned

All finished! Here's the stack of the compilation CDs done and waiting for the books to arrive and then they'll be shipped out.

Black Book 2 is now available at Amazon

Black Book 2 is now available HERE on and, very shortly, on Amazon sites worldwide.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Black Book 2 is now available!

The book is done and now live for purchase! It will be available on Amazon worldwide in about a week, but if you can't wait, it is available directly from the publisher RIGHT NOW at

Also, I am awaiting a box full of copies for you pre-order folks, and I am currently burning the compilation CDRs. As soon as I get the books delivered, I will be signing them, packaging them with the compilation, and shipping! As always, I'll keep you updated every step of the way :-)

The End Is Here!

No, the world didn't end today! The final manuscript version's digital proof is here. I'm going to give this a final once-over today and then it'll be done and I'll just be waiting for the real copies to be delivered!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

UPDATE: Book Finished

Book is done! Submitted for final review and then it will be all finished. I'll spend the weekend burning the compilation while I wait for the books to be printed and arrive.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Book Update

UPDATE: just to let everyone know, I'm probably going to be a bit behind with getting the book out. Work, sickness, the holidays...what was I thinking? But it won't be long. I hope to finish editing the proof this weekend/early next week, and I should have the finished compilation tracks in hand in the next few days so I can start burning the CDRs. After that the only holdup will be approving the final proof and ordering the finished copies to send to all of you preorder customers, so instead of next weekend, we're looking at the end of the month. I hope this is ok with you all and I appreciate your understanding in advance! Thanks for keeping in mind that I'm doing this all by myself on top of having a wife, 4 kids, a house, and a full-time job and I'll continue to update as the process continues along.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Proof copies are here!

The proof was waiting for me when I got home! Shrinking the font a couple of sizes from the size it was in the 1st book looks great, and it makes the book only a little longer than the first book even though there's double the content. I'll be going through this over the next few days to make my final edits.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Black Book Pre-Order Bonus Compilation Track Listing!

Below is the final tracklisting for the bonus compilation the pre-order customers will be getting! I think it sounds fantastic overall and my friend Tom did a great job mastering and cleaning up the audio. I think those of you who have this coming to you will really enjoy it.


1) Beetlebum (Melbourne 11/1/97)
2) She's So High (London 12/9/97)
3) Stereotypes (Dublin 6/22/96)
4) Bad Day (Reading 8/24/91)
5) Explain (Camden 3/30/90)
6) Colin Zeal (Melbourne 11/1/97)
7) Country Sad Ballad Man (Stockholm 4/7/97)
8) London Loves (Sheffield 5/21/94)
9) Movin' On (Toronto 3/13/97)
10) Chemical World (Glasgow 9/3/93)
11) Girls and Boys (Nyon 7/22/94)
12) It Could Be You (Amsterdam 3/22/96)
13) Luminous (Glastonbury 6/28/92)
14) Nite Klub (w/Terry Hall) (Dublin 6/22/96)
15) Topman (London 9/7/95)
16) Far Out (Mile End 6/17/95)
17) Repetition (Glastonbury 6/2798)
18) I'm Just a Killer For Your Love (Glastonbury 6/27/98)
19) Music is My Radar (Dublin 12/8/03)
20) This is a Low (London 12/12/97)


1) Ambluance (Milan 5/15/03)
2) Tender (T in the Park 7/12/09)
3) Trailerpark (London 3/15/99)
4) Entertain Me (Hamburg 10/23/95)
5) Battle (London 3/15/99)
6) Colours (Dublin 12/8/03)
7) Fade Away (Hamburg 10/23/95)
8) He Thought of Cars (Boston 2/11/96)
9) Chinese Bombs (Hultsfred 6/15/96)
10) Song 2 (Dublin 6/22/96)
11) Globe Alone (Zurich 3/8/96)
12) Coping (Zurich 3/8/96)
13) Essex Dogs (Glastonbury 6/27/98)
14) You're So Great (Osaka 5/27/97)
15) Look Inside America (Amsterdam 4/29/97)
16) Strange New From Another Star (Tokyo 6/3/97)
17) Black Book (London 7/2/00)
18) The Universal (London 12/12/97)

Friday, December 7, 2012

BOOK UPDATE: At the Proofing Stage

The manuscript was approved for proofing! I've got digital and print copies of the proof on their way to me now for review. Very exciting! I'll be reviewing them over the next week or so and finalizing the physical book in preparation for publication and release.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Sorry for the radio silence!  A quick update...manuscript is nearly done and will be sent off for proof copies later this week. I've finished compiling the bonus compilation for the pre-order customers and a friend of mine is mastering it. I'll post the tracklist very soon.

Stay tuned!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Preorder Closed

The Black Book preorder is now closed! Thanks to everyone who participated...I'm humbled that you're so interested in the book, and I'm working really hard to make sure I meet those expectations. I think (hope!) that you'll all be pleased and excited by the finished product. As always, I'll keep you updated on the entire process as we march on to the targeted release in December.

Thanks again!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Blur 21 online!

I just received the following email from Blur's official site:

For those of us who couldn't get to London this past summer to see it, the Blur 21 exhibit is now online for our viewing pleasure...nice!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Submission Deadline

ATTENTION: Today is the day I had set as the deadline for anything to be included in the book. So if you have anything (recordings, ticket stubs) you'd like to be added to the book, please contact me/send it in by the end of today. In all honesty, if there's something anyone has after today, I'll still accept submissions but I'd prefer today be the cut-off day in order to give me enough time to finish the editing and formats.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Black Book 2 cover

Here's the finalized cover for the new book. Looks familiar, no? I still like it...hope you do, too!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Black Book 2 preorder continues on

1 week down, 3 weeks to go. Make sure you don't miss out if you want to get a signed copy of the new book complete with a bonus 2 CDR compilation of live tracks! Just place your order below and you'll be all set.

So far the response has been tremendous and I think you all are going to really like this.

(and because some people have asked, the price already includes the shipping cost so no need to pay extra)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Black Book Pre-Order: IT IS HERE!


> Newly rearranged format and sections, breaking the live history into touring "eras" instead of years to better track their onstage progression alongside their musical evolution in the studio
> Nearly 100 new concerts reviewed and written up, fleshing out their live history even more than the first book from 2009
> Corrections and revisions to many entires from the first book as further research has brought new information to light
> Updated, corrected, and expanded tour date history
> Updated, corrected, and expanded song live performance list
> A collection of scans/photos of Blur concert ticket stubs throughout their history, from 1990 to 2012
> A "thank you" section acknowledging and thanking everyone who kindly helped out with this project (whether sending in recordings or scans of their tickets)
> The FIRST EVER review of B-Roads, the lost Great Escape film from 1995/96, detailed and reviewed for the first time ANYWHERE

If you can't wait until December to order the book, I'm running a pre-order special that will run from October 15 to November 15, 2012


> Both editions of Black Book together for US $30


> The new 2012 2nd Edition of Black Book for US $20

Everyone who pre-orders either one of these between October 15 and November 15 will get their copies of the book signed by me, as well as a live compilation I'm putting together (I haven't decided if it will be on CDR or download yet, I'll announced that as the release date gets closer).

After November 15, 2012, I will not accept any more pre-orders...sorry, but since this is 100% a one-man operation (ie, I'm doing everything by myself!), I just can't handle it.


I'm accepting payment through PayPal (this way I can keep track of the orders):


-Your name
-Your mailing address
-Your email address
-Which book package you're ordering

Please allow 3-5 days for orders to arrive after December 19 for US orders, and 1-2 weeks for the rest (give or take a few days since it will be close to the Christmas holiday season, which always delays the post).

If you have any additional questions about the book, the pre-order, or anything else, please feel free to contact me at

Thanks in advance for your patience with me! :)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Getting Ready and Tying Up Loose Ends: The Preorder Opens Tomorrow!

I'm finishing the last few logistical things I can think of to get ready to open the preorder tomorrow. I think I've got everything covered and it should run relatively smoothly, but of course you never know with these things and I'm sure issues will pop up along the way!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

2013 Full-Scale Tour?

There's been a lot of speculation lately that Blur may play more than a handful of shows that they've already announced in 2013. Yesterday on my Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr pages, I posted a link from a promoter claiming they've booked shows all over Europe, Asia, Australia, and South America for 2013. It took of like wildfire across the internet, but so far nothing more has been said via official channels (of which that link certainly wasn't).

So hang tight, and as I find any info, I'll be sure to post it to keep everyone informed.

Otherwise, I've just been working like crazy on getting the book finished and the pre-order ready to kick off on Monday the 15th. Busy times, but exciting!

Monday, October 8, 2012

More Blur festival gigs announced for 2013

Blur has been confirmed to play two festival dates in Spain and Portugal next summer, and these will be the only dates in those countries.

That makes 3 gigs confirmed (also Werchter Festival in Belgium) with strong rumors of Reading/Leeds, Glastonbury, and Coachella also blowing around.

Unfortunately, it looks like my guess of them cherry-picking festival gigs in countries to play to the largest number of fans in the fewest number of gigs has turned out to be right.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Blur to tour the USA in 2013?

So Damon mentioned last night in NYC that Blur may play some shows here in the USA next year. I hope that's true! (h/t to Crispin Kott for bringing this to my attention. This happened last night at the Apple Store in NYC).

Friday, September 7, 2012

Book preorder update

UPDATE: some people have asked if it'll be possible to order the book directly from me instead of through Amazon in order to avoid having to pay taxes and customs fees. The answer is YES! I'll give more details once the October 15 preorder date arrives and also once the book is available for general purchase in December.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Black Book 2 Pre-Order Announcement

Black Book 2 Pre-Order Announcement


I’m planning on the book being published and available for general purchase worldwide with a provisional release date of December 19. It will be available from Amazon sites worldwide (print and Kindle versions), as well as iBooks (for you fellow iPad readers). The price will be the same as the first book, US$20, which is a bargain considering there are nearly 100 new shows that have been added, as well as expanded sections and loads more info packed in the book, making it nearly twice the size of the first book (pagewise)!


> Newly rearranged format and sections, breaking the live history into touring “eras” instead of years to better track their onstage progression alongside their musical evolution in the studio

> Nearly 100 new concerts reviewed and written up, fleshing out their live history even more than the first book from 2009

> Corrections and revisions to many entires from the first book as further research has brought new information to light

> Updated, corrected, and expanded tour date history

> Updated, corrected, and expanded song live performance list

> A collection of scans/photos of Blur concert ticket stubs throughout their history, from 1990 to 2012

> A “thank you” section acknowledging and thanking everyone who kindly helped out with this project (whether sending in recordings or scans of their tickets)

> The FIRST EVER review of B-Roads, the lost Great Escape film from 1995/96, detailed and reviewed for the first time ANYWHERE

If you can’t wait until December to order the book, I’m running a pre-order special that will run from October 15 to November 15, 2012


> Both editions of Black Book together for US $30

> The new 2012 2nd Edition of Black Book for US $20

Everyone who pre-orders either one of these between October 15 and November 15 will get their copies of the book signed by me, as well as a live compilation I’m putting together (I haven’t decided if it will be on CDR or download yet, I’ll announced that as the release date gets closer).

After November 15, 2012, I will not accept any more pre-orders…sorry, but since this is 100% a one-man operation (ie, I’m doing everything by myself!), I just can’t handle it.

If you have any additional questions about the book, the pre-order, or anything else, please feel free to contact me at


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Black Book 2 preorder is almost here…

I've got the pre-order announcement all written up and just about ready to share. I just need to sort out a few more details and then I'll post it for all of you to see!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Work in Progress

Working on the cover for the book.

It Could Be You (reviewing the book…)

If you have Black Book and have enjoyed it, why not write a review for it on Amazon? The feedback helps me out to know what everyone likes/dislikes, and it helps the ranking on Amazon. This is my way of asking nicely (pretty please?) :)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Black Book original 1st edition price drop

In preparation for book #2, and because I still think book #1 is worth having, I've lowered the pricing on Amazon. Now, the prices are:

US $16.00
UK: £11.00
Europe: €12.00

The other Amazon sites (Japan, Australia, etc) will adjust their prices accordingly (those I couldn't change myself). Please give their website a day or two to show the new pricing.

And preorder details for book #2 most likely sometime next week!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Black Book 2 preorder details coming soon…

In about a week and half (probably right after the Labor Day holiday here in the US), I'll have full details for the preorder for the book. The only question is how many copies to limit the bonus stuff to (depends on the demand…need to get an idea of how many people are interested?).

Thursday, August 23, 2012

TOUR REVIEW: 2012 Summer Tour

Since it's fresh in everyone's mind, having just ended a week ago, and I haven't done one of these tour review posts in a while, I thought this would be the perfect time to wrap up this summer's shows!

Blur surprised all of us when they announced at the Brit Awards in February 2012 that they'd be playing a massive show in London's Hyde Park to close out the 2012 Summer Olympics. Shortly after, they announced a short warm-up tour. The dates for the entire summer are listed below (available recordings in bold):

July 2012:

2nd - 13 Studios Rooftop, London, UK
31st - Maida Vale Studios, London, UK

August 2012:

1st - Winter Gardens, Margate, UK
2nd - 100 Club, London, UK
5th - Civic Hall, Wolverhampton, UK

6th - Civic Hall, Wolverhampton, UK
7th - Pavilion, Plymouth, UK
8th - Smukfest, Skanderborg, Denmark
9th - Way Out Festival, Gothenburg, Sweden
12th - Best of British Olympics Closing Concert, Hyde Park, London, England   

As you can see, nearly every concert is available in some form or other. The Hyde Park show was commercially released and the 100 Club gig will be commercially released in November. A friend taped the second night at Wolves and another friend taped the Way Out West show (both of which I should have to add to the book soon), and I recorded the rooftop, Maida Vale, and Hyde Park broadcasts myself. All we need is the Smukfest show and the entire tour will be available.

The typical set list for the shows was:

   Girls & Boys
   London Loves
   Tracy Jacks
   Coffee & TV
   Out Of Time
   Young & Lovely
   Sunday Sunday
   Country House
   Trimm Trabb
   The Puritan
   Song 2
   No Distance Left To Run
   This Is A Low


   Under The Westway
   End Of A Century
   For Tomorrow
   The Universal

Bugman, Oily Water, and Colin Zeal were all thrown in a handful of times (but not at every show) throughout the tour.

What was interesting about the tour is that, unlike 2009 where Blur played just the hits (albeit blindingly well), this time around they dug a bit deeper into their catalog. They introduced their two new songs, Under the Westway and The Puritan, playing them at every show (except for Hyde Park, where The Puritan was dropped). The brought Bugman back for the first time since 1999, Young and Lovely for the first time since 1999 (where it had its only time played lived anyway!), No Distance Left to Run for the first time since 2000, and London Loves for the first time since 1994. Additionally, the biggest surprises were the first time Mr. Briggs had been played live since the B-sides gig in 1999 (and before that, 1991) at the Maida Vale gigs, and Caramel, which had never been performed before. Blur went on to play it at every concert of 2012.

As far as the performances themselves, my personal opinion is that they played very tightly and powerfully and seemed to be much more comfortable and at ease with each other onstage, perhaps more so than they had since 1997. While I think the 2009 shows had a bit more fire (for instance, they're never going to top Glastonbury 2009 in any of their latter-day least, they haven't yet!), the confidence and swagger onstage was more noticeable this go around. In 2009, they seemed to be still getting a bit comfortable again with each other after the long layoff (6 years performing as a band, 9 years as a 4-piece). In 2012, they had that under their belts and were a bit more adventurous with the set list, digging back a bit for deeper album cuts and B-sides. While I would have liked to have seen some old, tired chestnuts retired (Parklife, Sunday Sunday, Jubilee) and perhaps some more rarer cuts, overall I can't fault much at all with the sets or their performances.

And their 2012 Hyde Park gig blows the 2009 gigs (which were still quite good) out of the water.

Whether this is the end of Blur or not remains to be seen. And honestly, as a second tour with no new album, I hope they don't come back again unless they're promoting a new album or at least an EP; I think the damage to the legacy, which they've completely avoided thus far, would be fairly significant were they to do a 3rd  round of shows playing only the old material. But if this is indeed the end (or at least a very long goodbye), they couldn't have gone out any more on top.

(And as always, if you've got tapes of any of the shows listed above, or any Blur tapes, email me privately and we'll work something out so I can add them to the forthcoming book. Thanks!)

DOWNLOAD: Blur Demos '93

I was going through my files the other night and found an old cassette I'd digistised ages ago. Included are all of the Parklife demos (including ones not on the Blur 21 box set), as well as rare demos tacked on to the end of Never Clever and Seven Days.  Hope you enjoy!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Blur 2012

Currently my favorite photo of the band.

Black Books 1 & 2

Maybe a little of a different type of post, this one, but the first edition of Black Book continues to sell well month after month, and I thank and appreciate everyone who has bought it, and if you have it, I hope you've enjoyed it. Even with the second edition coming out soon, I feel like the first one is different enough and of its time enough (written during the 2000s and finished the year of Blur's return in 2009) to make it a valuable and worthwhile book in its own right.

The new one will be greatly expanded, updated, and changed around a little bit, and has some new sections in it, and of course will be finished in the wake of this summer's triumphs for Blur.

I make hardly any money off of the books...really, just enough to (barely) cover my costs, and that's fine; I am not in it for the money (if I was, I'd be in the wrong business!). It's just a labor of love for me to give back something to Blur for all of the meaning and enjoyment their music has given me for half of my life (and counting), and to give something to share with fellow fans who can identify in the same way with the band.

So, again, thanks :)

Monday, August 13, 2012

A Comment About Comments

Until recently, for whatever reason, when anyone would comment on a post, it wouldn't send me an email notifying me (even though I'd set it to do so). It only started working randomly about a month ago.

To my horror, I noticed that there are LOADS of old posts with a lot of comments and interesting discussions that I've missed out on! I'm going to go back and try to catch up, but in the meantime, if I didn't answer/reply, I wasn't being rude!

Thanks for understanding!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

SHOW: Hyde Park, London, England August 12, 2012

Fresh from my harddrive to your eardrums...enjoy!

Hyde Park today!

Today is the day of Blur's headlining slot closing out the Olympics closing ceremony concert in Hyde Park. For those who can't be there, it'll be streamed live on Absolute Radio. Blur are set to hit the stage at 9:05pm BST (here in the USA that's 4:05pm EST).

I'm ready to record the stream…afterward, I'll clean it up and post it to share on here so we can all listen to it.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

SHOW: Wembley Arena, London December 13, 1995

Here is Blur's final show of 1995 (and their third at Wembley in December 1995). The sound is pristine, and while the band sounds tired at times, this is still one of my favorite shows...a great one to listen to. This complete soundboard version is very rare, so I hope you all like it. Enjoy!

UPDATE: I've reuploaded it due to many requests and the fact that the original MegaUpload link is dead (as is MegaUpload!)


Thursday, August 2, 2012

100 Club gig tonight in london

I'm planning on recording this. Be patient, it'll be tomorrow morning sometime before it'll be ready for you all but I know you can wait (or can you?).

UPDATE: Turns out they didn't stream was filmed for a "possible documentary."  Wonder what that's all about...?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Black Book #2 Update

Right now the manuscript for book #2 is being edited but is otherwise complete. As soon as Blur finish their stuff up in August, I'll make the final additions and then charge full-steam ahead to finish it and make it available. I'm tossing around a few ideas for a special "extra" or two as well…

Monday, July 23, 2012

Official Blur App

Now available worldwide for iPhone and iPad.

I've just downloaded it, can't wait to dive into it.

UPDATE: the iPad version is the fuller featured version. The iPhone app is light on content, but the iPad has lots of nice videos. I know what I'll be doing tonight when I get home to my iPad!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Blur to headline gig at London's 100 Club

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Official Blur Timeline

Go on, have a look...I will!

Blur at the BBC

I just got this in my email (see link):

I'm going to record the audio, but won't be able to watch it live as I'll nr at work (curse you, responsibility)!

Anyone want to try and rip the video for those of us who won't be able to watch?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

SHOW: Avalon, Boston, Massachusetts July 18, 2003

In honor of my seeing Blur live 9 years ago today (yes, this is a semi-vanity posting), here's the recording of the very show. You can hear me holler out a "yeah!" right before Beetlebum starts.


It Was 9 Years Ago Today...

...that I saw Blur live in Boston (July 18, 2003).  I wrote up my memories of that incredible concert for 6 Music to (possibly) include in their Blur special, along with the audio they requested of me.  Below is what I wrote about that night, if you'd like to read it:

I was a junior at university in 1999 when I heard they would be playing a show in New York City showcasing their "13" album at the end of March. I lived north of Boston at the time (~4 hour drive to New York) and was all set to go, had tickets, etc but decided at the last minute to not go due to some tough exams I had coming up. I remember thinking "I'll see them later this year when they come back to the US" which of course they never did. Fast forward to 2003 and they played a show in Boston (actually, 9 years ago to this day...July 18, 2003, and I've got a copy of that show on CD, too). I had ordered tickets well in advance and began to panic as they hadn't shown up until 3 days before the show. It was a very hot and humid July evening (much like tonight!) and they played the now defunct Avalon NightClub on Landsdowne St in Boston. After taking the subway into the city, my brother and I walked the rest of the way to the club, got there early, and made our way right to the front of the stage to stand and wait.  The club ended up filling up to capacity, which was nice...I knew Blur had a huge cult following here in the US so it was nice to see so many fans and talk with them. After the opening band (who I don't remember their name), Blur came on and played a stunning show, nearly 2 hours. Standing at the front of the stage, the view was of course great, we got to shake Damon's hands a few times as he came by and the few times he jumped into the crowd, we held him up and carried him back to the stage.  When they came back on for the encore, they were hanging around on the stage before they started and we got to chat with Alex for a minute before they began playing (he was having a cup of tea, complete with saucer, with his bass slung over his shoulder, waiting for the encores to start!). The coolest thing about the show was it was the first time on the 2003 tour they played The Universal. I also remember Damon wearing a sportcoat over his Fred Perry to start the show, but he soaked through it so quickly that he took it off after only a few songs!  After the show, when milling around to leave, I ended up speaking to a fellow from the UK who was there with his wife and he'd actually been a light tech on their 1995 UK tour so had seen them loads and said this was one of the best shows he'd ever seen them do.  By the end we were all very hot and soaked with sweat and walking out into the muggy summer night didn't help, but it was honestly the best concert I've ever been to to this day and I still remember it fondly. I can even hear myself cheering and yelling loudly on the recording I have of it (I was very close to the taper, maybe ~15 ft away from him).


I got in touch with the people at BBC 6 Music and I will be contributing some material for the Blur special on July 31, woohoo!

Friday, July 13, 2012

SHOW: Reading Festival, England August 28, 1993

By special request, reuploaded (since the old link is dead). Enjoy it this weekend!

A Little Feather in My Cap

I forgot to mention, but yesterday after I posted about the Blur news on my pages, a producer with the BBC (or who does work for them) emailed me asking me to help spread the news about the upcoming sessions. I thought that was kind of flattering that he took the time to do that. I’m a bit humbled by it, honestly!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Under the Westway: William Orbit version

William Orbit posted this version of Under the Westway earlier today before pulling it down off of the internet.  Luckily, things don’t disappear fast enough!
The worst part of it is the autotune on Damon’s vocals. The best part are the different lyrics (which are interesting in their own way), the middle section, and Graham’s guitar playing (as always). Have a listen and share your thoughts.

How You Can Win Tickets

Go to
All of the info is there.

Supposedly, it's going to be a set of rarities and b-sides played by Blur...can't wait!

And as I said, I will be recording it and then sharing with you all right afterwards, so look forward to that!

Today's Blur Announcement

THE NEWS: Blur will be doing 2 live broadcasts on July 31. A session on BBC Music 6 with Steve Lamacq and an hour-long gig on Jo Whiley's show on Radio 2.  Tickets can be won for the Whiley gig, and for the rest of us who won't be in London, we can listen (and in my case, record the audio!) live.

There you go!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Under the Westway CD single preorder

They've decided to release it on CD as well. Have a look and preorder, you know you want to. I did.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Blur Announcement Thursday

Special Blur announcement this Thursday on Steve Lamacq's show at 4 pm and Jo Whiley's show at 8 pm. Guesses as to what it'll be?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

New Dedicated Book Website is Now Live

I now have an official website dedicated solely to the book (courtesy of my friend Michael!). It's live now so feel free to check it out and bookmark it. We'll be adding more content to it in the coming weeks. This will be dedicated solely to the books, both the current one and the forthcoming one, while my other website/blog will still be for news, audio, videos, etc.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

How You Can Follow Along

I now have an official tumblr page, so in addition to this website, you can also follow and interact with me at:

I also have a book page on GoodReads (search the book title) if you want to follow there.

And a new website dedicated solely to the forthcoming book (since this site has willingly morphed into a news/media site) is on its way courtesy of a friend who has been far too kind in helping me out simply out of the kindness of his heart. So stay tuned!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Under the Westway and In the Studio

This little gem was released late yesterday by the official Blur YouTube channel. Love it. 

What do you think?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

REVIEW: Under the Westway/The Puritan single

Now that the dust has settled a bit, I thought I'd write a quick review of the new Blur single, Under the Westway b/w The Puritan. Having listened to the first acoustic live performances (Westway from February with Graham and Damon, The Puritan by solo Damon in June), the live performances from the webcast, and the released studio versions, I've got a good impression of the songs in a few different settings.

First, Under the Westway: it starts off with what sounds like some heavily echoed drums before the piano and guitar riff take us into the actual song. It's a classic Damon piano ballad that could be the lovechild of Best Days and Battery in Your Leg. Damon's vocal is delivered with nice emotion and his voice sounds a bit weathered by age and cigarettes and is really powerful and clear, nailing all of the notes with ease. The harmonies with Graham near the end are beautiful and it's a really evocative piece.

As for The Puritan, it was the one I was less excited about after hearing the first acoustic performance, but at this point I think I like it a bit more. Again, it's lead-in is a synth riff before the band kicks in.  Here, the lyrics are less poignant and more aggressive and biting, the song having been written as a response to the backlash Blur got for being rather authentic at their Brit Awards performance amongst the rest of the manufactured music at the pre-packaged event. It's a catchy song that picks up steam and energy as it chugs along to the fade-out "la la la" sing along chorus.

While both songs are very good, I must say that of the 3 new songs we've gotten from Blur since 2003, I still prefer Fool's Day over these. The new single's production is good but I feel it could be better...the mixes feel a bit cluttered to me, especially on The Puritan; it just sounds too busy in the background to my ears. I'm saddedned by the fact that Alex's bass parts are little more than root notes; he's capable of so much more than that, and as he's one of my favorite bass players of all time (and in my opinion, one of the best), I wonder whether this is what he was told to play or all he could be arsed to come up with. My biggest gripe for both songs is the drum sound/production. On both songs, Dave's drums are produced to the point that they sound like little more than click tracks. If you listen to the live versions from the rooftop gig, his drums really sound great and he wails toward the end of The Puritan. On the recorded versions, it very well may be a click track for all I know, and if not, it's a damn shame that they were processed that way.

Finally, perhaps it's a more nitpicking complaint, but neither of these songs (or Fool's Day, for that matter) have choruses. Whether that's lazy writing or just Damon's new style, I don't know, but where the choruses should be are instead short instrumental bursts that leave me longing for a hook. I got (mildly) slapped down by Graham for bringing this up on the official forum, but I stand by this one gripe 100%. Just because I'm a diehard fan doesn't mean I won't stand by my opinion when it's slightly negative and this is one case where I won't be swayed otherwise.

While I really enjoy these songs and I've been humming them and playing them non-stop since Tuesday, some part of me feels like at best, they'd be solid album tracks or B-sides if Blur were to actually make a new album, and aren't necessarily smash hit-single material. However, that being said, mid-tier Blur material is still very welcome and much better than 95% of the dreck that's markerted as music these days. I'm sure if/when these are played in August on Blur's mini-tour, I'll grow to love them even more. If I had to give it a rating, it'd be a solid 7/10

What do you think of the new songs? Feel free to leave your reviews/comments below!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

SHOW: 13 Studios Rooftop, London July 2, 2012

Here, by request, is the audio from yesterday's live webcast. Download and listen over and over again:


Lots of Goodies

Now that the dust has settled, some videos for your viewing (and re-viewing) enjoyment.

First, the official lyric videos for the two new songs:

And now, the two live performances from yesterday's webcast:


Monday, July 2, 2012

Odds and Ends

If you missed it:

-the live stream is available on demand at and also on their official YouTube channel

-the tracks are available on iTunes to purchase and Spotify to listen to

The Puritan

And it's over...this song rocked and sounds like a cousin of material from Parklife and The Great Escape.

Blur's still got it, folks...

Under the Westway

I just watched and listened to Blur perform Under the Westway live and it was fantastic. Tuning in to BBC Music 6 and Steve Lamacq's show to hear the studio version now.

Tune In Now!

"Tick Tock"

"Preparing for Rain"

Piano Tuning

"Getting Ready"

Under the Westway and The Puritan - Lyric Sheets

Just divulged by the official Blur Facebook account. Study up for tonight!

I'm going to do my best to watch/listen live today (the whole being-at-work thing getting in the way, so I may not be able to but I'll try my damndest!). Either way, as soon as a recording of the audio and video is available, I'll post the links here to share with anyone else who may have missed it.  And I'll put up a review and discussion post later tonight or tomorrow to get your feedback on the new songs and the performances.  It's going to be an exciting day!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Less Than a Week to Go!

Blur will perform their new tracks next Monday 2 July and then we'll all be able to download them for our listening pleasure.

While I still think the Twitter aspect of it is gimmicky and very "2012," I'd be lying if I said I wasn't thrilled!

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Big Announcement - Be There July 2!

This morning, Blur finally revealed what is going on with their new songs:

There will be a live global webcast on July 2 where Blur will play the two new songs (with an interview in between). The double A-side will then be available for download, with a limited edition 7" version of it available for purchase online August 6.

This summer keeps getting better and better!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

I Was Wrong: Another Teaser Photo for "The Puritan"

From today:

My guess is that we'll get another one tomorrow for "Under the Westway" leading up to the announcement on the following Monday.

Friday, June 22, 2012

One Last Photo - Under the Westway

Published just a little bit ago by official Blur. See you here Monday after it's all announced!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Coming Soon: Pre-Order for Black Book 2

Stay tuned for more details in the next couple of weeks...

Under The Westway - July 2

In keeping with what they did yesterday, this was posted by the official Blur Twitter account this morning:

My guess: these are two songs for a single to be released July 2.

And there's a countdown ticker to July 2 on the official site (

An exciting summer ahead!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Puritan - July 2

This morning, the official Blur Facebook and Twitter pages have been teasing with "#thepuritan 2nd July 7:45 pm BST" and this photo:

Reckon we're getting a single release? That's my guess...what's yours?

This is going to be an exciting summer!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Another New Blur Song - "The Puritan"

Last night Damon performed at the POEM 2012 event in London, and debuted another new Blur song (on acoustic guitar) along with a coupleo of song's from his "Dr. Dee" album.  The title is purported to be "The Puritan."

Link to the video below.

So what do you think? Comment below with your opinion!

Monday, June 4, 2012

It's Windy There...

(Scan courtesy of James948 from the Blur forum)

Normally I'm against graffiti but this is different. Was this ugly or offensive? No. To fans or casual listeners, it was meaningful. And to everyone else, it was really inoffensive. Read this and check out the video by the crew who did the restoration a couple of months ago (see post below) and decide for yourself.

Keep up the fight!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

It Could Be You!

If anyone has stuff for the book, I'm caught up enough that it'd be a good time to send it. Live tapes, ticket stub scans, etc. Feel free to email or PM me if you'd like to help out and as always, thanks in advance!

I'm also working on trying to get a proper publisher for the'll be coming out either way, so stay tuned for updates!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

SHOW: Palais Royale, Toronto, Canada April 6, 1999

Here's a show from 1999 promoting the 13 album. Blur only played three American shows that year, and while I've spent the better part of the last 13 years trying to track down the first two shows (New York and Los Angeles...I know people who have the tapes but the email addresses are dead), this final one from Toronto is, to date, the only one that has surfaced.  I hope you enjoy it!

Enjoy this slice of live Blur!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Book Pre-Order: Gauging Interest

Who would be interested in pre-ordering the book if I set the release for sometime in November/December of this year? Perhaps with a bonus inventive included? (I'm mulling this last bit over...).

Let me know here in the comments, on the Facebook page, or on Twitter what your thoughts are.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

All We Want

Leave it to NME to lead with a totally inaccurate teaser ("We have BIG news about the new upcoming Blur album!" they posted on Facebook and Twitter) before pulling their classic bait and switch.

The real headline: "Damon halted new Blur recording sessions." William Orbit claims Damon stopped the sessions and was "kinda a shit to the rest of Blur." It all sounds like sour grapes and I don't want to get too much into it...none of us know what really happened so it's pointless to conjecture. You can read it for yourself here:

However, Damon *did* say they'd play "one or two" new songs, so perhaps this new music will eventually see he light of day...we can only hope so!

Saturday, May 19, 2012


The website hit 100,000 visitors sometime between when I last checked the counter (on Thursday) and just now. 

THANK YOU to all who have visited and continue to visit, and I hope to have thousands more as I will try to pick up the pace adding news, information, music, and more to this site to make it the best Blur fan site I can possibly make it! Not to mentions as book #2 gets closer, I'll keep everyone updated. 

So again, MANY THANKS!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

More Blur News...Olympic Warm-Up Gigs

While the official Blur channels have promised an announcement tonight at midnight, it leaked late last week that Blur will playing 4 UK warm-up gigs in advance of their two European festival dates and massive Olympics Closing Concert in Hyde Park, London, in August. The new dates are:

1 Aug - Winter Gardens, Margate
5 Aug - Civic Hall, Wolverhampton
6 Aug - Civic Hall, Wolverhampton
7 Aug - Pavilions, Plymouth

 While this is certainly excellent news, I can't help but be a bit bummed, personally, that the US Tour Damon seemed so adamant about earlier in the year is still, for all intents and purposes, looking dead. But I can't be too's better just to have them back together being (somewhat) active again.

In related news, Damon mentioned, in an interview on Andrew Marr's show the other night, that Blur will be doing "further recording" and also may play more than one new song at this summer's shows. Enticing news, indeed, although with all of the different proclamations of "this is the end/this isn't the end, no more new music/new music," etc, I don't know what to believe any more!  I'm hopeful for the latter in both cases, but for now I'll remain cautiously optimistic so as to not be let down.

Still, Blur activity this summer, including the forthcoming box set, is always a good thing! It's like a (much) scaled-back version of those years in the 1990s when I hinged on every scrap of news I could find, only easier with the internet, Facebook, Twitter, etc!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

SNEAK PEAK: Under the Westway

From TV earlier this week, here's Damon playing about half of the forthcoming Blur song "Under the Westway" on piano. It's quite beautiful, and I cannot wait to hear it with the full Blur treatment.

Have a listen and let me know what you think!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Trouble in the Message Centre

After stating over the last few weeks that Blur and Gorillaz were most likely finished after this summer, Damon said in an interview yesterday that that's not the case. Head over to my Facebook or Twitter pages for more links to the interviews.

So which is it? I'm getting confused and annoyed by all of this back and forth!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Blur 21: To the End?

The Blur21 Deluxe 22-disc set

The big announcement from Blur yesterday was the release of Blur21, which is a massive 22-disc career retrospective box set containing remastered expanded editions of all of the albums, three DVDs containing live footage (Showtime, Singles Night, etc), discs of rarities and demos, a 45 of Superman, and a book detailing the band's history.  A vinyl box set containing all 7 albums on vinyl will also be released, as well as individual versions of the remastered albums. 

 The Vinyl Box

I've personally already pre-ordered the deluxe 22-disc box set...while I have a lot of the rare stuff, the demos alone make it worth it to me, as well as the fact that I'd buy anything they released :-).  They can be pre-ordered at, although I've noticed the price has TRIPLED in just the 24 hours since I ordered's a limited edition so my advice is, if you're interested, pre-order ASAP!

This raises an interesting question, though. Many fans believe this is just a nice release and that we can still expect a new album and tour from Blur, but to me this screams "wrapping up the career." Bands don't typically release career retrospective sets where they empty out (just about) everything from the vaults. In addition, Damon has stated in numerous interviews since the Brits award in February that the Hyde Park Olympics gig will be the last show ever, Under the Westway will be "a nice little coda" for the band, and that he can still make music with Graham but not "the other two."  It all adds up, in my mind, to a nice and graceful farewell for Blur after this August's shows.

And honestly, I'm not only happy with that, but I actually hope it is the case. With as good as the vibe and the momentum was in 2009, if they couldn't make new music then, I just don't see how they will now. The overall mood within the band seems to be rather down, at least judging from recent interviews with them (individually, of course), and after the excitement of the Brits award performance and the promise of big announcements in terms of shows and releases, we got nothing until last night. Of course, the news of the Blur21 release is very welcome, but offering no *NEW* music, instead packaging up all of the old stuff...well, I see this as a nice exclamation point at the end of the Blur story as the curtain gracefully and classily (is that a word?) draws to a close and we all move on.

What say you?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

It's Windy There...

...and the View's So Nice.

Charming little video below featuring (and shared by) some intrepid fellow members of the Blur forums. Worth the view...well done, guys, and better luck next time!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Music is My Radar...but it's not my job

I'll warn you right now that this is not meant to be a cranky post complaining about stuff...I don't want this to sound like me bitching and whining, and I'm willing to concede that sometimes things come across on the Internet or in typed text differently than perhaps they were intended, but I've been getting a bit irritated lately at how some people just expect me to devote all my time to this site and especially to uploading music.  I will say that 99% of fellow fans I've interacted with here, on Facebook or Twitter, email, or the Blur forum (where I'm a mod if you didn't know) have been awesome and very thankful and very friendly and generous in their own ways.  But there are a small handful of people who act as though I'm "not doing my job" because it takes me so long for to upload music here, or in the recent cases, to fix a link that got messed up (see the post below).  I get it that we're all diehard fans, and i am just as obsessive as the next guy.  But I've got a wife, 4 kids, a house, a 50+ hour-a-week job, friends, and a LIFE outside of being a massive Blur fan and running these pages and working on the book. I don't get paid for any of this stuff; I do it because I enjoy doing it and I enjoy making other fans happy, sharing the music and love of Blur, writing about's really a labor of love.  So for the 99% of you who are awesome, keep on coming back and interacting! And for the rest of you, a "thank you" every once and a while would be nice...

Saturday, March 3, 2012


I had mentioned a while ago in an old post that, along with collecting audio and working on my books, I also intended to archive Blur's live audio, for preservation purposes as well as ease of use. After not having done much in the last several months, I spent some time today transferring more CDR audio to my hard drive and converting it to lossless flac format. As of right now, I'm about halfway through the 1995 audio, so by the end of the weekend, 1989-1995 should be completed. The crazy thing is, when I look at my boxes of Blur live CDs, I'm not even close to being halfway done, which gives you an idea of how much more they toured, especially in 1997, 1999, and 2003! Still, not only has it been fun revisiting all the stuff, but once completed, this will make it easier for me to access audio, go back and get info from shows, relisten to it, and also share some more with you, my fellow fans!

SHOW: Ziggy's, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA September 22, 1997

Here's a nice little show from the Fall US Tour of 1997...a good sounding audience recording, by special request. Enjoy!

UPDATE 3/18/12: I fixed the links and the the two parts of the show are correct...enjoy!

Part 1:
Part 2:

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Black Book v2.0 News

So after giving it a lot of thought and getting some good advice from friends, I'm going to hold back the 2nd Edition of Black Book until this Fall. This is so I can include all of the information on this summer's shows and make the book as complete and current as possible, especially if this turns out to be Blur's last hurrah.

I'm still interested in any recordings or ticket stubs scans you may have to donate to the project and of course I will give you credit...your name will join all the others in the thank you section.

Right now the book is at a whopping 650 pages and will only get more info-packed between now and its release so any contributions are most welcome!

Thanks and feel free to comment/suggest anything here and shoot me an email or private message if you want to contribute anything.

New Gig Dates Trickling In...

As of this morning, more gig dates are trickling in. The latest are two festivals in August so far, one in Sweden and one in Denmark.

Keep checking here and my Facebook and Twitter pages for up-to-the-minute info!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Blur at the Brits!

Head on over to my Facebook page for videos of all 5 songs Blur played earlier tonight at the Brit Awards! Enjoy!

The complete set was:

Girls and Boys
Song 2
This is a Low

Monday, February 20, 2012

Big Blur News of the day!!

Just announced...Blur have accepted the invite to headline the Olympics Closing Ceremony: Best of British concert in Hyde Park this August 12, 2012!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

COMPLETE set from tonight's gig:

Here's the complete set from tonight:

New Blur Material (UPDATE)

Tonight, Damon and Graham appeared at the War Child UK show tonight and played a short, 3-song set, that included He Thought of Cars, Under the Westway (a brand new song!), and Strange News From Another Star.  There is massive anticipation that Blur will play the new song when they collect their BRIT award on Tuesday and play a short set themselves.  See the video below of the new song, and let me know what you think.  I like it, but am looking forward to hearing it in a full band setting (and hopefully, on a new album!). 

New Blur Material!

Damon and Graham are performing tonight (within the next hour or so) at the War Child concert in London and will be debuting some a new song(s). Stay tuned for more details, or share them if you're there!

Friday, January 27, 2012


What do you all make of the rumours making the rounds that Blur are recording with William Orbit for a new album? I'm skeptical (having followed this band for nearly 20 years, I have to be, much as I love 'em!) but at the same time so hopeful and excited!!

How about you?

Sorry for the lack of updates lately...

...I really am!  I'm still as mad for Blur as ever and working like crazy on Black Book v2.0. But between my family and my new job (which is going really well but is REALLY busy!) my time has been at more of a premium than ever before! 

But have no fear, I have lots of ideas for articles and music to share with you fellow Blur fans!  The issue is just finding the time to post them!