The battle between Blur and Oasis was one the biggest face-offs in chart history and changed the landscape of music and subculture in Britain. Nearly 23 years later, the Britpop rivals Damon Albarn and Noel Gallagher have thrilled fans by joining forces on a new Gorillaz track and performing together in concert.
Gorillaz debuted their new album at a secret London show on Friday night, during which Albarn called on an all-star cast, including Gallagher, the Savages singer Jehnny Beth, Danny Brown, De La Soul and Jean-Michel Jarre.
Albarn and Gallagher buried the hatchet years ago – the pair performed together at a Teenage Cancer Trust gig in 2013 and have previously hinted that they would team up in the studio – but music lovers were still taken by surprise when the new Gorillaz tracks dropped on Thursday.
“So Damon Albarn and Noel Gallagher collaborated on the new Gorillaz album? I guess the Blur vs Oasis feud is almost over. Cue Liam?” One Twitter user wrote.
“Noel and Damon together on the same song. Finally a happy moment in the post void world we live in,” another said.
Friday’s show took place at Printworks in south-east London. At the start of the show Albarn said so many of the performers on the Gorillaz’s upcoming and highly anticipated Humanz album would be making an appearance that he couldn’t introduce them individually.
He then launched into a thunderous set which started with a full rundown of the new record.
Speaking between songs during the band’s three-track encore, Albarn told the audience about the “crazy year” of preparation to produce the record, which boasts a huge breadth of concepts and contributors.
Speaking to Radio X this week, Albarn said of working with Gallagher: “He’s fantastic in the studio. It’s nice when you see how someone goes about their business. He’s great.”
Of the track, said: “At one point this song had Graham [Coxon], Noel and me on it and it was sort of heading slightly in the wrong direction. It was becoming almost retro in its sort of spirit and way too rocky for this record so I kind of stripped it right back down again.
“We play it slightly different live than how it is on the record. It’s sort of the song that comes on during the final titles of a film. The climax. I thought Jehnny would take a bit of the testosterone off.”
Others were anticipating what Liam Gallagher might make of his brother’s collaboration, after he told Q Magazine last week: “Put it this way, Noel lives in a £17m house. That changes you, I reckon. You have appropriate furniture, appropriate kitchens, appropriate red wine that Bono’s recommended. And Damon Albarn becomes your mate. Fair dos, but not for me.”
Liam's gonna be buzzin when he finds out Noel has recorded with Gorillaz 😂👀— Harry Lakin (@theharrylakin) March 23, 2017