Damon Albarn called on an all-star cast – including former nemesis Noel Gallagher – as his band Gorillaz played a thrilling surprise comeback show in London on Friday night.
At the start of the show at Printworks in the south east of the capital, the former Blur front man promised that many of the performers on the band’s upcoming Humanz album would be making an appearance – so many, in fact, he said he would be unable to introduce them individually.
He did not disappoint fans, and a thunderous set which started with a full rundown of the new record later featured turns from Danny Brown, De La Soul and Jean-Michel Jarre.
Damon took the back seat for most of the first half of the show, acting the emcee, but he showed he was just as at ease leading the proceedings when called upon.
Despite the pairing with his former Britpop foe Noel, the unlikely duo were somewhat overshadowed by outstanding Savages frontwoman Jehnny Beth during their collaboration of new track We Got The Power.
Speaking between songs during the band’s three-track encore, Damon told the audience of a “crazy year” of preparation in order to produce the new record, which boasts a huge breadth of concepts and contributors.
Few artists could expect such familiarity with material that has barely been in the public domain, but such is the adoration for Gorillaz that many were singing all the words back directly as Damon paraded the stage.
If the latest show is anything to go by, Humanz represents a major leap forward in the band’s development: a collection of ideas that works as a candid whole, as well as something long dreamt for but not quite attained until now.