The Virtual band are back and they’ve bought a whole bunch of people along for the ride.
Many of us feel proud when we make it out of bed in the morning. However the Gorillaz have well and truly trumped us this time by not only releasing four new singles but performing their new album, Humanz, to a crowd of fans in a printing press in London the very next day.
There have been rumours bubbling that a new album is on the cards so perhaps you are questioning why they didn’t choose grander venue? Let’s remember that the Gorillaz don’t exactly play by the rules.
A brief look at their history shows that they are far from the typical idea of a band. In fact, frontman Damon Albarn and comic Illustrator Jamie Hewlett came up with the idea of the Gorillaz after becoming fed up of the lack of creativeness in commercial bands. With their vision they hazed the idea of fiction and reality, essentially producing the first virtual band.
They created fictional members of the band, who featured in their music videos, giving them their own stories and initially keeping their own identities hidden.
Whilst in the bands early shows they simply showed themselves as silhouettes behind a screen, fans wanted more so 3D holograms were created before Alburn and his guests would take to the stage with projections of the virtual band on the screen behind them.
Like these shows, their comeback didn’t disappoint. One of the great traits about the Gorillaz being a virtual band is that they can play around with a lot of different genres. This was evident in the gig with variations from disco infused track Strobelite to rock track Submisson.
It’s been five years since they last performed but the band certainly haven’t lost their contacts with more people featuring than can be can be counted. Alburn announced ‘We’ve got almost everyone here that’s on the record tonight.’ One of these collaborations even included former nemesis Noel Gallagher who performed on ‘We got the power’. The other notable names there included Kelela, Danny Brown and De La Soul.
However it was ‘Let me out’ featuring Pusha T that was the first track to be played twice, after Alburn told the crowd that they had to all shout ‘rewind’ if they wanted to hear a song again.’
The show ended with an encore of classic songs including ‘Kids with Guns’, ‘Feel Good Inc’ and ‘Clint Eastwood’ which also featured Gallagher.
Despite the night ending there, this certainly isn’t the end for the Gorillaz. The new album is due to be released on the 28th April , with the deluxe version featuring an extra five songs. Alburn aslo confirmed that all of the collaborators would be joining the band at their Demon Dayz festival, taking place in Margate In June. He said ‘They’ll all be here when we play Margate’ including his Blur pal Graham Coxon and again, Noel Gallagher.
The Gorillaz have made it feel like Christmas , giving us two treats in the space of a week , and leaving us to eagerly anticipate the album release and festival. Do you have a favourite track for the album and will you be attempting to bag yourself some festival tickets?
Text: Chaz Pond
Images: Charlie Forgham Bailey, Mickey Clement, Mark Allan, Fabien Montique, Matthew Eiseman, Ben Pruchnie, Chris Floyd for Billboard, Gorillaz Youtube, AllEyesOnGorillaz