Met up with Wawa for the somewhat eagerly anticipated debut of The Good, The Bad & The Queen, a new side project by the frontman of Blur and now Gorillaz, Damon Albarn. The stage was decorated in bunting, or flags for those of us who are stateside, lending the air of a carnival-esque spectacle with Albarn and his top hat as the ringmaster.
With Simon Tong (of the Verve) on guitar, Paul Simenon (of the Clash) on bass and Tony Allen (affiliated with Fela Kuti) on drums backing him, the focus was mainly on Albarn, as he alternated between standing at the mic and pounding away at the piano. His distinct voice lead us through the music, which drew from shades of a reggae sounding beat, to plaintive electronica, to quiet pop.
I had only heard a few selected songs by TGTB&TQ before the show and could not help but compare them to the works of Blur and Gorillaz. Upon hearing more of the songs during the show, I concluded that the music, while great to see performed live, will certainly benefit from a few listens of the album in its entirety. The songs do not seem like a radio-ready collection of singles; rather, the album ought to be one that will grow on you.
Here is a clip of the first single, "Herculean":
Update: you can download an MP3 of their entire show in DC at the 9:30 club courtesy of NPR here.
Update #2: Cool! The band linked my video here!