A new album from Blur frontman Damon Albarn will get its first live showcase in Blackpool - as well as being inspired by and recorded in the resort.
Merrie Land is the second album release from The Good, The Bad And The Queen, a band comprising Albarn, ex-Clash bassist Paul Simonon, Tony Allen and Simon Tong who first got together in 2007.
The album was first announced earlier this month, and now its release date has been confirmed for November 16, alongside a series of live shows including at North Pier Theatre on Saturday, December 1.
Some of its lyrics pay direct tribute to some of Blackpool’s landmarks, including the track The Great Fire, which goes: “Back to the seaside the dream, about 6pm. The North Pier, the lead stare”, and continues: “This tram is for Stargate. Next stop Uncle Tom’s Cabin.”
The collection of 10 songs is a ‘reluctant good-bye letter, a series of observations and reflections on Britishness in 2018’, and Simonon has previously spoken of Blackpool’s central position in Merrie Land and the foursome’s decision to record demos in the town.
He said: “I’ve got a penchant for piers and Blackpool has three.
“They are like an extension of the island, these arms reaching out.”
Former Britpop and Gorillaz songwriter Albarn has described the album as like ‘writing my first proper short story’ with ‘a lot of words and lots of seagull sounds.’
The GBQ’s eponymous debut album in 2007 was a London-themed venture, ahead of this broader British work.
Tickets go on sale tomorrow at 9am.Book online at www.seetickets.com/event/the-good-the-bad-the-queen/north-pier/1272677