Rowena Field-Carter runs through the best bits from last night’s exclusive Gorillaz secret gig in London.
Last night, I had the pleasure of being one of a lucky few to attend Gorillaz secret gig at Printworks in East London.
The gig was announced late on Thursday night, and having followed the hype and story they have been slowly building up over the past couple of months, the climactic release of four new tracks, and announcement of a secret show on Friday was too much to not be involved in.
“A single spotlight lit up the dark stage and broody electronic music filled the venue”.
Printworks is a multi-level maze of rooms, corridors, and warehouse space, which used to house the printing presses that once delivered the Evening Standard and the Metro, making it quite the eerie venue. As I entered amongst the hopeful crowd of music industry professionals, music journalists and hardcore Gorillaz fans, an expectant vibe filled the space.
After standing around for an agonising hour as Printworks filled up, a single spotlight lit up the dark stage and broody electronic music filled the venue. Damon Albarn then took to centre stage and told the crowd we would be treated to hearing the new album ‘Humanz’ played in full, and that every collaborating artist featured on the album was there (with the exception of a few).
‘Humanz’ first public test drive was unforgettable. The crowd was ecstatic throughout, and the tense mixture of heavy bass, electronic dance and heavily political lyrics at times charged the room. Highlight tracks throughout the night were ‘Andromeda’, ‘Let Me Out’ featuring Pusha T, to which the crowd screamed “Rewind!” so loudly that the band played it twice. Curveball come back track ‘Hallelujah Money’ featuring Benjamin Clementine, which was captivating, sinister and bizarre (especially with the brief appearance of Spongebob Squarepants at the end) was also poignant, and then ‘We Got the Power’ featuring Jehnny Beth from Savages, and 90’s frenemy to Albarn, Noel Gallagher, closed the set.
In a BBC radio one interview with Mistajam last week, Albarn explained that “The album kind of came from this dark fantasy of… I suppose it came into my head at the beginning of last year, which was like, just imagine the weirdest, unpredictable thing happening that changes everything about the world. How will you feel on that night? Will you go and get drunk? Will you just stay at home? Will you just watch TV? Will you talk to people?”
This tone was strongly communicated throughout the performance of the album, but somehow magically intertwined with the sense of just wanting to forget your troubles, and dance to the sound of this “dark fantasy”.
“The sense of just wanting to forget your troubles, and dance to the sound of this ‘dark fantasy'”.
Once the album was over, the crowd cheered for more, and we were then treated to several stunning renditions of the Gorillaz staple classics ‘Kids With Guns’, ‘Feel Good Inc.’ feat De La Soul, and ‘Clint Eastwood’ feat Del Tha Funkee Homosapien and Noel Gallagher.
The night was incredible, and something I won’t forget easily. Now I am going to wait eagerly for the 28th, so I can relive it all over again.
2. Strobelite feat. Peven Everett
3. Saturnz Barz
4. Momentz feat. De La Soul
5. Submission feat. Danny Brown & Kelela
8. Busted and Blue
9. Carnival feat. Anthony Hamilton
10. Let Me Out feat. Pusha T
11. Sex Murder Party feat. Jamie Principle & Zebra Katz
12. She’s My Collar feat. Kali Uchis
13. Hallelujah Money feat. Benjamin Clementine
14. We Got The Power feat. Jehnny Beth & Noel Gallagher
15. Kids With Guns
16. Feel Good Inc feat De La Soul
17. Clint Eastwood feat Del Tha Funkee Homosapien & Noel Gallagher
18. Don’t Get Lost In Heaven/Demon Days
‘Humanz’ will be released on 28th April 2017. You can pre-order online now here.