It seems as good a time as any to post some of these tracks. Actually, a couple of weeks ago would’ve been better, but then as you know, I’m always just a half-step behind what’s currently in vogue. As I write, Blur have played their final gig. Again. And broken up. Again.
I’ve written about this before, but for those irregular/new visitors, I’ll go on record again and say that I’m a bit of a Blur fan. I have been since day 1. Bought She’s So High on 12″ and faithfully bought each release on the day of release until Crazy Beat limped out from between the grooves of Think Tank to promote a Coxon-less version of the band that had somewhat spectacularly ran out of steam. To be fair though, I played Think Tank a week or two ago and it’s held up fairly well, even without Coxon’s distinctive wonky guitar scratchings.
The only aspect of Blur’s back catalogue I don’t have is the fanclub singles that get sent out every Christmas to those in the band’s fanclub. Subscribers to the fanclub received a quarterly fanzine called ‘Blurb‘. Come 1996 (and issue 4 of ‘Blurb‘) lucky subscribers also received a nice wee CD single at Christmas. In these modern times where bands continually blog, twitter and YouTube every bum note they’ve ever twanged, the notion of a fanclub is fairly quaint. But then, if you’re a fan and you’ve gotta have the lot, joining the fanclub was the only way to ensure your collection remained complete. REM have a similar fanclub that send you all sorts of live/demo/rare material that is the proverbial trainspotter’s wet dream.
A pissed Graham Coxon has just been knocked down by a car.
It’s all Britpop’s fault.
Thank heavens then for this thing called the internet. A bit of googling and bittorrenting later, and you too can have the entire recorded output of Fish, Phish and all sorts of pish. Look in all the right places and you might even find stuff you like. A couple of clicks yesterday led me to the very items missing from my Blur collection – the fanclub singles. Over the next few weeks I’ll post a couple of tracks until you too are bang up to date with all things Blurish. The fanclub singles were released once a year between 1996 and 2005. Here’s the first three:
1996: Death of a Party
Acoustic demo version of a track which finally appeared on the Blur’s 1997 eponymously titled elpee. The demo was recorded at Matrix Studios in 1992. Extra points for the Syd Barrett-esque backing vocals. Blur sure set their stall out early…
1997: I Love Her
Demo recorded in 1991 at the sessions that produced ‘Leisure‘. Came with issue 8 of Blurb. Nice cheesegrater guitar/elastic band bass duel. Extra points for the pseudo Syd Barrett backing vocals. Can you see a pattern emerge?
Demo recorded at Maison Rouge in 1992. Sounds a bit like the track above. What with all that backwards feedback fading in, it sure starts a bit like Popscene. Also has something approaching those “Ah ah watch you play” backing vocals that you’ll know from There’s No Other Way. Came with issue 12 of Blurb. Extra points for Coxon’s especially wobbly guitar solo.
More to follow in the next couple of weeks. Keep ’em peeled….