Damon Albarn: Blur and Gorillaz singer announces second Edinburgh International Festival show due to huge demand

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Britpop legend Damon Albarn has announced a second show in Edinburgh this summer due to huge demand.

The Blur and Gorillaz singer will now perform two gigs at a new purpose-built outdoor venue in Edinburgh Park on August 24 – with one at 5pm and a further show at 8.30pm.

Accompanied by his band and a string quartet, the Edinburgh International Festival performances mark rare solo appearances for Albarn, who will present tracks from across his songbook, including songs from his forthcoming new album, The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows.

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Originally intended as an orchestral piece inspired by the landscapes of Iceland, this last year has seen Albarn return to the music in lockdown and develop the work to 11 tracks which further explore themes of fragility, loss, emergence and rebirth.

Damon Albarn will be performing two gigs in Edinburgh this summer.Damon Albarn will be performing two gigs in Edinburgh this summer.
Damon Albarn will be performing two gigs in Edinburgh this summer.

The result is a panoramic collection of songs with Albarn as storyteller. The album title is taken from a John Clare poem Love and Memory.

Other highlights of the EIF’s contemporary music programme include soulful singer Laura Mvula with material from her new album Pink Noise and one of Neu! Reekie!’s distinctive cross-culture experiences headlined by Orange Juice frontman Edwyn Collins.

Edinburgh-based Scottish/African choir Shona the Music Choir present original songs from Shona the Musical, bringing alive the vibrancy, splendour and joyous harmonies of Africa with an eclectic western twist.

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Electronic artists on the line-up include Floating Points, combining his classically trained background with UK garage, spiritual jazz and broken-beat influences, and Canadian electronic artist Dan Snaith, AKA Caribou, with his latest LP Suddenly.   

International artists include Malian singer-songwriter, guitarist and acclaimed actress Fatoumata Diawara with material from her Wassoulou and Mali blues influenced back catalogue. Californian art-pop duo Tune-Yards perform material from their latest album sketchy. 

The programme also includes West Lothian indie heroes The Snuts, whose debut album became the first by a Scottish band to top the Official Album chart in 14 years, and Glasgow-based four-piece Tide Lines with their trademark anthemic folk rock.

A full line-up can be found at www.eif.co.uk/contemporarymusic.

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Tickets for Albarn’s additional performance are on sale now at www.eif.co.uk/events/damon-albarn.

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