The Good The Bad and The Queen
With Blur still on a ‘creative break’, Damon Albarn felt that after the phenomenal success of Gorillaz, the time was right to seek a new creative outlet.
Enter the officially nameless The Good The Bad and The Queen. Their stellar line-up consists besides Albarn of ex-Verve member Simon Tong, Tony Allen, The Clash’s Paul Simonon and producer extraordinaire Danger Mouse.
The line-up might appear as random as the band’s name but for someone as creatively restless as Damon Albarn it is natural progression. Simon joined Blur as tour guitarist after the departure of Graham Coxon, and Danger Mouse has worked with the Blur frontman on the last Gorillaz album. Legendary afrobeat drummer Tony Allen approached Damon after he heard his name mentioned in the lyrics of Blur’s ‘Music Is My Radar’ and Paul Simonon? The punk rock legend became a band member after being invited one afternoon by his neighbour for coffee.
A surprising but very convincing return for Damon is the English theme running through all songs. Damon shied away writing a determinedly 'English' album since Blur's 1994 breakthrough album ‘Parklife’.
Although more ‘traditional’ than his previous project Gorillaz and less instant than Blur, The Good The Bad and The Queen impress with beautiful, well crafted songs and if rumours are to be believed, the The Good The Bad and The Queen are fantastic live. Damon Albarn has pulled it off again.