What's your Blur story?

Discussion about the band and related projects.

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Miki
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What's your Blur story?

Post by Miki » 05 May 2015, 23:50

Enough polls for a while :lol:

What's your Blur story? How did you get into them? When? Was it love at first play or did they take their time to grow on you?

Here's mine: I moved to the UK in the summer of 1994 and I remember two songs in particular constantly playing on the radio at the time: Oasis' Live Forever and Blur's Parklife. I loved both bands and got swept in the whole Britpop/Cool Britannia thing (though I'm not sure if we were calling that back then). When the scene became inflated and a giant bandwagon, after the battle of the bands and every man and his dog jumping on board, I lost interest, opting for American alternative music (Beck, Sonic Youth, R.E.M....) but one band managed to still pull me in as they exited the circus and produced what I probably still rate as their best album, Blur.

From then on they had me heart and soul :mrgreen:
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Re: What's your Blur story?

Post by AdvertBreak » 06 May 2015, 00:14

From before I was born my dad had Parklife and then numerous songs on compilations (Two editions of 'The Best Anthems...Ever!' (which I think were just after I was born) IIRC carried Song 2 and The Universal for example) so from my very early life I was raised on them, or at least this. The title track of Parklife for example is a track I can think about as I used to hear it back in 2001 or whatever when I was very young. I never played Parklife in full but I liked Girls & Boys, Parklife, Bank Holiday and Lot 105. I most distinctly remember that in 2002 shortly after my fifth birthday I included Parklife on a list of my favourite songs my dad burnt onto a CD-R for me and then another one afterwards with Girls & Boys on it.

In mid/late 2004 I started watching music channel VH2 which introduced me to a shitload of music, and it was also here I first knew of many other Blur tracks. Beetlebum was included on this list of the 'Indie 500' at I think #60 and we had just got a DVD-R recorder at the time and I recorded an hour long DVD of the list starting from Beetlebum so I quickly grew to that. Somewhere down the line in 2005 I was bought The Best of and played it to death and On Your Own became my favourite song for quite a while. At the end of that year I also bought with my first ever piece of my own money (birthday money from a distant relative I believe) Think Tank which I liked about half of. It sounds completely stupid but We've Got a File on You was my favourite (something about being 8 means you prefer short spiky songs to the real highlights) and I already knew it from a compilation called The Alternative Album.

I sort of kept this same knowledge until 2009 as Blur were reuniting. I remember asking for Midlife the day it was released and was pleased to see it there when I got home. I played through many of the songs I already knew and when Bugman came on I was wondering WTF I was listening to. It scared me sort of and I didn't actually play all of it the first time. I'd made the shit accusation it was from Think Tank (because about a year before the internet told me of Me White Noise but when I went looking for it I had my ear up to the speaker with Phil shouting "Me White Noise! etc. etc." so I'd assumed the stuff I hadn't listened to on the album for years was weird stuff like this).. Well anyway I found out it was on 13 which I'd assumed was a quiet, fairly straightforward album (thanks Best of!) but Bugman quickly grew on me, very much so, becoming my favourite track. By the time I joined the Blur forum in July 2011 anyway, I had all the albums, numerous singles, random merch, and my favourite Blur song had changed over many times.

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Re: What's your Blur story?

Post by WoodPigeon » 06 May 2015, 04:42

I'm from Australia, and I was 12-13 when Country House came out, and that was the first song I ever heard of theirs. I also heard Charmless Man - and I remember distinctly thinking "I do NOT like this band" but I remembered their name because my cousin was a big fangirl. Around the same time, I had Wonderwall on repeat.

In 1997 my friend said "you have to hear this song". Woo Hoo!

As a 15 year old boy, the energy obviously appealed to me, but when I investigated the song, I realised it was Blur.

I WAS BLOWN AWAY -- how could this be the same band that sang Country House...? Then it clicked, this was a seriously versatile and creatively potent group. The next songs I heard were off the Song 2 single: Get Out of Cities, Polished Stone and Bustin and Droning. But it was the Great Escape that I longed to listen back to and study. I rushed out and got the self titled album, (which is still my favourite), and soon after, I got The Great Escape, which I then realised was a masterpiece too.

Then the rest of the back catalogue; and from then i've been hooked. Seeing them for the first time ever in July in Melbourne!

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Re: What's your Blur story?

Post by Sean » 06 May 2015, 07:30

Ah I love this.

In 1991 I turned 14, but at the time I was fixated on REM and Nirvana.

I liked There's No Other Way but that was as far as it went.

Then I heard Popscene on Mark Goodier's Evening Session and it blew me away. I went and bought the 12", but then I sort of forgot about Blur.

It wasn't until a year later, in 1993, a free cassette came with an edition of Melody Maker. On the cassette was Blur playing 'Advert' live on Mark Goodier's Evening Session....it absolutely blew me away and I listened to nothing else for days.

My younger sister was given a reward by my parents for something...some money to go and buy an album. I pretty much had her by the throat and said "You WILL buy Modern Life is Rubbish by Blur.....you WILL!".

And so she did, and the rest is history. MLIR blew me away, and from then on I was an addict. I was at my local record shop on the day Girls & Boys was released, the Parklife LP at 9am on the day of release and likewise for every release thereafter. I saw them on the Parklife tour in Sheffield, and at Aston Villa Leisure Centre, and about 25 times after that. :lol: MK Bowl, Nottingham Rock City, Sheffield Uni, Manchester.....I saw them everywhere. Bought every magazine they featured in (still got them), recorded their every appearance on TV (I even came home early from a night out so I could see them play 'Girls & Boys' on The Word. Terry Christian - you're a bellend).

So this new album, the 2009 reformation - as it has to everyone here - has really meant a lot to me. Great innit. :mrgreen:
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Re: What's your Blur story?

Post by Mark72 » 06 May 2015, 12:30

Blur first caught my attention when I saw them play on a programme called Eggs and Baker playing "there's no other way" but didn't do much for me at the time.

Then I went the Reading festival back in 1993 aged 21 with a girlfriend and was so impressed with them I bought MLIR and played it to death the week after and that was it really they had Me! went on to see them thoughtout their great career. Ally Pally '94 and 'various gigs in 95,97 and 99 . Also went through and loved the britpop scene! Saw Oasis,Suede,Pulp And various bands live at the time and That Blur vs Oasis battle(I bought both singles). Also had some great drunken crazy nights in camden during those great times. Sort Lost My blur way when Graham left and Think Tank came out. But was so happy when they reformed in '09 and as for this year well this is like a dream!

Biggest regret was not seeing as much live as I should of back then especially the think tank era.

I'm staying in Camden for 2 nights with my mate for the '15 Hyde Park gig and have a couple in the Dublin Castle like the old days of the '90s

My Mate has one blur gig to see then He's reached his 21st blur gig since 1994!!
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Re: What's your Blur story?

Post by Leahscarlet2 » 06 May 2015, 13:37

I remember a couple of their songs being played when I was young in the early 2000s.
Then I remember I always used to listen to them when I was about 11 on my MP3 player that held about 10 songs and they were mainly the only band I listened to. Then the Olympics came in 2012 and I watched them live (?) on telly and I was hooked again. I never thought anything would come from them again and i heard the news in February and instantly had to get HP tickets. The funny thing was I watched Hyde Park 09 the night before
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Re: What's your Blur story?

Post by Foggy » 06 May 2015, 13:37

I was there near the beginning... I remember hearing TNOW being plugged on Radio One. Damon said their vibe was 'laid back'. I loved that slidy riff, and still do actually. I bought the album and played it to death. I saw them play Cambridge Corn Exchange in '91.

I didn't think they were that great live, if truth be told. Then Popscene came out, and that seemed a bit busy for my simple tastes, then they got huge. I bought Parklife and the odd single, but that was pretty much it really. I liked them, but no more than I liked Sleeper / Ash / Pulp / Bluetones / whoever...

Roll on early 2000s, and a friend gave me a promo copy of The Kiss of Morning, and for whatever reason I just kept playing it. I then bought Love Travels, & Happiness in Magazine, saw Graham live at The Leadmill, joined his forum, then picked up a copy of The Best of Blur somewhere. I realised 10 yrs too late that there was way way more to Blur that I'd ever realised.

So, I went to see them play Wolverhampton in 2012, and realised they're actually incredible live. With hindsight 21yrs was way too long to give them a second chance.

So, that's me. Late to the party. :?
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Re: What's your Blur story?

Post by MrMagpie » 06 May 2015, 14:05

I was 14 in 1994 when I first heard "Girls and Boys" on the excellent MTV alternative rock show 120 Minutes...I liked the song but didn't think anything of it beyond hearing it on the show a few times. I also remember hearing "There's No Other Way" on the college radio station in my town (I grew up in a mid-sized college town) around the same time but again, didn't think anything other than "oh, neat song." Then when I had just turned 17 and was partway through my first year of college I was driving into Boston with a few classmates to attend an exhibit at the Boston Museum of Science for our physics class when "Song 2" came on the radio. It blew me away and I couldn't get it out of my head so I listened to hear who the song was buy and went and bought the self-titled album the next day. I was hooked and then when I went to discover the back catalog I realized I'd heard a few of their songs in earlier years. From then on I've been a massive fan, blah blah woof woof (I won't bore with any more details)
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Re: What's your Blur story?

Post by Rosie » 06 May 2015, 14:25

Foggy wrote: So, that's me. Late to the party. :?
Not so much late than me: I've discovered Blur only 3 years ago. I'm 46 and I listened to a lot of music when I was in my twenties, but I've never listened to Blur, only Oasis from Britpop era, and then, around my thirties, I slowed down a lot in listening to music, because I married and then had 2 children and I was very busy after them.
So, 3 years ago, whith my children grown up and a lot of more time for me, I restarted to listen to music: I was listening to a sequence of poadcast in an italian's readio website, about the history of the music and the most important bands of the last 20 years. I came across to Blur and I looked for them in Youtube, I remember that the first song I listened was Parklife and I was blown away. For the music, but also for the strange appeal of this band, and for his Londocentric take (at least on those first songs i saw and heard) and ....I love London!
So, from then on I started to listen to them everyday, to search for their videos, biographies and so on....I becom a fan. But I don't have saw them live once, only Damon last year, and it was fantastic.
So, you can understand my exictement for this album and for my first Blur's gig: 15 of June..Zenith Paris...can't wait!!!!

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Re: What's your Blur story?

Post by JAIME » 06 May 2015, 15:34

When I was 14 in 1991 I was playing at home one evening, and in one Chilean FM Radio I heard There's no other way (at that time I didn't even know the name of the band). I liked it, but I didn't "fell in love" with that unknown band yet...

During 1994 Girls & Boys was a hit on every FM Radio here. It was then when noticed the name of the band :P
But I wasn't a "fan" yet...

My parents got cable TV for house in early 1995, and on a rainy saturday afternoon I watched on MTV channel an acoustic version of Parklife; since that day I really started this "Bluraddiction".
One of my mates at the University was a huge Blur fan, we used to talk about Blur, and he gave me Leisure, Modern Life in Rubbish, Parklife and The Great Escape on cassettes. I used to listen these cassettes every fuckin' day, and inmediately Parklife and MLIR became my 2 fave albums. This is a Low was since then my all-time favourite song 8-)
Then I never stopped to listen at least 1 Blur song each day. :P

When I had some money to buy a CD (very expensive here at that time), my 1rst choice was the self-titled album. I absolutely loved it, but in a very different way.
Around that time (1997) I used to record every Blur video or TV shows (Taratata, Jools Holland) and the specials on MTV and ViaX(a Chilean music channel) on VHS cassettes. I loved(and still love them) Beetlebum and M.O.R. videos, and I played on guitar my fave Blur songs.

In february 1999 I ran to my bedroom to listen Tender for the 1rst time on FM radio, the same day of the releasing. Unforgettable memories. Few weeks after I listened to 13 album on an FM Radio....it was strange, a bit like a shock. Anyway, I got the album, and I used to turn off the lights to concentrate myself on hearing it. It was hard to accept the radical change. I still used to listen to Parklife and MLIR on a daily basis around 1999.

When Blur announced a concert in Chile for November 1999, I couldn't believe it, I was totally crazy, and started to save money to travel to Santiago and buy the tickets, but in October 1999 it was cancelled due to political or diplomatic reasons (the infamous "Pinochet case", that criminal dictator was arrested in London at that time). Two other English bands had to cancel their gigs too. It was weird, because nobody hated the English people nor the English bands here (except few hundreds of Pinochet fanatics, and a few ultra-rightist monkeys), but I couldn't do anything, only insult and blame to my Government and our politicians. :evil: :x

I bought the “Best of” DVD and double-CD with the weird feeling that something was coming to its end...
Around that time I got all the B-sides, I loved to hear most part of them. I liked to talk about Blur to everybody everytime that I could :mrgreen: 8-)

When Gorillaz started, I was very sad, I thought it was the end of Blur, and that Blur will never be here. Sad times for me.
Heard Think Tank around march 2003 (before its physical release), and it was disappointing honestly. It didn't sound "Blur" to me.

During the long hiatus I joined to the old forum (early 2006 I think). It was great, to have the chance to share some feelings about the music of the band and the sadness of the absence of Blur.

When Blur announced the Hyde Park gigs in 2009, a friend of mine who was living in Southampton at that time invited me to England, but I couldn't travel in that particular moment. Anyway, I bought the NDLTR dvd and enjoyed it a lot.

In 2013 the World Tour started I kept in my heart a little bit of hope about Blur coming to Chile...and in May 17 2013 Blur confirmed a gig, it was like 1999 again!! I bought the ticket in the 1rst day, and during that year I met many Chilean fans (like Sara-m-a and Fena). Had the chance to see the show just in front of Damon hahahah! Well, and even better, had the chance to chat few minutes with Graham, Alex, Dave, Mike and Phil outside the hotel. That was the best concert of my life without any doubt.
In 2014 Dave and Damon came back to Chile, so I had the opportunity to chat with them, and with Mike again. Also I met Seye.

Well, and this will be another great year, because I’ll be in Hyde Park on June 20 and in the Santiago Arena on October 7 seeing Blur again. This is better than the best dream. Never thought this would happen....but you all know, "Yes it really really really could happen" :P :P
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Re: What's your Blur story?

Post by Sledge Hammer » 06 May 2015, 21:42

Sean wrote:Ah I love this.

In 1991 I turned 14, but at the time I was fixated on REM and Nirvana.

I liked There's No Other Way but that was as far as it went.

Then I heard Popscene on Mark Goodier's Evening Session and it blew me away. I went and bought the 12", but then I sort of forgot about Blur.

It wasn't until a year later, in 1993, a free cassette came with an edition of Melody Maker. On the cassette was Blur playing 'Advert' live on Mark Goodier's Evening Session....it absolutely blew me away and I listened to nothing else for days.

My younger sister was given a reward by my parents for something...some money to go and buy an album. I pretty much had her by the throat and said "You WILL buy Modern Life is Rubbish by Blur.....you WILL!".

And so she did, and the rest is history. MLIR blew me away, and from then on I was an addict. I was at my local record shop on the day Girls & Boys was released, the Parklife LP at 9am on the day of release and likewise for every release thereafter. I saw them on the Parklife tour, at Aston Villa Leisure Centre, and about 25 times after that. MK Bowl, Nottingham Rock City, Sheffield Uni.....I saw them everywhere. Bought every magazine they featured in (still got them), recorded their every appearance on TV (I even came home early from a night out so I could see them play 'Girls & Boys' on The Word. Terry Christian - you're a bellend).

So this new album, the 2009 reformation - as it has to everyone here - has really meant a lot to me. Great innit. :mrgreen:
:lol: Virtually the same as me except I was 18 in 1991, never really got into them until Modern Life Is Rubbish in 1993 which I was addicted to and heard Popscene during that time which like you blew me away (discovered it on the vhs of starshaped on the promos at the end).

Saw them first in Leeds on the Parklife tour, and same as you Aston Villa, Mk Bowl (my fave)...and loads of others, lol and did that with The Word aswell! ;)
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Re: What's your Blur story?

Post by Sean » 06 May 2015, 21:44

:lol: :lol: Haha ace.

Loving all these stories. :)
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Re: What's your Blur story?

Post by dparrott » 06 May 2015, 22:04

I was 19 in 1991, was just getting into british rock on 120 Minutes like Catherine Wheel, Charlatans, etc. Then TNOW came on, got leisure, played it to death. They've been my favorite band ever since. Got the Blurb fanzine in 1994 and discovered all the b-sides I missed, started collecting everything...promos, bootlegs, singles, etc.

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Re: What's your Blur story?

Post by Mallard No. 22 » 07 May 2015, 07:49

In 1991 (when I was 21) I had not heard of Blur, but picked up on the radio play of 'There's No Other Way'. I was/am a fan of Syd Barrett-period Pink Floyd, and this song (& Damon's vocal style) was reminiscent of this. The indie/rave scene had also invigorated interest in late 60s type of music. 'Bang' was also a good indie single of the time, I bought the 'Leisure' album and generally liked it. Though I thought that Blur were a cult band, and I was not at all sure that they would have a long life even within indie-dom, let alone the mainstream. This suspicion was heightened when 'Popscene' mis-fired chartwise, yet there was nothing really wrong with it.

Nevertheless, 'For Tomorrow' picked up some Radio 1 airplay, though there was some bemusement in the music press about Blur's direction. Harking back to a Kinks-style quirky Britishness did not equate to ongoing commercial success in the 90s. But 'For Tomorrow' became (& remains) one of my favourite Blur songs, and I bought the album and played it. I especially liked the novel way they did 'Intermission' and 'Commercial Break' at the end of each side.

I remember driving the car in ever-worsening weather in 1994 and 'the new Blur single' came on the radio. I was trying not to slide about in snow and the distinctive hook of 'Girls & Boys' was cutting into my concentration. Then it unexpectedly became an airplay favourite and crashed into the top ten. The forthcoming album was getting rave reviews, "Blur were taking us back to a time when music was happy" etc....

And it has continued from there. Although, due to doing other things in life I didn't really pick up on 'Think Tank'.
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Re: What's your Blur story?

Post by Rhys » 07 May 2015, 09:56

I can remember hearing Song 2 a lot when I was younger, through movies and tv shows that it appeared on, but I didn't take any notice of it back then. Then, in early 2013, I heard it again, and that's when I thought I should check out the band... I'm so glad I did!

I previewed everything from the self-titled album on iTunes, and I really liked what I was hearing, especially Beetlebum and Essex Dogs. So, after listening to the singles and other bits and pieces on YouTube, I got the Midlife compilation as a starting point, and it wasn't long until I fell in love with every song on it. It was from there that my love for Blur's music began. I soon got the seven albums, it's really hard to choose a favourite one now... I would probably go with 13, but they're all awesome!

I've been listening to The Magic Whip non-stop since it came out, it's fantastic!

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