The group outdid their own penchant for welcoming guest artists to the stage
At their free show at London’s O2 Arena last night (August 10), Gorillaz debuted three new collaborative tracks and brought out a slew of guest artists.
The show was a free event for NHS workers and their families by way of a thank you for their efforts throughout the coronavirus pandemic, coming ahead of a sold-out performance that was announced last year.
Early on in the night, The Cure‘s Robert Smith came on stage to perform ‘Strange Timez’, the lead track from their seventh studio album ‘Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez’, released last year.
Watch the fan-filmed ‘Strange Timez’ performance below:
Following that, the likes of New Order‘s Peter Hook, Popcaan, Leee John, Fatoumata Diawara, Shaun Ryder and Rowetta, slowthai and Slaves, De La Soul‘s Posdunos, EARTHGANG, Little Smiz and Sweetie Irie joined Gorillaz mastermind Damon Albarn and company to perform hits from the virtual band’s 23-year discography.
In the middle of their set, Gorillaz debuted three new collaborative songs in a row: ‘Meanwhile’ with Jelani Blackman, ‘Jimmy Jimmy’ with AJ Tracey and ‘De Ja Vu’ with Alicai Harley.
Catch the performances of each of those below:
Albarn has spoken recently of new “carnival-themed” Gorillaz music (as well as a Blur reunion), that the group are “going back to the spirit of their first record”, 2001’s self-titled release.
“It’s really exciting and we’ve been really enjoying it,” Albarn said at the time. “It’s a nice kind of counter-balance to ‘The Nearer The Fountain…’, really.
“I’ve definitely needed a dose of something else after I finished that record. Steel pan drums and Casio MT-40s were always going to be a good cure.”