Gorillaz debuted a new song featuring AJ Tracey at their concert at The O2 in London on Tuesday night (10.08.21).
The band performed a free show for NHS workers and their families to thank them for all their hard work and the sacrifices they made to save lives in the UK during the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the middle of their set, Gorillaz – fronted by Damon Albarn – debuted three new collaborative tracks; ‘Meanwhile’ with Jelani Blackman, ‘De Ja Vu’ with Alicai Harley and ‘Jimmy Jimmy’ with British rap sensation Tracey, which proved to be a highlight of the night.
The ‘Dirty Harry’ hitmakers also brought out a host of other special guests, including The Cure frontman Robert Smith who joined the band for a rendition of ‘Strange Timez’, the lead track from Gorillaz’s seventh studio album ‘Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez’, which was released in 2020.
Other collaborators were 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.
The mammoth 32-song show was the first concert in front of a live audience Gorillaz – also comprised of Jamie Hewlett and Remi Kabaka Jr. – had played since October 2018.
Damon – who started his incredible music career as Blur’s singer – recently teased that Gorillaz’s next LP would see the once animated group “going back to the spirit of their first record”, 2001’s self-titled debut, and was a “nice counter-balance” to his upcoming new solo album ‘The Nearer the Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows’.
He said: “It’s really exciting and we’ve been really enjoying it. 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.”