Damon Albarn: "We mustn't ignore live music"

2 November 2020, 12:11

Damon Albarn performing live in London, July 2019
Damon Albarn performing live in London, July 2019. Picture: Gus Stewart/Redferns/Getty Images

The Gorillaz and Blur man says that COVID-19 isn't just a medical emergency - but an "existential one" too.

Damon Albarn has said that he thinks music is important to help society to get over the COVID-19 pandemic - and that governments should allow people to play live music as long as guidelines are followed.

The Gorillaz and Blur musician has said before that music is good for mental health, but has now added that the Coronovirus crisis is ""It's a medical emergency but an existential one as well."

Speaking to Sky News, Albarn explained: "You've got to allow music to continue ... We are trying to preserve everyone's health at the moment so passionately, we mustn't ignore live music in that prescription.

"If people are willing to perform, they should be allowed to, no one should be forced to do anything but if people are willing then somehow we can make it work so everyone can feel comfortable and participate.

"It's more important than ever to imagine the future."

Albarn recorded the new Gorillaz album Song Machine Season 1 in lockdown and while he says the tracks show reflect the stresses and concerns of the period, he was pleased that Zoom studio sessions with the likes of Robert Smith of The Cure, Beck Slowthai and Slaves were frutiful.

He went on: "That anxiety is inevitably in it, that we all share. We had planned we'd fly to Atlanta and meet Elton John there, and that became impossible, but somehow we still found that spirit via Zoom.

"It's been an important lifeline for creative work. I've never worked like that, it's always been an in-the-room process, but it didn't seem to inhibit music in the end."