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'Blur: To the End' Documentary Goes Inside the Band's Reunion and 'The Ballad of Darren'

'The fact that we haven’t always got on, that is one of the chemistry points that has led to us being able to make the music we do.'

qblur to the end doc still
Source: Up The Game/Altitude Media Group

'To the End' traces the genesis of Blur's most recent album, 'The Ballad of Darren.'

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A new feature-length documentary chronicling the reunion of Blur in 2023 and the success of their U.K. No. 1 album The Ballad of Darren is coming to cinemas on July 19. Watch the official film trailer for Blur: To the End below.

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Source: © Up The Game/Altitude Media Group

blur: To The End - A New Documentary Film - Official Trailer

The documentary was filmed during a period when the band – Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Alex James and Dave Rowntree – were in essence meeting again for the first time in a decade, having not released any new Blur material since 2015's Magic Whip. As most everyone was off doing solo projects and Albarn was immersed in Gorillaz and touring, it seemed unlikely that the four would come together for recording sessions.

Albarn began writing and recording demos in 2022, and by the end of the year he had 24 songs ready. Taking in the group's prickly past history, with breakups, reunions and Albarn changing his mind in interviews throughout the years about the status of Blur, it was unclear whether the chemistry within the band would trigger an implosion or spark a new fire.

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Source: MAR/Capital Pictures / MEGA

Albarn takes a leap of faith at Wembley Stadium, July 2023.

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Snippets of conversation sprinkled about in the trailer reveal that the band was just as unsure. In the film, Albarn says, "I don't think any of us thought we'd make another record, especially not a record like this. I suppose that's why I wanted to try and make it as good as possible." Adds Rowntree elsewhere: "The fact that we haven’t always got on, that is one of the chemistry points that has led to us being able to make the music we do. I’m absolutely convinced of it.”

Source: ℗ © Extra Mile Music Limited, Thirteen Ltd/Blur/YouTube

blur - The Narcissist (BBC Radio 2 In Concert)

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Blur has often been unusually honest about their own group dynamics, as well as their own hesitancy about the rigors of touring. In an interview with L.A. radio station KROQ earlier this year, Albarn revealed he was wary of doing the second of two ultimately triumphant shows at Wembley Stadium in the summer of 2023, recalling: "The first night was great, and then the next night, I didn’t want to do another gig. I was trying to find reasons to cancel it. I was sitting in a hotel at Wembley Parks, like a travel lodge or something, and I was watching these people coming in and I was like, ‘Well, I can’t cancel that.’”

The six-time Q Award winners had a less than stellar time at this year's Coachella Festival, and perhaps as some noted it may have to do with the band's lower profile in the U.S. in the ensuing decades since they broke through with 1991's Leisure, and had the support of the alternative music scene and college radio.

On a happier note, the band recently commemorated the 30th anniversary of breakthrough album Parklife by sharing a newly restored 4K version of the title track's music video and unearthed previously unseen footage from the shoot.

Source: ℗ © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner Chappell Music, Inc/Blur/YouTube

Blur - Song 2 - Live at Coachella 2024

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Blur: To The End will open July 19 in U.K. and Irish cinemas, and you can book your tickets in advance at Blur's website.


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