16th November sees the release of Merrie Land, the second album from The Good, The Bad & The Queen, a band comprising of Damon Albarn, Paul Simonon, Tony Allen and Simon Tong.
The Good, The Bad & The Queen began life as the acclaimed 2007 album of the same name, a heartfelt tribute to London described by The Observer in a 5-star review as –“One of the most surprising and magical records for which Damon Albarn has ever been responsible”. The record traced a journey from the English music hall tradition to West Africa and Afrobeat, zigzagging through the West Indies and its reggae and dub, back to England and London's punk scene, all the while taking in a strand of British beat music from the '50s right through to Britpop. The result was a record specific to a place and mood but with a background that was geographically wide-ranging.
Following an eleven-year hiatus since their eponymous debut, the four musical storytellers are back with Merrie Land, which will be self-released on the newly created label Studio 13. Produced by Tony Visconti and The Good, The Bad & The Queen, Merrie Land contains 10 new songs - written during the current period in which the UK is preparing to leave the European Union - creating a reluctant good-bye letter, a series of observations and reflections on Britishness in 2018.
Merrie Land’s focus moves beyond GBQ’s London-themed first album to a wider land, with a beautiful and hopeful paean to the Britain of today, an inclusive Britain, currently in an Anglo-Saxostentialist crises at the end of a relationship, wondering what might be salvaged. Could there be a more perfect band - with their creative symbiosis of pasts and present and shared acclaimed music histories - to reflect on the anticipation, disorientation and confusion of current life.
The full track listing for Merrie Land is:
- Merrie Land
- Gun to the Head
- Nineteen Seventeen
- The Great Fire
- Lady Boston
- Drifters & Trawlers
- The Truce of Twilight
- The Last Man to Leave
- The Poison Tree
Merrie Land will be available in several formats:
- on CD and vinyl, or limited edition green vinyl;
- limited edition deluxe CD with a beautiful 56-page A4 hardback book containing handpicked original and reimagined photos by Paul Simonon, sheet music, lyrics and artwork;
- The Boxset will contain the above, plus heavyweight green vinyl LP, an exclusive screen print, postcards & bonus tracks.
- The Super Boxset offers all of the above plus a selection of coloured ribbons and a limited wood-cut print, hand printed by Paul Simonon.
December sees the band set out on tour for a run of UK shows, performing this collection of new songs live, for the very first time, in Blackpool, Glasgow and East London. Tickets go on sale this Friday 26th October at 9am.
Dec 1st – The North Pier, Blackpool
Dec 2nd – SWG3, Glasgow
Dec 4th – Hackney Arts Centre, London
Dec 5th – Hackney Arts Centre, London
Dec 6th - Hackney Arts Centre, London
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