Damon Albarn’s dark journey to launch new album with intimate York Minster concert

The poster announcing Damon Albarn’s York Minster concert

DAMON Albarn will play York Minster in a special intimate album-launch show on December 2.

Yes, you read that right. Damon Albarn. York Minster. Intimate show. December 2.

Hurry, hurry: a gone-in-a-flash sell-out is expected when ticket bundles go on sale tomorrow morning at 10am for the Blur, Gorillaz and The Good, The Bad & The Queen leader’s concert to celebrate the November 12 release of his solo studio recording The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure The Stream Flows.

Doors will open at 6.30pm for Albarn’s first-ever York gig, organised by Leeds promoters Brudenell Presents and Leeds record store Crash Records.

“Bit of a crazy announcement…we’re incredibly proud to be teaming up with @Crash_Records to host the legendary @Damonalbarn at York Minster this December!” reads Brudenell Presents’ tweet. “Album & Ticket bundles go on-sale tomorrow via the Crash website.”

That crashrecords.co.uk website advises: “Door times 6:30pm. There will be no support and Damon will go on as soon as everyone is inside, so please be prompt so you don’t miss anything (we suggest being there for doors).

The artwork for Damon Albarn’s November 12 album, The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure The Stream Flows

“We have set up special bundles for this release where fans can purchase an album on a format of your choice and get a ticket for this exclusive show.

“There is a limited capacity for this (14+ ages) event so we would expect all the album and ticket bundles to sell out very quickly.”

The ticket and album bundles are: CD and one ticket, £23.99, limited to four per person; vinyl LP and one ticket, £34.99, limited to two per person; one ticket only, £20, limited to one per person.

Crash Records say: “We urge you to consider buying an album bundle rather than ticket only as they only cost £3.99 more to get a CD, plus this way you are helping the artist, and the more albums we sell, the more of these exciting album launch shows we are able to put on in the future.

“Full entry requirements from the venue will be sent via email around a week before the event, so please place your order using an email you check regularly and, if possible, add boss@crashrecords.co.uk to your safe/whitelist, so it doesn’t end up in your junk/spam folder.

“Shipping is the only option for this event. Tickets and albums will be shipped out together on or just before the release date of November 12, so please ensure the address details are correct. There is No Collect At Venue or Collect In Store option. All tickets and stock will be shipped out.”

“I have been on my own dark journey while making this record,” says Damon Albarn. Picture: Linda Brownlee

The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure The Stream Flows is Albarn’s first release for his new label, Transgressive Records, with a track listing of The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure The Stream Flows; The Cormorant; Royal Morning Blue; Combustion; Daft Wader; Darkness To Light; Esja; The Tower Of Montevideo; Giraffe Trumpet Sea; Polaris and Particles.

The CD edition will include a 20-minute “hidden” track of a new and original recording that inspired some of the record’s themes, not available on other formats.

The album originally was intended as an orchestral piece inspired by the landscapes of Iceland. This past year, however, has seen 53-year-old Albarn return to the music in lockdown to develop the work into 11 tracks that further explore themes of fragility, loss, emergence and rebirth.

The result is a panoramic collection of songs with Albarn as storyteller and an album title taken from a John Clare poem, Love And Memory. “I have been on my own dark journey while making this record and it led me to believe that a pure source might still exist,” he says.

The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure The Stream Flows will be available in a digital format, on limited-edition white vinyl, plus CD and cassette. A deluxe edition will take the form of a case-bound book with additional photography, original scanned lyrics and artwork from Albarn, alongside a white vinyl album, a high-quality digital file and a bonus 7-inch featuring an exclusive song from the recording sessions.


TICKETS sold out in only five minutes for Damon Albarn’s 6.30pm concert on December 2, one Tweeter even saying all tickets had gone by the time she went online at 9.42am before officially going on sale at 10am on November 5 .

A second York Minster show was duly added for 8.30pm that night, with ticket bundles on sale from 9am on November 10. Whoosh, gone too.