The Ballad of Darren



Photo Credit: Reuben Bastienne-Lewis

‘blur present The Ballad of Darren
July 25th, 2023 – 9pm BST
Livestream Tickets Available Here

Less than 6 months since Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Alex James and Dave Rowntree first came back together at Damon’s studio in West London to discuss the possibility of recording a new blur album, the band’s highly-anticipated new studio album The Ballad of Darren is released today on Parlophone/Warner. Listen here

The Ballad of Darren is blur’s ninth studio album – their first in 8 years and produced by James Ford – comprising 10 new tracks recorded at Studio 13 in London and Devon in spring this year. The May 18th album announcement came as a huge surprise to fans, coinciding with a tiny yet epic show at Colchester Arts Centre and the release of a brand new track ‘The Narcissist’, as well as the reveal of an already iconic album cover featuring an image by celebrated British photographer Martin Parr CBE which has put Scotland’s Gourock Outdoor Pool well and truly on the map.  

The release of The Ballad of Darren follows a triumphant weekend of music and joy at Wembley Stadium on July 8th and 9th, two extraordinary and hugely emotional shows which captured “…a sense of momentousness [Financial Times ★★★★★]” and “…fizzed with the vibrant energy of a band in their prime [Evening Standard ★★★★★].

Next week sees the band back on stage in London for something completely different: a very special global performance of the new album, live streamed via Driift from London’s Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith on Tuesday July 25th 2023 at 9pm BST. Titled ‘blur present The Ballad of Darren’, the performance will be the first and only time the band will play the complete album live from start to finish, allowing fans around the world to experience the new record together as part of an intimate one-off music event. Tickets and information here.

The band is on the road for the rest of the year with a tour which will take blur from Europe to Japan and back to South America. 

Complete list of tour dates here:

07/22/23 – Lucca Summer Festival, ITALY
07/25/23 – Global Livestream from London, UK
08/08/23 – Lokerse Feesten, Lokeren, BELGIUM
08/10/23 – Øyafestivalen, Oslo, NORWAY
08/11/23 – Way Out West Festival, Gothenburg, SWEDEN
08/13/23 – Flow Festival, Helsinki, FINLAND
08/19/23 – Summer Sonic 2023, Tokyo, JAPAN
08/20/23 – Summer Sonic 2023, Osaka, JAPAN
08/31/23 – Kalorama Festival, Lisbon, PORTUGAL
11/18/23 – Capital Corona Festival, Mexico City, MEXICO
11/21/23 – Movistar Arena, Bogotá, COLOMBIA
11/24-25/23  – Fauna Primavera Fest, Santiago, CHILE
11/26/23 – Primavera Sound, Buenos Aires, ARGENTINA 

For tickets and information visit

Praise for The Ballad of Darren

“The Britpop legends are back with an enjoyable, heartfelt, and contemplative record” — CONSEQUENCE

“Blur have knocked it out of the park… a must have for Blur fans… an album that can stand alongside their best work” – GOLDMINE ★★★★★

“The prettiest and tightest of their nine albums, elegantly arranged with lush harmonies, baroque flourishes…” — PITCHFORK

“A reclamation of a core Blur ethos mostly unheard for decades… An intimate sense of celebration” – STEREOGUM

“A brilliant, brave, and perhaps most importantly, truly creative album just when it was least expected… exceptional” – UNDER THE RADAR

“This is Blur’s simplest and most direct full-length release–it’s light on sonic flourishes as it nails the basics… ace songwriting and impressive economy.” – WALL STREET JOURNAL  Download album artwork and band press photos here.

About The Ballad of Darren

The Ballad of Darren is blur’s first album in 8 years comprising 10 new tracks was released on 21st July 2023 on Parlophone/Warner. Produced by James Ford and recorded at Studio 13, London and Devon, The Ballad of Darren is the band’s ninth studio album, their first since the chart-topping The Magic Whip in 2015, with artwork featuring an image by British photographer Martin Parr CBE.

The Ballad of Darren track listing is: The Ballad, St Charles Square, Barbaric, Russian Strings, The Everglades (For Leonard), The Narcissist, Goodbye Albert, Far Away Island, Avalon and The Heights

The Ballad of Darren is available as a Digital Download & Stream (10 tracks as above); Standard CD (10 tracks) and Deluxe CD (12 tracks, w. expanded packaging), Standard Vinyl LP – 12” heavyweight black vinyl; and – exclusive to – Deluxe Vinyl pressed on 12″ clear vinyl with black swirls, in a gatefold sleeve, with poster, bonus 7” vinyl, album CD (12 tracks) and integrated booklet, including exclusive handwritten notes, sketches and lyrics; and Cassette (10 tracks).

‘blur present The Ballad of Darren’ – Live Stream Broadcast Times: 

  • Live: Tuesday 25 July 9.00pm BST
  • Rebroadcast #1: Tuesday 25 July 8.00pm EDT 
  • Rebroadcast #2: Tuesday 25 July 8.00pm PDT
  • Rebroadcast #3: Wednesday 26 July 8.00pm AEST
  • On Demand: Wednesday 26 July at 1.00pm BST – Friday 28 July at 1.00pm BST

Livestream ticket prices are: USD: $17.00 / Euro: €15.75 / Australia: AUD25.00 / Argentina (Peso): ARS 2,720.00 / Brazil (Real): BRL 50.00 / Chile (Peso): CLP 8,320.00 / Mexico (Peso): MXN 176.00 / Colombia (Peso): COP 42,800.000 / Peru (Sol): PEN 37.50 

All tickets subject to booking fee. Tickets grant access to the livestream, all rebroadcasts, and to the 2-day On-Demand viewing period.

About blur

Since announcing their arrival with debut album Leisure in 1991, blur went on to revolutionise the sound of English popular music with six successive UK  #1 albums Parklife (1994), The Great Escape (1995), Blur (1997), 13 (1999), Think Tank (2003) and The Magic Whip (2015) and a string of Top 10 singles, including two No 1s with “Country House” and “Beetlebum”, helping to propel the band to mass popularity at home and abroad. One of the biggest British bands of the last three decades, blur have released eight studio albums and collected ten NME Awards, six Q Awards, five BRIT Awards and an Ivor Novello Award, and played live to thousands of devoted fans across the globe. The band’s new studio album titled The Ballad of Darren will be released on July 21st 2023.

* Colchester is the hometown of blur bandmembers Damon Albarn, guitarist Graham Coxon and drummer Dave Rowntree, with Damon and Graham first meeting as teenagers at Stanway School. Graham later introduced Dave to both Damon and bassist Alex James. The band’s debut album Leisure was released in 1991.