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“Twenty years ago it would have been front-page news. A return to Gorillaz seven years after Plastic Beach is the latest chapter in his music career following just the two stage musicals (Dr Dee and wonder.land), a debut solo album, live and studio Blur reunions, more Africa Express and numerous other projects.
The eye-catching line-up of guest vocalists includes three formidable older women — Mavis Staples, Grace Jones and Carly Simon, described by Damon as the project’s “matriarchs”.
“Would you go out and get battered or would you just stay at home watching the news? suddenly more relevant because of the incumbent with the sandy comb-over.
He succeeded because Humanz has emerged from that vision as a magnificent multicultural mash-up that crosses genres and generations with unbridled fervour.
Blur mucker Graham Coxon adds a splash of guitar to Submission, while Noel Gallagher — once regarded as Damon’s Britpop nemesis — joins in on We Got The Power along with guest star Jehnny Beth from Savages.
Damon’s keen to set the record straight on Noel, a fellow traveller who he counts as a good friend. Noel’s really bright and I love hanging out with him,” he says. he’s a superb guy, an amazing musician and he has the best keyboard collection in the world.” I’m sitting with Damon in the top-floor kitchen of his London studio with his beloved Westway scything through the stunning urban view.