For a group made up of members from the likes of The Clash, Blur, Gorillaz, and The Verve, the term ‘supergroup’ perfectly fits The Good, The Bad & The Queen, both in function and sound.
Having little more than respective
reputations to go by, it would be difficult to know what to expect for such artistic
breadth transcending some of the most beloved British acts over the last 40+
years. The result, both captivating and poignant, illustrated how performance
can enhance the fundamental charm of a band.
Decorated with sullen fabric lamps and fairy lights draped along an ornate backdrop, the stage conveyed an almost melancholic quality when presented with the groups heavily layered sound. Along with full ensemble cast of extra percussion, keys, and even a string quartet, it was clear the transition from the studio to a live setting had been straightforward, much to the crowd’s enjoyment.
This was a performance made for the stage, complete with intermission between full run-throughs of both studio albums. Frontman Damon Albarn was also keen to demonstrate the virtues of theatrics in Liverpool. Playing front and center, naturally, he would clutch the gazes of the audience members, swaying across the stage in true vaudeville motion through aerial cuts ‘Merrie Land’ and ‘History Song’. Essentially playing the role of puppet master, he would time and cast the spirit of a multi-instrumentalist to perfection. The performance often accumulated in cacophony as he would slam his piano across the rhythmic powerhouse of Simonon, Tong, and Allen, none more so than on whirlwind closer ‘The Good, The Bad, And The Queen’.
It’s often strange watching artists perform music you could never normally associate them with, yet this felt entirely familiar as myself and the audience were undoubtedly under their spell throughout the 90-minute set.
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