It started with a gentle “I need your participation, please”, as Blur frontman Damon Albarn sought an audience singalong during a Coachella performance.

But as the British rock band were consistently met with near-silence, an increasingly frustrated Albarn eventually remarked: “You’ll never see us again”.

The English band have released nine albums since its formation in 1988, seven of which reached No 1 in the charts, including their latest record, The Ballad of Darren, which was produced following an eight-year break.

But some of their hits did not seem to resonate with audiences at the world-famous Coachella festival, held at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, over the weekend.

During their Saturday slot, the group, part of a star-studded line-up, performed a host of their hits including Song 2, Beetlebum and Tender.

As the band struck up the chords to their 1994 hit Girls & Boys, lead singer Albarn, 56, tried to encourage the crowd to sing along to the chorus, saying: “I need your participation, please.”

In videos shared on social media, he can be seen attempting to engage the concert-goers a number of times, telling them “you can do it better than that”, but his efforts continued to receive a lacklustre response from the US crowd.

Damon Albarn of British band Blur performs during the Coachella Music Festival in Indio, California in 2013. Pic: Reuters
Image:
Damon Albarn of British band Blur performs during the Coachella Music Festival in Indio, California in 2013. Pic: Reuters


The musician appeared to get increasingly frustrated until he told the audience: “You’ll never see us again so you may as
well f****** sing it.”

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Dressed in a white suit and a black T-shirt paired with a pair of black sunglasses, Albarn led the band, which also includes guitarist Graham Coxon, bass guitarist Alex James and drummer Dave Rowntree.

Blur have released nine albums in total, including 1994’s Parklife, 1995’s The Great Escape, 1997’s Blur, 1999’s 13, 2003’s Think Tank and 2015’s The Magic Whip – which all went to number one in the charts.

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The group helped pioneer the Britpop genre, fiercely competing with rival band Oasis in the charts over the years.

They went on hiatus after their 2015 Magic Whip tour, but came back last year with their first record for eight years, titled The Ballad Of Darren, which soared to number one.

Singer-songwriter Raye and dance outfit Jungle were also among the British acts who took to the Coachella stage over the weekend.

London-born Raye teased her next music project during her set, the follow-up to her award-winning debut album My 21st Century Blues.

Last month, she overtook Blur, Harry Styles and Adele by picking up the most Brit awards in one year during the 2024 ceremony.



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