Re-listen available now for BBC’s Britpop special where they visit Damon in studio and Noel Gallagher at home. Damon starts half way in.And FYI this isn’t a new interview. When they first advertised this I thought it was, but it’s from early 2000s. You can tell his voice sounds different too.
Damon will play Switzerland’s Montreux Jazz Festival on July 17. Tickets on sale tomorrow at 9am.
Just to go back to ‘Hollow Ponds’ for a moment…you take us to the Black Sea in 1979 too. You spent time in Turkey when you were young – that would’ve been quite an unusual experience.
DA: Yeah. I went with a friend of my parents when I was nine – I spent a month there. And I had a lot of time on my own, which might sound quite sort of irresponsible now, but I spent a lot of time just walking around towns like Istanbul and Izmir on my own. I mean, we’re talking the Midnight Express kind of era! But I never encountered any weirdness, you know. It’s a testament to the nature of people that I was able to walk around, and I remember having some very profound experiences being invited into mosques and praying with the men. Me being a little, blonde nine-year-old – it’s kind of mad.
It must have felt quite liberating – but possibly slightly nerve-wracking – to be filmed by the BBC in your old street.
DA: We didn’t film outside my actual house. I’d been there quite a few times before we filmed, just to see it. It’s such a personal, strange thing to do…to just stand outside, trying not to get noticed by anyone. And then the day we were filming, the door opened, and I thought, “Oh God”… and this very elegant, conservatively-dressed Muslim girl in her mid-20s came out. And straightaway she went, “Hello Mr. Albarn”. And I went, “Oh!” She said, “I know you used to live here,” and I went, “How do you know that?” Then she told me that when she was a little girl, around 1995, another film crew came round and she remembered her Mum wouldn’t let them in. “And she won’t let you in now,” she said. [laughs] Which is understandable! Then at the end she went, “Good luck, I know you’ve got a new record coming out” – she knew everything, basically, about me. I thought that was really, really nice, so I said, “Give my love to the house”, and she said, “I will do.” In that little moment, I felt that connection with the house and the people in there…I was really pleased about that."