Are we out of time? Damon Albarn carried off stage following five-hour set

Blur frontman’s show with Africa Express at Roskilde in Denmark lasted until 4am, and was only stopped once ‘Big Dave’ intervened

Damon Albarn’s appearance at Roskilde music festival on 4 July ended with an intervention, when the Blur frontman refused to leave the stage during a five-hour set.

Closing the annual event in Denmark, Albarn and his Africa Express collective – which includes Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Nick Zinner, Seye Adelekan and Songhoy Blues - embarked on an epic performance that lasted until 4am. The set included covers of Randy Newman and reinterpretations of Gorillaz tunes, and special guests such as Graham Coxon and Laura Mvula also stepped in during the five-hour extravaganza.

Went with a Guitar came back with a maraca! #africaexpress

— graham coxon (@grahamcoxon) July 5, 2015

The festival has previously encountered serious problems with regards to audience control: most notably an incident in 2000, when nine people died and 26 were injured during Pearl Jam’s performance.

Ian Birrell, co-founder of Africa Express, told the Guardian that the show only ran over the 4am curfew by five minutes before Dave Prentice, the veteran Africa Express stage manager usually known as “Big Dave”, carried him off stage.

“The crowd were in a very ebullient mood despite it being 4am. They were chanting for more and more, quite noisily,” said Birrell.

“Damon was clearly enjoying himself and wanted to carry on, as did all the musicians.”

Once the show was over, Albarn and the rest of the collective continued to make music backstage, as did the crowd, who “carried on outside the tent for almost an hour”, said Birrell. “They were drumming against the poles of the tent and chanting.”

Watch the footage below:

As ever, Albarn is in the midst of many musical projects: as well as his ongoing work with Africa Express, his band Blur are playing a number of dates across the globe this summer following the release of album The Magic Whip, while, his modern reworking of Alice in Wonderland, is currently on at Manchester international festival.


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