Blur's Damon Albarn takes swipe at Rolling Stones and their new album Hackney Diamonds

Damon Albarn onstage
(Image credit: Ovidio Gonzalez)

The Rolling Stones have come under fire from Blur frontman Damon Albarn for the way they promoted their new album Hackney Diamonds.

Albarn says the rock icons had no right to turn up at the Hackney Empire venue to launch the album earlier this year.

And he describes the record as the Stones making "exactly the same music but not that good."

Albarn tells Les Inrockuptibles: "This really annoyed me. Because my family lives in Hackney and the way they showed up at the Hackney Empire venue really pissed me off. They’ve never did a thing in Hackney, they’ve never played there, never contributed to anything. They just showed up. It’s all nonsense.

"And I listened to their new song and watched this horrible music video (for Angry) showing them at different stages of their lives on billboards. And this young woman objectified. What the hell is this? There’s something completely disconnected."

Asked whether he can see himself portrayed in a similar way on billboards at the age of 80, Albarn adds: "There’s no chance and I’ll tell you why. I did all sorts of things, whereas they’ve never been anything other than the Rolling Stones.

"I love the idea of devoting your life to one thing, in search of the sublime. But the truth is, they’ve became worse. Worse at persisting to stay themselves. That’s something I don’t understand.

"Making exactly the same music but not that good. There must be no joy in doing something like this."

It's not the first time Albarn has had a pop at fellow musicians of course. He was at the centre of the battle of Britpop as Blur faced off against Oasis for top dog status. And he once took aim at The Smiths singer Morrissey's outspoken self-confidence.

Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.