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Damon Albarn hits out at The Rolling Stones for “nonsense” involvement with Hackney

“They’ve never did a thing in Hackney, they’ve never played there, never contributed to anything. They just showed up”

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Blur‘s Damon Albarn has numerous bones to pick with the Rolling Stones, saying he’s “pissed off” with the way they used Hackney to launch their latest album, among other things including what he has perceived to be a decline in the quality of their music.

The Stones returned with their new album Hackney Diamonds in October, which they launched in the London borough that gave the record its name.

Albarn, however, tells French magazine Les Inrockuptibles that the use of Hackney in the album’s branding “really annoyed” him, explaining: “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.”

He is also critical of the video for the album’s lead single Angry, which features Euphoria star Sydney Sweeney, who Albarn thought was “objectified”.

“I listened to their new song and watched this horrible music video showing them at different stages of their lives on billboards,” he explains. “And this young woman objectified. What the hell is this? There’s something completely disconnected.”

Albarn is also asked if he would be “80 years old, on billboards capitalising on your past glory”, to which he responds: “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,” he says. “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.”

Elsewhere, Johnny Marr has praised Rolling Stones guitar legend Keith Richards for inventing a “complete guitar style and genre all his own” ahead of his 80th birthday next week.

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