Albarn Rules Lewisham at the Rivoli Ballroom

The Rivoli Ballroom

The Rivoli Ballroom Pic: Valeria Beretta

It’s not every day that major rockstars turn to Lewisham to warm up. But of all the venues in all the towns in all the world, Damon Albarn played at the Rivoli Ballroom in Brockley.

The man who is referred to as the ‘Ray Davies of his generation’ turned a small, cozy venue into a heaven of retrospective and celebration of a longstanding career.

The Jam Circus tends to be the star of the south end of Brockley Road, but yesterday, the pub’s thunder was stolen by the last 1950s ballroom in London.

People from all over the world started to queue outside the Rivoli early in the afternoon.

To them, the Tube strike was a mere bump in the road. Nothing would  keep them from watching their favourite artist after flying from the Netherlands, the US and even Mexico.

By 6pm, the rim of ‘the strip’ was packed with Damon Albarn fans. Doors opened at 7:45, though it should have happened sooner.

Rumour has it, Damon pushed back the gig to watch the first half of the Champions League semi-final.

Little did he know that his beloved Chelsea was about to be kicked out of the tournament by Atlético de Madrid.

An hour later, Damon took the stage, but not before suiting up. The slick wardrobe choice matched the ‘adult’ nature of Everyday Robots, his first solo album.

Damon Albarn performing at the Rivoli Pic: Valeria Beretta

Damon Albarn performing at the Rivoli Pic: Valeria Beretta

Supported by The Heavy Seas, Damon Albarn performed the better part of his shiny new record, starting with “Lonely Press Play”.

The Blur frontman didn’t leave out the band’s legacy, and he played hits like “Out Of Time” with special arrangements.

When it came to the encore, rapper Kano joined the stage to perform “Clint Eastwood”, Gorillaz staple song.

Damon Albarn wrapped things up with “This Is A Low” and the Jam Circus got its thunder back from the Rivoli.

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