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(Credit: Alamy)


Blur drummer Dave Rowntree releases solo debut 'London Bridge'

Dave Rowntree - 'London Bridge'

Blur are technically on an “indefinite hiatus” right now. That doesn’t have to explicitly mean they’re broken up, but it’s been well over half a decade since just about anything has come from the band’s camp. That’s not to say the members themselves haven’t kept busy: Damon Albarn has Gorillaz, Graham Coxon just finished his collaboration with Duran Duran, Alex James still has his cheese farm, and Dave Rowntree is still involved with politics.

Rowntree’s schedule has been a lot more open since his run as a county councillor in Norwich ended in 2021. Freed up from his political responsibilities, Rowntree has elected to release a solo album, which was originally announced last year. Today, we have our first taste of the new LP with the single ‘London Bridge’.

“When I lived in London things just started happening when I was near London Bridge, going over London Bridge on the bus, or on the tube going underneath London Bridge,” Rowntree explained in a statement. “I would just notice events occurring, or have life changing thoughts, make decisions and it was slightly unsettling. I had to confront my London Bridge demons.”

A buzzy electronic rocker, ‘London Bridge’ is a lot close to Blur than the other members’ offshoot projects. Rowntree mostly keeps his voice in a low monotone while getting a boost with some robotic effects that treat his vocal tones. It’s not all that bad: Rowntree was certainly taking some notes from Albarn’s vocal habits while bashing away behind the drum kit all of these years.

But Rowntree is no singer, and ‘London Bridge’ is no pop single. It’s a perfectly adequate electronic rocker, but its central hook lands with a major thud. Instead of soaring, the main melody just kind of meanders its way around until Rowntree decides that the song is over. Without a ton of memorable musical touches to surround himself with, Rowntree just sort of unfurls ‘London Bridge’ without much fanfare or excitement.

Check out the audio for ‘London Bridge’ down below.