Blur reveals Scottish inspiration for surprise comeback album

BLUR are back – and the band have revealed a special connection to Scotland as they prepare to release their first new music in eight years.

The Britpop legends are set to release their ninth studio album, The Ballad Of Darren, in just a few months.

Blur's 9th studio album features a photo of the Gourock Lido


Blur’s 9th studio album features a photo of the Gourock Lido
Freibad Gourock has become an unlikely cover star


Freibad Gourock has become an unlikely cover starCredit: Alamy Live News
The swimming pool is the oldest heated swimming pool in Scotland


The swimming pool is the oldest heated swimming pool in ScotlandCredit: Alamy
Blur, PR Supplied MUST CREDIT: Reuben Bastienne-Lewis


Blur, PR Supplied MUST CREDIT: Reuben Bastienne-LewisCredit: Reuben Bastienne Lewis

But discerning Scots quickly spotted a milestone after the band announced the cover art for the 10-track album due out in July.

Gourock Outdoor Pool, a swimming and leisure facility in Inverclyde, is the cover star of Blur’s new album.

The image “Gourock Lido” was taken in 2004 by photographer Martin Parr.

The bright blue pool with its white loungers and a floating figure contrasts with the moody gray of the River Clyde with Kilcreggan in the background.

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Opened in 1909, the Gourock Outdoor Pool is one of the oldest surviving outdoor pools in the UK and is fully heated, taking salt water from the Clyde and heating it to 29°C.

The saltwater lido, which offers incredible views of the River Clyde, is normally open for outdoor swimming from May to September.

And now the Inverclyde Council-run Gourock pool is immortalized in rock history.

Locals were delighted with the nod to their famous swimming pool.

One said: “Blur uses the Gourock pool as album art for their new album. Inverclyde is once again on the rise.”

Another wrote: “On one hand it’s very confusing Blur used the Gourock pool (Scotland’s oldest heated swimming pool) for their new album cover, but also GROCK ON TOP NON STOP.

A third added: “Blur puts Gourock on the map!”

The first track from the album – The Narcissist – is available now so fans can listen to it ahead of the album’s release.

Of the upcoming songs they’ve written, Damon Albarn said, “This is an aftershock recording, a reflection and a commentary on where we are now.”

Graham Coxon added, “The older and crazier we get, the more important it becomes that what we play is charged with the right emotion and intention.”

“Sometimes one riff just isn’t enough.”

Discussing the collaboration again, David Rowntree said: “It always feels very natural to make music together.”

“With every record we make, the process brings something new to light and we continue to evolve as a band. That is not a matter of course for us.”

Blur will reunite at the Colchester Arts Center tomorrow, followed by a handful of other venues for an intimate tour.

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Fans can watch them live at Eastbourne Winter Gardens, The Halls Wolverhampton and O2 City Hall Newcastle later this month.

They will later reunite for their sold out epic comeback gig at Wembley Stadium over the weekend of July 8th and 9th.

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Emma James

Emma James is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Emma James joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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