Gorillaz closed out the year with live shows beamed around the world from the basement of Kong Studios. Song Machine Live From Kong saw viewers from 120 countries, from Albania to Vietnam by way of the Faroe Islands, tune in to join Damon Albarn and a 14 piece live band, with 2D, Noodle, Murdoc Niccals and Russel Hobbs, plus special guests including Kano, slowthai, Leee John, Matt Berry, Sweetie Irie, Slaves (Isaac & Laurie), Georgia and Peter Hook all live in the room, and virtually by Beck, Fatoumata Diawara, Elton John, JPEGMAFIA, ScHoolboy Q and 6Black. The full-scale production brought together a 180-strong Gorillaz family of artists, musicians and crew joining a COVID-compliant bubble to deliver a live experience like no other.
On Christmas Eve, the band will release Season One finale episode of Song Machine, The Lost Chord (ft. Leee John), with another brand new video from Jamie Hewlett, a glorious homage to Cinecolor which sees our band of survivors 2D, Murdoc Niccals, Russel Hobbs and Noodle make a return visit to Plastic Beach because, as 2D sings “At this time of year I’m always in need of the silent waves…”.
Gorillaz started the year with the first episode of Song Machine, ‘Momentary Bliss’ (ft. slowthai and Slaves), released on 30th January and they haven’t stopped since… Here are the highlights:
17 New Songs
24 Collaborations with Featured Artists
1 New Album
9 Episodes of Song Machine
1 x 8-bit Aries Driving Game
18 Machine Bitez
3 Live Streamed Concerts
1 x 210+ page Annual
4 new Vinyl Figures
13 Lyric Videos
8 Art Prints
1 range of Hot Sauce by Russel Hobbs
1 Song Machine Radio Series with Apple Music (x4 episodes)
1 animated Elton John
2 Lockdown Performances
1 Gorillaz Christmas Pazuzu Jumper
Plus a whole range of Gorillaz gear
The ongoing and ever-evolving process resulted in an expansive 17-track collection featuring Beck, Elton John, Fatoumata Diawara, Georgia, Kano, Leee John, Octavian, Peter Hook, Robert Smith, Roxani Arias, ScHoolboy Q, Slaves, Slowthai, St Vincent and 6LACK, CHAI, EARTHGANG, Goldlink, Joan As Police Woman, JPEGMAFIA, Moonchild Sanelly, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Skepta and of course Tony Allen captured live in Kong Studios and beyond.Virtual band Gorillaz is singer 2D, bassist Murdoc Niccals, guitarist Noodle and drummer Russel Hobbs. Created by Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett, their acclaimed eponymous debut album was released in 2001.