"With a debut album on the way next year, Damon Albarn has officially named his new band with Flea and Tony Allen. Making their live premiere on 28 October, they call themselves nothing less than ... Rocketjuice and the Moon.
Tonight's gig has been booked in Cork for months: Another Honest Jon's Chop-Up, a celebration of Honest Jon's, the record shop and label(Albarn's a co-owner of the latter.) The touring concert brings together Chicago's Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, Detroit DJ Theo Parrish, Malian singer Fatoumata Diawara, and the project conceived by Albarn, Flea and Tony Allen last year. Although they said they were "three-quarters finished" on their album in November 2010, this is the public's first chance to get a taste of, er, Rocketjuice. They will then take the Chop-Up on the road, playing London on Saturday and Dublin on 1 November.
"The stuff that I'm going to be playing on these shows with Tony and Flea is from this record we've been making," Albarn explained to the Irish Times. "Rocketjuice and the Moon. Someone in Lagos did the sleeve design and that's the name he gave it, which suits me because trying to find a name for another band is always tricky."
Albarn has compared the band's music to the work of Fela Kuti, with whom Allen played for years. "Flea, of course, is an anagram for Fela and Flea is so into this music – so that's been great," the Blur frontman told Stuff. It's not clear whether some of the Chop-Up's other participants – such as Sun Ra Arkestra trumpeter Phil Cohran, or Diawara, have also contributed to the record. "We've got a very loose plan, but it will all be rehearsed by the time we start," Albarn said of the shows. "We'll be in a nervous but musical state of mind when we get to Cork."