In one of several asides to the crowd at Pryzm in Kingston last night, Damon Albarn took the opportunity to talk about his process.

The former Blur frontman said that he was taking himself "out of his comfort zone" with the new record, The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure the Stream Flows.

With its haunting vocals and spooky atmosphere the album, which was sold alongside tickets for two November 11 shows in Kingston courtesy of Banquet Records, definitely feels like a departure from some of Albarn's more upbeat recent work on Africa Express and his previous solo album Everyday Robots.

The crowd for the late show at Pryzm seemed mesmerized at times by the piano work and simmering baselines that opened the concert and feature heavily on the new record.

Many only began moving in earnest when flashes of earlier material like Lonely Press Play flared. Yet the persistent quality on show won over even the 90s nostalgia diehards in the end.

Fantastic performances from Albarn's band, including several dazzling saxophone solos and an infectious rhythm section, played a big part in that.

And by its conclusion the gig was another example of how Albarn continues to be one of his generation's most interesting songwriters. After all, his innovative approach and creative experimentation helped bring Britpop, Gorillaz, and even a West End opera among many other projects to life. It was always one of the key ingredients that made Blur so great in the first place.

The new material may not have landed with the entirety of the Pryzm crowd as easily as seminal hits from the Blur back catalogue like Beetlebum or a triumphant rendition of This Is A Low. It did however underline why Albarn remains a peerless musician, and will likely continue to keep us enthralled by his virtuoso gifts for many years to come.

Images courtesy of Photographer Ciaran Frederick: Instagram @ciaranfrederick /