In 2006 a debut album was released, simply entitled The Good, The Bad & The Queen, yet its apocalyptic front cover gave no doubt about its pessimistic vision. Twelve years later, the super group formed by Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorillaz), Paul Simonon (The Clash), Simon Tong (The Verve) and the legendary afro-beat drummer Tony Allen comes back and delivers a second album, Merrie Land, and this for a good reason. In the space of a decade, the dystopia foreseen in the first album partly became true and a more and more divided and distraught Kingdom sees the country shut itself away through the political and bureaucratic conundrums brought by the Brexit and the national debt. Instead of letting their anger burst brutally and straightforwardly, the four musicians paint with this album, the portrait of an ideal British identity, told like an existentialist novel. There is nostalgia, there is sadness, wrapped in a cocoon of bass frequency so as to comfort the listener - musically, the record owes as much to London’s dub culture as to Sgt. Pepper.

So here’s a band to sob tears in a beer, but with the head high and good music in the ears.