Despite Labour’s historic victory at the UK general election yesterday (July 4), Blur drummer Dave Rowntree was unsuccessful in his bid to become MP for his Mid Sussex constituency.

Rowntree was beaten to a seat by Alison Bennett, the candidate for the Liberal Democrats.

When he announced he’d been selected as Labour candidate last March, he said: “I’m delighted to have the opportunity to become Labour’s first Mid Sussex MP. Residents have their best chance in a generation to make their vote count and return a Labour MP to parliament.”

Sir Keir Starmer has now fulfilled that aim, with Labour sweeping hundreds of seats across the country and ending 14 years of Conservative rule.

The FAC, for whom Rowntree is an Artist in Residence, have extended their commiserations to the X drummer, but have said they look forward to working with “a new influx of MPs” following the Labour win.

At the end of year FAC AGM in 2023, which NME supported, Rowntree highlighted the financial difficulties musicians were facing because of streaming.

“Our Blur album ‘The Ballad Of Darren’ on week one in the UK sold just over 44,000 units – including 22,000 vinyl albums, 13,000 CDs, 3,000 cassettes and 2,000 sales-equivalent streams,” he said.

“In fact, the album had tens of millions of streams on Spotify alone but the cassette sales had a bigger impact on our chart position. How does that make sense?”

Last year, Rowntree shared his thoughts on the current PM with NME, and forecasted his election victory.

Touching on the public’s perception of Starmer, he said: “Well, the test is at General Elections. If he wins the General Election, he’ll be widely touted as the most visionary Labour leader of modern times and will join the incredibly small number of Labour leaders who’ve gone on to become prime minister.

“If he loses, he’ll be regarded as an idiot who wrecked the Labour Party and achieved nothing,” he continued. “That’s how politics works – it’s pointless saying how he’s doing at the moment. The purpose of being the leader of the Labour Party is to win the General Election. He’s either going to do it or he isn’t.”

Elsewhere, Blur have announced their new ‘Live at Wembley Stadium’ album, which will accompany their brand-new documentary and concert film To The End.

In a five-star review of the filmNME shared: “They bicker, they hug, they call each other c**ts, they get the job done. While Blur’s last doc and accompanying live movie No Distance Left To Run was a portrait of a band celebrating their legacy and giving a nostalgia-hungry world exactly what they craved, this spiritual sequel shows a band simply supporting each other. Whether they return again or not remains to be seen. But even if they don’t, this was one hell of a final fling.”

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