Sessions for 'The Good, The Bad & The Queen' took place in Damon's (Albarn) studio just off the Golborne Road, and in Devon, and were finished by early summer 2006.
The result is a record specific to a place and a time but with a background that is geographically wide-ranging and stretches far back into a glittering musical past. The Good, The Bad & The Queen traces a journey from the English music hall tradition, over to West Africa for Afrobeat, zigzagging through the West Indies and its reggae and dub, back to England and London's punk scene, all the while taking in a strand of British beat music from the '50s right through to Britpop.
It is, says Damon, "a series of letters and historical stories and moments in time. It's not a nostalgic play on Englishness. It's more about what I think it is to be English now. I think we've made a record that has quite a fresh approach to this part of London." For Paul, the key to understanding the area is Portobello Market: "it's the focal point for the whole community, rich or poor, all different cultures. We're products of living here, our experiences and our outlook. We're open-minded people really."
The title refers to a line on the record's climax; "It's the blessed routine for the good the bad and the Queen." Which is another way of saying "this is about today, this is about the present". The Good, The Bad & The Queen is a heartfelt tribute to London: a detailed historical document and a hymn to the possibilities of the future.