The drummer from the indie rock band Blur, Dave Rowntree, has just been elected as a Labour councillor on the Norfolk County Council. Rowntree is not only a talented and successful drummer, but also a qualified lawyer. He has been a vocal activist for Labour since 2002 and has previously been unsuccessful in his election attempts.
Blur’s most recent album was 2015’s The Magic Whip, which was their first studio album in twelve years and a critical success. Rowntree has said he is putting his music career on hold. “Blur are not doing anything this year as a band. We tend to do things when something interesting comes along,” he said. “No-one else from Blur is running for county council but you never know. We are an unpredictable lot.”
Rowntree campaigned on a ticket of wanting to make Norwich a better place to live and a pledge to help local university students with the various issues they face. Rowntree’s bandmate Damon Albarn has spoken out about Brexit and the upcoming UK general election. He believes the young people are getting the short end of the stick. “I’m not trying to kind of, sorry, belittle the importance of people in middle [England], that specific kind of person, who’s comfortable, doesn’t have necessarily a lot of financial problems anymore. You know, they’ve worked hard all their life, but they’re nostalgic. They want to go back. They don’t want to go forward. We need politics that moves, politicians that look forward and not nostalgic. Isolationism, to my mind, is going back. We need to go forward, we need to keep our minds open.”
Rowntree won 59% of the vote, picking up 1173 of the 1997 overall votes cast. He said he is “delighted and humbled.” It’ll be interesting to see how much time he has to dedicate to any music whatsoever with his new council position and what Blur will be able to do going forward.
I’m delighted and humbled to have been elected County Councillor for University Ward, Norwich. pic.twitter.com/xVrnjzwBCB
— Cllr David Rowntree (@DaveRowntree) May 5, 2017
Photo Credit: Raymond Flotat