He was speaking at the Ivor Novello Awards
Andrew Trendell
11:31 20th May 2016

He may only be 48-years-old, but that didn't stop Damon Albarn from picking up the Ivor Novello lifetime achievement award yesterday - where his speech included his secret to what 'good songwriting' really means. 

After being given a brilliant intro from friend and Blur bandmate Graham Coxon, the Gorillaz and solo icon concluded with a wonderful message. 

"What is songwriting - what is it all about?" said Albarn. "True songwriters are the people who are able to distance themselves from something that's really effected them, by writing a song about it.

"Some of us see it as going to church, some of us see it as going to work, but at the end of the day, if you're not connecting to the spirit then you're not making good music."

Honouring Albarn's songwriting ability, Coxon said: "He has written some of my favourite songs, and what's great about that is that I got to play on a lot of them. They always display the mischief of a mind that isn't interested in what's expected, but sees music and the world in general as something to process and use, and nothing is wasted. There you go, that's one of yours isn't it?"

Albarn also used his speech to pay tribute to Simple Minds - and reveal that they could be a huge influence on the new Gorillaz album.

Speaking to Gigwise last year on whether or not there would be new material from Blur, drummer Dave Rowntree said: "The issue isn’t ‘shall we do material’, it’s ‘why should we do new material – why should we do anything?’ We all do this, but we all do loads of other things."

He added: "We tend to do whatever seems most interesting at the time, The Magic Whip was interesting because we had a week off and we thought it would be fun to see how much new material we could do in a week. We're not really in a position now where we make plans for an album in 2017 and a tour in 2018. It doesn't work that way any more. If someone has an interesting idea and we're available then we'll do it."

Blur released comeback album The Magic Whip last year - one of the best albums of 2015.