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17 November 2022

Blur On Their Summer 2023 Reunion Shows

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Blur bassist Alex James has spoken about their upcoming reunion shows.

The band have announced a show to take place at London’s Wembley stadium on 8 July. It will be the London four-piece’s first show since 2015 and first at Wembley. Although the group – frontman Damon Albarn, guitarist Graham Coxon, bassist Alex James and drummer Dave Rowntree – released their debut album in 1991, 2023 marks 35 years since their 1988 formation.

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James told Radio X’s Johnny Vaughan: “Keeping it in the bag has been tricky because one of the kids found out and told all the others, then they started telling their… I was like, ‘No, no! You could totally ruin it!’ But they’re really excited!

It’s eight years since the last time we got back together, so my eldest, who’s now smoking my fags, he was in short trousers then. Even when we split up, it didn’t take this long to get it together.

Two weeks ago, I really didn’t think it would happen… and the drummer was like, ‘I don’t think it’s gonna happen’… but we announced Wembley on Monday and I can’t believe it, it’s gone crazy. You never quite know whether people have forgotten you or not. But we did get back in a room together a couple of weeks ago and just bashed through it all.

It’s a lovely thing to dip back into, but it does take me two years to recover.

The very first time the four of us got in a room together, the four of us wrote a song that I’m sure we’ll be playing at Wembley, which ended up being our first single ‘She’s So High’. It was boom, instant, straight away. Completely effortless. The playing together, that’s effortless, it’s the getting together that’s impossible. I’m always the last to know. It’s like, come on, get your bass!”

Meanwhile Blur drummer Dave Rowntree has spoken to the Daily Star newspaper’s Wired column about the secrets of the band’s success: “That the foundation of everything we did was the songs, that’s number one.

“Number two is that people still haven’t figured out how Graham gets that guitar sound, and as long as they don’t we’re at the leading edge of things.

“Ultimately, chemistry is the vital element. Damon [Albarn], Graham and I were in various bands pre-Blur, but we got much better when Alex [James] joined – even at the first rehearsal – and we were signed six months later.

“You can’t manufacture chemistry. Fundamentally, music is a people business, not a music business.”

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