Blur announce comeback gig

COLCHESTER band Blur have announced a reunion in front of thousands of adoring fans - the first time the original line-up will have performed together for eight years.

Elliot Furniss

COLCHESTER band Blur have announced a reunion in front of thousands of adoring fans - the first time the original line-up will have performed together for eight years.

After a long break, the group, which has its roots firmly set in the north Essex town, is finally reforming and yesterday announced a massive show at London's Hyde Park next summer.

During a steady rise to the top in the 1990s Blur sold millions of records around the world, releasing a string of landmark albums.


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Childhood friends Damon Albarn and Graham Coxon both attended the Stanway School in Colchester and formed the band, originally called Seymour, in 1989 when they attended Goldsmiths College in London with Alex James.

Dave Rowntree, another former Colchester-born musician who had attended the Gilberd School, completed the four-piece - who would go on to find early success on the indie circuit before becoming one of the biggest bands in the UK after the release of Parklife in 1994.

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A series of hit albums followed before lead guitarist Coxon left the group during the recording of its final album, 2003's Think Tank.

The band continued briefly without him, promoting the album and playing shows around the world, but the original line-up has not performed on stage together since 2000.

In recent years, Albarn, 40, has been working with artists from around the world on a number of groundbreaking projects as well as forming the cartoon group, Gorillaz and headlining Suffolk's Latitude Festival with his other act, The Good, the Bad and the Queen.

James, 40, has worked as a writer and makes cheese on his Oxfordshire farm while Rowntree, 44, has been involved in digital animation and launched a political career, representing the Labour Party.

Since the split, Coxon, 39, has released two further solo albums to go with the four he recorded during his time in Blur but now the group are back together and looking forward to hitting the road.

In an interview with the NME this week, Albarn said it “just felt right again” to reunite.

“It somehow feels like there's something for us to do again, we're not completely useless or pointless, we've got a reason to exist,” he said.

As well as the Hyde Park show on July 3, more concerts across the UK are set to be announced while rumours persist that Blur will becoming the latest big name act to headline the Glastonbury music festival next year.

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