Matthew Dancona

Back in a Blur

Back in a Blur
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Old rockers don’t die, they just go to Glastonbury. Or, in the case of our own Alex James, write a column for The Spectator. It is nine years since Blur played together and, though their forthcoming reunion tour has been public knowledge for a while, there is a special frisson in today’s disclosure that they will be headlining at the summer’s main festival: the annual riot of mud and noise known as Glastonbury. As anyone who has read John Harris’s masterly book, The Last Party, knows, the band were the defining force not only in the movement that became known as “Britpop”, but also minstrels to the political spirit of the mid-Nineties: variously known as “Cool Britannia”, “New Britain”, or (by sceptics) “Blairite Hell”.

How very long ago that prosperous, decadent time now seems. Britain is grey again, deep in a recession of unknowable depth and duration, and as far from the era of Blur’s greatest records as it is possible to imagine. Still: this 41-year-old cannot suppress his excitement at the prospect of once again hearing live renditions of “Parklife”, “Tender”, “There’s no Other Way”, “Girls & Boys”, and all the other classics that were the soundtrack to the generation that grew up between the fall of the Berlin Wall and 9/11. They don’t make tunes like that any more, you know.

Just make sure you file your copy on time, Alex