Take a read of this article from The Guardian newspaper about a newly reformed Blur.
In an age where a lot of bands are getting back together, this one feels a bit different, going beyond the usual rock clichés of ‘we’ve put the past behind us’, and ‘the music is bigger than our petty squabbles’. For one thing, the word nostalgia isn’t a dirty word.
It’s admitted in the article that the period when the band made its best work were the among the best times of their lives, particularly kicking off with their 1993 album Modern Life Is Rubbish, through to the heady days of 1994’s Parklife, when they captured the attention of an entire nation. That the Brit-Pop hangover albums 13 and the self-titled Blur, not to mention the very rocky Think Tank sessions in 2001 are still fresh in the minds of each member, it seems to be their early period that stands out for them:
(Blur bassist Alex James) “That was when we really discovered ourselves and stood up for ourselves. We were just young and … Not rich, but we did have everything we wanted. All we wanted was to get drunk and play our guitars really loud. And we traveled round the world and were … Just young men, I suppose.”
Article writer John Harris muses that this may be a common experience for many, given that the period roughly between the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the 9/11 attacks in New York City in 2001 were a period of relative stability. There was a certain feeling of innocence during those times, when it seemed like a good time to be young, in a band, or just in being a music fan. This is certainly true in my own case. Yet, despite this, the article gives the impression that this sense of nostalgia is in context.
Life hasn’t stopped for each member. Singer Damon Albarn and guitarist Graham Coxon still have wandering musical interests of their own. Bassist Alex James is a an active columnist for a number of British publications. And drummer Dave Rowntree is studying to be a solicitor with a mind to become an Member of the British Parliament!
The band are currently rehearsing for upcoming live appearances, most notably in Hyde Park on July 2 and 3 of this year, and the Glastonbury Festival. There’s no word on a new album, currently.