The Junction, 24th April 2012
After the reunion in 2009, it’s very easy for one to get sidetracked by Blur, and forget about Graham Coxon’s solo career. Since 1998, he’s released eight albums, arguably peaking with 2002’s The Kiss of Morning, but tonight he was focused more on the rockier, more positive sound of Happiness in Magazines and later work.
Having embarked on the comparatively epic trek to the Junction a bit late, we missed most of the support act, the admittedly energetic Ten City Nation. From the few songs we heard, while buying overpriced lagers at the bar, the Bury St Edmunds band played some reasonably compelling, fuzzy alt-rock, but their music wasn’t quite scintillating enough to tear us away from weeping into our £4 Beck’s. At the end of their set, however, the front man threw his guitar on the floor and jumped around a bit, which was quite exciting.
For the first half hour or so, we weren’t entirely sure that Coxon and his band were entirely into the gig; there wasn’t much audience interaction. After a while, though, both band and crowd warmed to the evening. Standing On My Own Again was well received, and of course there were plenty of energetic tracks from the new release, A&E. City Hall, with its slightly grungy sound, was received particularly well and, perhaps inevitably What’ll It Take got people to dance (answered your own question there, Graham!)
Ultimately, the varied, yet largely upbeat set, from Coxon, makes us more positive about the future of members of Blur than Alex James’s cheese making. By the time Freakin’ Out was played, towards the end, everyone was dancing around, and everyone was swayed. Blur as an entity may be over, but Coxon’s prolific solo output shows that there’s nothing at all to fear about the post-Olympic reunion future.
Laura Marshall & Zoe Holder