Blur review – glorious reunion buzzes with energy and ragged joy

General Info on Blur

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Wembley Stadium, London
The enduring friendship between Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Alex James and Dave Rowntree shines by means of in a set that veers from lairy capers to bittersweet ballads

Has anybody ever been more excited to headline Wembley Stadium than Damon Albarn? The Blur frontman anoints it “a temple for the agnostic”, pays tribute to Freddie Mercury at Reside Assist, delights in the echo when he speaks, and turns breakneck instrumental Lot 105 into an ode to the place, coaching the gang to chant “Wembley” in rhythm. “Obviously we’ve been waiting for this moment all our lives,” he says. That much could be very clear.

Blur give good reunion. Their bridge-mending set at Glastonbury in 2009 was some of the emotional nights in the pageant’s history. Marking the closing of the London Olympics at Hyde Park in 2012, they felt moderately like Britain’s national band. The joys of headlining Wembley for two nights – a trophy that eluded them at their mid-90s peak – insures towards diminishing returns. Albarn may be a famously restless musician, slaloming between Gorillaz, Africa Categorical and so forth, but he's all the time visibly moved to be sharing a stage with Graham Coxon, Alex James and Dave Rowntree, whose four-cornered friendship is crucial to their attraction. Basically unchanged of their 50s, they still appear to be the only 90s band who might have been an animated TV show.

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