Blur’s Dave Rowntree: ‘I still wake at 3am thinking I’ve frittered my life away’

General Info on Blur

General Info / General Info on Blur 277 Views comments

Drummer, lawyer, composer, politician… Blur’s busiest member on the troubled childhood that influenced his new solo album, Radio Songs, and the band’s summer time reunion gigs

A few weeks before Christmas, and the planning meetings have just completed for two of 2023’s most anticipated gigs, by a British band who first rehearsed collectively 35 years ago. In July, Blur are on account of play two nights on the 90,000-capacity Wembley Stadium (only one concert was originally scheduled, nevertheless it bought out in two minutes). Their blend of concepts from British pop culture’s past, combined with the peculiar optimism on the finish of the last century, made them one of the largest bands of the 1990s; they’ve solely made two albums since, both of them tentative, tender but pretty: 2003’s Think Tank and 2015’s The Magic Whip.

The day before I meet the band’s drummer, Dave Rowntree, he was with singer Albarn, guitarist Graham Coxon and bassist Alex James in an undisclosed location in London, plotting the tough form of the Wembley gigs, with instruments on their laps. “It was good! This is the fun bit before we’re enjoying the set over and again and again, staring sullenly at our phones between songs,” Rowntree tells me. On this vibrant winter morning he's at Tate Trendy in London’s Bankside sporting a hoodie and carrying luggage of the clothes he has just worn for the Observer’s photoshoot. He had his portrait taken in the gallery next to Cildo Meireles’s Babel, a murmuring, ominous tower of a sculpture that he’s all the time liked, made up of a whole lot of analogue radios. Oblivious ageing hipsters and midlifers, who will definitely have danced to his drumbeats, cross him by.

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