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 38 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 couple of weeks before Christmas, and the planning conferences have just completed for two of 2023’s most anticipated gigs, by a British band who first rehearsed together 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 ideas from British popular culture’s past, combined with the peculiar optimism at the end of the final century, made them one of many largest bands of the 1990s; they’ve only made two albums since, each of them tentative, tender however pretty: 2003’s Think Tank and 2015’s The Magic Whip.

The day earlier than 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 rough shape of the Wembley gigs, with instruments on their laps. “It was good! This is the enjoyable bit earlier than we’re enjoying the set over and again and again, staring sullenly at our telephones between songs,” Rowntree tells me. On this shiny winter morning he is 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 within the gallery next to Cildo Meireles’s Babel, a murmuring, ominous tower of a sculpture that he’s all the time beloved, made up of tons of of analogue radios. Oblivious ageing hipsters and midlifers, who will certainly have danced to his drumbeats, cross him by.

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