Glasto 'our best gig' says bassist

20/11/09

Alex James

Blur's live set at the Glastonbury Festival was "definitely the best we've ever done and probably the best we'll ever do," says Alex James.

The band's performance was named the best headline show at Thursday night's UK festival awards at the O2 arena.

It tops off a successful comeback for the band who played a series of big outdoor gigs over the summer, including two dates in Hyde Park.

James said that after the Glastonbury show, the band knew they had pulled off something special.

"We could tell it was a good one. We don't usually all cry when we play... I don't know if we'll ever get another one that good. I don't think we've ever had one that good before," he admitted.

"We were all pretty speechless really. We'd been sort of communicating on quite a mystical level for two hours and words were unnecessary I think when we got off stage."

"There's four people in the band, so I don't know. It's a group decision - let the dust settle and we'll see what happens next.
Alex James on the future of Blur

However, the bassist revealed the band were nervous about facing the massive Glastonbury crowd - their first time at the festival since 1998.

James said: "I think we were all a bit wobbly knees when we went on... It's a bit of a punt playing Glastonbury - you're not really playing to your audience.

"You don't know whether they're going to throw body fluids at you, or all start singing along.

Friends again

The band's summer comeback marked the first time the four-piece had played together since guitarist Graham Coxon left the band in 2002, around the time of the band's Think Tank LP.

Healing the band's strained relationship with Coxon and playing in front of an enthusiastic crowd was unforgettable, said James.

Damon Albarn at Glatonbury 2009
Image caption The band's Glastonbury gig was named best festival headline show of the year

"There was a lot of love in the room! Between the four of us suddenly all the crap forgotten and a quarter of a million people singing along in ecstasy. It's a once in a lifetime thing."

He added: "For me, it was about re-establishing my friendship with the other guys in the band and we'd done that by the time we finished rehearsing."

The bassist said the enthusiastic reaction to their temporary reunion was "addictive" and that he's keen to do more.

But the 40-year-old also admitted it was too early to say for sure whether the band would do more live gigs or record new material.

"I think it took us all by surprise and that we're all still reeling from it.

"There's four people in the band, so I don't know... It's a group decision - let the dust settle and we'll see what happens next.

With frontman Damon Albarn working on the third album by his 'virtual' group Goriilaz, it may be some time before there's any word on a more permanent reunion.

However, despite going their separate ways since the summer, James said the old friends were still in regular contact and might get together around Christmas time.

"You know, we all text each other, but we give each other space. We've all got our own things going on - that's what we needed."