Ed Sheeran and Blur play Brit Awards warm-up show


Ed Sheeran

Brit nominee Ed Sheeran has warmed up for this week's awards by headlining War Child's annual concert.

The Suffolk singer, who's up for four prizes on Tuesday, was joined by guests Example, Labrinth and Wretch 32 at London's Shepherd's Bush Empire.

Damon Albarn and Graham Coxon from Blur, who'll pick up the outstanding contribution award at Tuesday's Brits, also performed.

Their three-track performance included new song Under The Westway.

Sheeran celebration

But the evening was more of a celebration of 21-year-old Sheeran and his extraordinary 12 months.

His debut album + has now sold more than one million copies in the UK.

At this year's Brits he's nominated for best male, best breakthrough, best single for The A Team and best album.

Example and Ed Sheeran
Image caption Rapper Example was among the guests who joined Ed Sheeran during his set

His seven-song one-hour set saw him take to the stage alone with his acoustic guitar before being joined by a string of collaborators.

Speaking from the stage he said: "I've called in some favours so I've got some people here. It's going to be good."

UK rapper Example joined Sheeran to run through an acoustic version of his track Changed The Way You Kissed Me.

Next up, London producer and singer Labrinth also strapped on a guitar to perform a medley of his tracks Let The Sun Shine and Earthquake.

MiKill Pane was welcomed on stage to play an extended version of Sheeran's hit The A Team, while Wretch 32 came on stage for the final song of the night - an extended run-through of You Need Me, I Don't Need You.

Emeli Sandé, who was set to join Sheeran on the evening, did not play.

Blur to get 'lifetime' Brit award

Earlier, Blur members Damon Albarn and Graham Coxon performed the briefest of sets as they warmed up for their performance at the end of the Brits on Tuesday evening.

Blur's Graham Coxon and Damon Albarn
Image caption Blur's Graham Coxon and Damon Albarn played a brief three-song set

Albarn sat behind a piano and Coxon played three songs - He Thought Of Cars, Strange News From Another Star and new track Under The Westway.

Speaking from the stage and reading the lyrics from a tablet device Albarn said: "We're going to play a new song we wrote up the road just a few weeks ago.

"It's got a lot of words, not as many as Ed Sheeran, but it's got a lot of words."

Taking place before the Brits for the first time, War Child's annual show has seen performances from The Killers, Coldplay and Kasabian in the past.

Gary Barlow, Bono, Boy George and Noel Fielding have also appeared as special guests at the gigs.