The Life of Blur - Wembley
In the first half of 1995, with a new single and album set for summer release, the British band Blur played two very different gigs. One was to a crowd of 250 people at Camden Town's Dublin Castle, the venue of various Omnibus book launches over the years. They also played to around 27,000 fans at Mile End Stadium.
Reflecting on the choice of Mile End, Damon Albarn commented: "Well Wembley Stadium was just a bit too big."
Bassist Alex James observed: “I suppose we were the first band of our age to play someplace like it, and that made it special."
In 1995 there was also the press-fermented 'Battle of Britpop', in which Blur and Oasis competed for chart dominance. The phenomenon ultimately reached the national news.
In his definitive biography of the group, Life of Blur, Martin Power describes how the 1995 Mile End gig marked a new chapter. The band's third album Parklife (1994) had been a game changer. Suddenly their scruffy, art school credibility met a wave of mainstream, 'pop' popularity, and all that came along with it, including the opportunity to fill stadium seats.
Almost thirty years on from the Mile End concert, Blur are going to play Wembley Stadium for the first time.
Tickets go on sale on Friday 18 November at 10am. The gig will take place on Saturday 8 July 2023.
It will bring band members Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Alex James and Dave Rowntree back together to perform some of their biggest hits. It will be their only UK appearance and first headline show since 2015.
Coxon said: "I'm really looking forward to playing with my Blur brothers again and revisiting all those great songs… Blur live shows are always amazing for me. A nice guitar and an amp turned right up and loads of smiling faces."