Blur are back – again.
Last night (Jan 14) was the world premiere of the band’s new documentary titled ‘No Distance Left To Run’. All four members were in attendance in the small Odeon in London’s Leicester Square – Alex James at one point heckling Steve Lamacq (“You thought it was shit too!”) as he introduced the band clutching an original Seymour demo tape from 1989.
The film (out in UK cinemas from January 19 and on DVD from February 15) is as captivating as Blur’s best songs; and an absorbing peek under the skin of a band who swung from immense highs to awful, often self-imposed, lows.
It’s painfully frank too – Damon admits that Beetlebum is about heroin. Graham Coxon’s alcoholism and unhappiness is laid bare. Even winning the national chart battle with Oasis was a poisoned chalice that saw the guitarist attempt to throw himself out of a window at the celebration drinks.
But it’s also surprisingly funny and delightfully charming. Blur aren’t afraid to laugh at themselves, their mistakes, or the bizarre situations in which they so often find themselves. Endless filming for Japanese TV stations sees Alex James finally snap and bark, “Stop eating whales you cunts!”
Fuzzy, old live and backstage footage from the band’s earliest days is interspliced with gripping recent interviews that touch upon everything from the band’s rise to fame and art-school roots, to the dazzling ‘Britpop’ explosion and its dark underside of tabloid scrutiny, alcohol addiction and mental anguish.
‘No Distance Left To Run’ is a brave and redeeming film that needed to be made. And that needs to be seen.
If you can’t wait to see the film watch the trailer below, then enjoy the archive footage we’ve selected from YouTube.
You can also view photos from the premiere launch here.
Blur: ‘No Distance Left To Run’ trailer:
Performing ‘Wear Me Down’ from debut album ‘Leisure’, way back in 1990 shortly after being signed:
‘There’s No Other Way’ – “a new one for those who’ve heard us before,” in 1992:
1995’s controversial chart-topper ‘Country House’, performed on the BBC. Note Damon and Graham’s cringe-worthy costumes. What were they thinking?
Backstage antics and ‘It Could Be You’ performed around 1995-96:
The much-loved video for 1999’s ‘Coffee and TV’:
Beetlebum: Live at Wembley Stadium in 1999:
The tender ‘Sweet Song’, live at Roskilde festival in 2003:
‘Crazy Beat’, live in Italy in 2003:
Reunited and redeemed at Glastonbury 2009. The anthemic Parklife, featuring Phil Daniels:
Finally, an emotional ‘Tender’ at Glastonbury 2009:
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Let us know your favourite Blur moment from the past two decades below…
‘No Distance Left To Run’ is in selected UK cinemas from January 19, and released on DVD from February 15 2010.