Blur to put ‘heart and soul’ into tonight’s (Jul 2,3) Hyde Park(life) gigs

Damon Albarn and co tell NME.COM about their plans for London shows

Blur‘s Damon Albarn has declared his band will put “our heart and soul” into their two shows at London‘s Hyde Park, the first of which kicks off this evening (July 2) .

The band will begin their first giant gig in the capital, fresh from headlining Glastonbury at the weekend (June 28) – and the group’s frontman says Blur are fully focused on the task at hand.

“It’s very simple,” he told NME.COM. “We’re just going to put our heart and soul into it!”

Bassist Alex James added that he was really looking forward to the shows, as he’d nearly given up hope on playing with Blur again.

“I thought last year [when they were first asked to play Glastonbury 2008] that was it. If it wasn’t happening then it never would,” he explained. “I was actually half way to Northumberland and the phone rang: ‘It’s back on, go and see Damon and Graham (Coxon, guitarist), they’re best friends again’.

“But in terms of our lives it’s been the best possible thing for all of us to do, to be on our own for a bit. I think it’s wicked it’s happening at the right time [for us] because we’ve all sort of worked out who we are anyway and I think we’re coming to this with the same sense of joy and preconceptions that we had to start with. When you start a band, it’s the most fun thing with the people that you love the most. After doing it for ten years straight it’s still good but it does become work. This is not work now, it’s something else.”

Speaking about the sets the band expect to play over the two nights, Coxon said that like their previous shows, Blur will blend the band’s hits with some of their more favourite tracks.

“I like the mixture, I like the fact that we go all over the shop,” he said. “I like the high street [the hits], I use the high street a lot, but I also like trouncing about in the middle of nowhere and that’s what the set is like, isn’t it?”

“Yeah, it’s not exclusive,” added Albarn. “It’s all inclusive this ticket. You can get tired of stuff. That happens when you play a song a lot. It’s what happens to any band in the world. It’s why we’re fortunate in a way to have a break for ten years, so to speak.”

Photo Gallery – from ‘Leisure’ to Hyde Park, Blur’s incredible career in pictures

NME.COM will be bringing you coverage from both nights at Hyde Park, so stay tuned. Meanwhile Blur plan to release recordings from the gigs as a limited edition live album.