Last December we asked Blur fans to nominate their ultimate comeback setlists for the band’s giant reunion shows this summer.
Most people went for early hits (‘Chemical World’, ‘For Tomorrow’) or lush, Britpop-era favourites (‘The Universal’, ‘To The End’). Now, though, judging by an interview in the new issue of the mag, it looks like Blur’s megagigs will be far more than mere nostalgia fests.
“It’s just about how many ideas we have,” explains guitarist Graham Coxon, raising the prospect of a setlist that could be as full of B-sides and rarities as greatest hits.
This could be really interesting. If you happened to be at Blur’s one-off ‘B-sides only’ gig at the Electric Ballroom in February 1997 you’ll know there are two broad categories of Blur B-side; there are the scuffed, downbeat ones, such as ‘Black Book’, from ‘Music is My Radar’ (2000)… and then there are the screwy, eye-bulging, full-pelt tracks, like ‘Never Clever’, a live version of which appeared on the ‘Chemical World’ CD single in 1993.
For the sake of moshpit liveliness, I hope they concentrate on the latter. My hunch, though, is that, instead of wheeling out little-known songs, Blur will instead revisit alternate versions of more recognisable classics. The stripped-down Cornelius mix of ‘Tender’ would be a joy to hear (plus it’d save the band the hassle of hiring a gospel choir just for that one song), as would the French version of ‘To The End’ (although who would sing the Francoise hardy part?).
Or they could go really obscure and play ‘Me, White Noise’, the hidden track on ‘Think Tank’, only accessible by manually skipping back from the start of the CD. Just to baffle the fair-weather fans who are only there to hear ‘Parklife’.
Which other rare, or lesser-known tracks, do you think Blur should play this summer? We’ll do our best to pass your comments on to the band.