Alex James claims Ken Dodd inspired Blur bandmate Damon Albarn’s recent five-hour festival gig

British comedian is famed for marathon gigs

Blur‘s Alex James has said he is proud of Damon Albarn for playing a gig that went on so long security had to escort him off the stage.

Albarn was performing with his Africa Express project at Roskilde Festival in Denmark, collaborating live with the likes of bandmate Blur bandmate Graham Coxon, Yeah Yeah Yeahs‘ Nick Zinner, Laura Mvula, Jeff Wootton, Songhoy Blues and Seye Adelekan.

During the performance, Albarn covered The Clash and Randy Newman, while also performing Gorillaz tracks


Appearing on TV earlier today (July 16), James revealed an unexpected influence on the marathon live show. “God bless him, I was so proud of him playing for five hours,” the bass player said while on Good Morning Britiain. “Damon told me he went to see Ken Dodd and he used to play for, like, five hours, didn’t he!”

NMEJenn Five/NME

Elsewhere in the interview, James commented on the “really special” comeback Blur have made since reuniting in 2009. “I think there’s something really special about Blur getting back together. It really has knocked us all over, we were playing in Blackpool and the crowd were going so mental the barrier broke, it was quite scary actually!”

“We released an album, we only announced it in February and it’s just kind of blown us all away. It’s been an a incredible summer so far. I’m going around the world in 10 days! It doesn’t take long to do a world tour these days, everything has sped up since the last time I did it.”

Albarn’s Roskilde appearance lasted until 4am, with security staff carrying hime from the stage while the crowd sang The Clash’s ‘Should I Stay Or Should I Go’. Watch that incident, plus other footage below.

Blur recently released their very own comic book. The comic, illustrated by Hong Kong artist Kongkee, is titled Travel To Hong Kong With Blur and follows the band’s members as they “undertake a traditional Manhua, futuristic adventure” in the Asian-Pacific country.