Blur’s Alex James: ‘We had no idea we interrupted Adele’s Brit Awards speech’

Bassist says Britpop legends were backstage and unaware about controversy

Blur‘s Alex James has claimed that the band didn’t know that Adele‘s speech at this year’s Brit Awards was cut short.

The ’21’ songstress flicked her middle finger after she was interrupted by host James Corden during her acceptance speech for the Mastercard British Album Of The Year gong. The comedian was forced to usher her from the stage so that Blur, who picked up the Outstanding Contribution To Music Award, could begin their live set.

Both ITV and the Brit Awards have since apologised for the controversy, but in an interview with BBC Breakfast, James insisted that he and his bandmates had not been aware of the incident, and also said that the subsequent furore hadn’t taken the spotlight away from Adele.


Speaking about the issue, he said:

That’s live telly. I don’t think it overshadowed anything. We were up there backstage and didn’t know what was happening until afterwards. I think Adele is amazing and has a fantastic career in front of her.

Earlier this week (March 4), James revealed that Blur will play a brand new song during their headlining slot at the Olympic Closing Ceremony Celebration Concert in London later this year. The bassist said that the unnamed track was “like a hymn, a real tear-jerker”, but also claimed that the Britpop legends would not be recording a new album.

Speaking to NME recently, Blur confirmed they had been working on new material since reuniting, but were cagey about whether they’d record a new album, which would be their first since 2003’s ‘Think Tank’.

Pressed on whether any of their new songs would make the Hyde Park set, Coxon said he’d be “interested in playing new things” during the gig, adding: “We always used to play underdeveloped things and kick them into shape during the shows, but it isn’t the occasion for that. Obviously we’re not gonna play the same set we played in 2009, but there things that people always, always wanna hear.”

Earlier this year, producer William Orbit hinted he was working on new material with Blur in a series of tweets, while Stephen Street, who helmed a number of the band’s albums in the mid-to-late-’90s, has also expressed an interest in recording with them again.

Along with playing at Hyde Park, Blur are also scheduled to headline Sweden’s Way Out West festival in August.


To watch an exclusive NME video interview with Coxon, where he speaks about the band’s preparations for their huge Hyde Park gig, scroll down and click below.