Blur’s Alex James reveals band’s early culinary secrets

'There was a lot of fried cabbage,' bassist notes

Blur bassist Alex James has revealed how he lived in a squat and survived on cheap pasta and cabbage when first starting the band.

James, who is now a successful cheesemaker, met Damon Albarn and Graham Coxon while studying at Goldsmiths college in London, where he moved into a squat before signing a record deal.

“I was living in a squat after the first year at Goldsmiths, and I still remember the look on my parents’ faces the first time they came to visit,” he told The Observer. “Damon, Graham and I lived on pasta sandwiches at college. All you needed was tomato purée, pasta and bread. Then we started adding garlic. And there was a lot of fried cabbage.”

He added that his parents were less than pleased when he told them he would be quitting education to pursue a career in music with Blur.

He said: “I think my mum worried about everything. Especially when I told her ‘I’m leaving college to be in a band, but we’re really good! This is Graham…’ just as Graham fell over backwards.”

James went on to reveal that he was so tired after Blur‘s summer reunion gigs that he spent a week at his parents’ Bournemouth home recuperating.

“It was all I wanted to do,” he explained.