See the first footage of the band with new guitarist Simon Tong...

The first footage of BLUR playing live with new guitarist SIMON TONG has surfaced online.

Blur have now finished their long-awaited record, the follow-up to 1999’s ’13’, was started almost a year ago. It has had minimal input from estranged guitarist Graham Coxon, who left last year.

As we revealed, Tong has been in rehearsals in London with Damon Albarn, Alex James and Dave Rowntree preparing for live shows later in the year.

A series of video clips have appeared on [url=] showing Tong’s early rehearsals.

Tong played with The Verve alongside fellow guitarist Nick McCabe during the peak of their success, in the ‘Urban Hymns’ era. Joining Richard Ashcroft‘s outfit after their first acrimonious split in 1995, following the release of ‘A Northern Soul’. A schoolfriend of Richard and The Verve’s ex-bassist Simon Jones from Wigan, he is credited with originally teaching the two to play guitar.

The band made their first live appearance at an industry event last Friday (February 7).