PLANE SPEAKING

Alex James confesses to having a "thousand yard stare"...

BLUR star ALEX JAMES has confessed to having a “thousand yard stare” after manning a mammoth two-day flight to Morocco.

Blur have decided to spend just over a month in Marrakesh with producer Fatboy Slim finishing their album, due for release early next year. James and drummer Dave Rowntree are both qualified pilots and decided to make the 1,500-mile journey themselves.

Writing on the band’s official website, James said the flight wasn’t without its scary moments.

“Dave and I both had thousand yard stares when we landed at Marrakesh,” he said. “The flight took two days. There were moments. A perfectly tranquil airfield near La Rochelle where people were kind and made electric cheese sandwiches, bread, butter and Camembert. It was as good as New York pizza and they achieve it without the tomatoes. Passing down the strait of Gibraltar with Spain’s craggy toasted mountains on the right Africa loomed, dark green and inviting. It really loomed. It can do that. It’s a rolling landscape with gentle coloured beaches that run smooth for hundreds of miles.”

Although Blur have arrived, they are still waiting for their studio equipment, which is being transported over land. James said that he is relaxed, and the building they are using is “immaculate”.

“It looks like a temple of some kind,” he added. “It looks like anything could happen inside. I don’t know if it was once a Mosque but you can find your god here I reckon. There are donkeys chewing outside and terrapins in the drains. Moroccan wallpaper, which is generally a tile mosaic, is somewhere to go. It’s like watching mind television, looking at that stuff, it’s the same feeling you get staring at a fire, that and the rugs. Easy on the mind.”