Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Blur are back and they’re coming to Oxegen

British rock band Blur lead singer Damon Albarn performs at the Bowery Ballroom March 16, 2003 in New York City

Newly-reformed indie giants Blur are to headline this summer’s Oxegen festival.

The acclaimed Brtipop group, who reformed last December following an acrimonious split, will play Ireland’s biggest musical festival in July.

It will be the band’s only Irish show in 2009. Oxegen takes place at Punchestown in Co Kildare between July 10 and 12, just one week after Blur’s highly-anticipated comeback in Hyde Park, in London, in front of 100,000 fans.

Promoters MCD are confident that securing the English group puts the festival at the “top of the music tree, with Blur joining an already astounding line-up”.

The Kings of Leon join Blur at the top of Oxegen bill. The American group chose the Kildare festival over the chance of playing Croke Park. Snow Patrol, who headlined the festival in 2007, are also pencilled in for a return. But it is the appearance of Blur, following their shock reunion, that will really whet the appetites of Irish music fans.

The four-piece, who were at the forefront of the Britpop movement in the 1990s alongside Oasis, last played Ireland in 2003, with three shows at the Olympia.

At that stage guitarist Graham Coxon had left the band in acrimonious circumstances as he battled alcoholism and depression.

Both Coxon and singer Damon Albarn stayed in music and enjoyed solo success, bassist Alex James became a writer and a cheese maker on a farm in Oxfordshire, while drummer Dave Rowntree went into politics.

Other acts already confirmed for Oxegen include electro-rock outfit Bloc Party, Irish group The Script, and singer Katy Perry.

Last year’s event was voted Best European Festival at the British Festival Awards.

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