Blur announce intimate homecoming gig in Colchester

Blur have announced an intimate homecoming gig in Colchester Essex, delighting fans with promise of a nostalgic performance.

blur gig essex colchester

Blur today announced their plans to perform an intimate homecoming show near their childhood stomping grounds for the first time.

The Britpop icons will take the stage at Colchester Arts Centre on May 19, marking the beginning of a series of warm-up gigs leading up to their Wembley shows this summer. Frontman Damon Albarn, guitarist Graham Coxon, and drummer Dave Rowntree all have roots in that part of Essex.

Emma Wallis, from the venue, shared that the “top secret” gig had been in the works for months. “We’re super excited that Blur are coming to play their first warm-up show,” she said. “We’re really excited to be able to let everyone know.”

Blur, who led the ’90s Britpop movement, was formed at London’s Goldsmiths University after the members met bassist Alex James. Damon and Graham first crossed paths as teenagers at Stanway School in Colchester. Graham later introduced Dave to Damon and Alex. Their debut album, Leisure, was released in 1991.


“It is surprising [they haven’t performed at Colchester Arts Centre], but they formed when they were at Goldsmiths,” said Ms Wallis, the marketing manager at the city centre venue. “Damon’s father was on our board many years ago – so there are lots of connections. It’s great that they are returning to play Colchester, and we’re really pleased it is with us.”

The converted church venue has a capacity of 400 people. Pre-sale tickets will be available from Wednesday on the band’s official website.

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In addition to the Colchester gig, Blur will perform several more warm-up shows ahead of their international festival and Wembley Stadium appearances, including the first gig at the renovated Civic Hall in Wolverhampton, as well as shows at Eastbourne Winter Gardens in Sussex and Newcastle’s O2 City Hall.

The band has a history of playing in smaller and less conventional venues. In 2009, they played a comeback charity gig for 150 people at the East Anglian Railway Museum near Colchester, the location of their first-ever show in 1988. Furthermore, in 1995, while embroiled in their Britpop rivalry with Oasis, Blur embarked on their Seaside Tour, playing at off-the-beaten-path venues like Oscars in Clacton and the Ocean Rooms in Gorleston, Norfolk.

Ms Wallis said the Colchester show was secured after some initial outreach and described it as a major accomplishment for the venue. “We’re obviously going to be totally sold out,” she said. “Not everyone who would like a ticket will get a ticket, but we hope everyone who comes has a great time.”

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