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Last bow for Blur at Brits


Blur star Alex James says there is a feeling that the band may be about to take their "last bow", ahead of their reunion at tomorrow night's Brits.

The quartet will perform five songs as they receive the outstanding contribution prize at the star-studded event.

It will be the band's first performance since a handful of 2009 shows, including a Glastonbury headline slot.

Guitarist Graham Coxon and Damon Albarn have already warmed up for the appearance by reuniting for a three-song performance last night at a charity gig.

Bass player James said they group met up last week to choose the tracks they will perform.

Writing in The Sun today, he said: "Pulling the band back together is like reassembling The A-Team for one last job."

James - now a farmer and cheese producer - said: "There is always a feeling that this may be Blur's last bow, which I suppose makes it all the more exciting.

"We've been asked to perform five songs. I met up with the band last week and we discussed what we will play.

"I'm more excited about playing some of the old hits again than winning. Winning prizes is nothing compared to the feeling of playing music."

Blur are being honoured with the outstanding contribution to music prize, 21 years after the release of their debut album, Leisure.

Blur's performance at the event in London's O2 Arena comes 17 years after their only haul of Brit wins, on the back of their hugely successful third album, Park Life. They took best British album, best British single, best British video and best British group.

Blur fell apart following their 2003 album Think Tank, by which point guitarist Graham Coxon had already been axed from the line-up.

However the band regrouped in 2009, playing headline slots at major festivals, and there has been talk of recording together again. Last night's Brits warm-up show by Coxon and Albarn featured a new song, Under The Westway.

However, each of the band members have moved on from their group activities. Coxon has had a long-established solo career and Albarn has worked with several acts including Gorillaz and The Good, The Bad And The Queen, as well as composing the opera Doctor Dee and the stage show Monkey: Journey To The West.

Drummer Dave Rowntree, also a qualified pilot, is training to be a barrister and is a Labour Party activist.

The band notched up 13 top ten hits over a 12-year period, including the number ones Country House and Beetlebum.

Also on the bill for the Brits is former Oasis star Noel Gallagher, with whom Albarn famously fell out more than a decade and a half ago.

Brits production staff were readying the stage for the Blur performance today with a giant logo of the band's name being set up.

The logo appeared on the group's first five album sleeves.