Review: Coxon in Camden “i-Tunes Festival Live”

graham-coxon

At a gig compromised of mostly competition winners, I couldn’t help but wonder how many people there were interested in hearing Graham Coxon’s solo work or rather hoping he’ll just play a Blur album from start to finish, I guessed it was probably the latter, only confirmed when someone shouted “play Parklife!”, there’s always one isn’t there? I’m sure he’s used to it by now, and rather than ignore it responded “I’ve played that loads of times” with a wry look on his face.

You might not have realised but Graham actually released a new solo album recently. It was somewhat overshadowed by the hype and media frenzy that surrounded the announcement of his ‘other band’ going on tour, so you’re forgiven if this is news to you. The record, The Spinning Top, is a bit of a departure from his previous couple of efforts, opting for a mellow acoustic sounding direction, but a solid one at that.


Graham talks about his new album “The Spinning Top”

Graham walked on stage, as he always does, depicting the body language and excitable nervous mannerisms of a young man playing his first ever gig, which you can only admire . A greatest hits set this was not, as Graham played most of his new album and didn’t dip into any of his previous solo albums, starving me of some great songs. I shouldn’t moan too much, this was entirely free after all, and I was even handed a voucher to purchase ten free songs off i-tunes. The summery feel of Grahams song’s and the backdrop effects which accompanied them made up for the piss poor weather on the night. Dead Bee’s was a set highlight as he strapped on the electric guitar and lost himself in a haze of distortion and the kind of guitar noises that only he makes. This is undoubtedly the best example on the new record of Graham’s indefinable and distinguished guitar playing ability.

Despite sticking solely to new material he managed to keep the crowd engaged enough, though some did only perk up once he got out the electric guitar, which to be fair did provide some of the best moments of the gig. That’s not to say the acoustic songs weren’t well received, a few of them even roused a clap- along which put a smile from ear to ear on Coxon’s face.

I thought he might just treat us to a rendition of You’re So Great, the greatest song Blur never released as a single, but he boldly kept it strictly solo tonight. It’s a privilege to see Graham perform, whether it be in a park amongst fifty thousand people playing his best known songs or in the intimate surroundings of the cosy Camden Roundhouse playing brand new material. It beat’s having to sit through the God awful coverage of the i-tunes festival on ITV 2 who seem to be more interested in interviewing z-list celebrities than actually broadcasting music. Fearne Cotton asking a nobody mind numbing questions about nothing or Coxon working his magic on the guitar? I know what I’d rather see, thank God I did.

Matt Humphrey



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