For Today

I’ve always found Blur too easy a band to dislike. For a start there’s Damon Albarn, who spent much of the 90s exhibiting the kind of smug arrogance that’s really, really irritating. Guitarist Graham Coxon sometimes came across as a petulant toddler who if he disliked playing music that much should’ve just stopped. The bassist- I can’t bring myself to type his name- has committed more crimes against the counter-culture than almost anyone I can think of. The mockney, dahn-the-dogs, tracksuit top stylings. Country House. The list goes on. What’s more I saw them at Liverpool Poly just after first single She’s So High came out and there was nothing to suggest they’d go on to do anything other than fade away within a year (and for a sign of how different those times were, feminist groups picketed the gig protesting against the sexist nature of the record’s sleeve- a retro painting of a naked girl riding a hippo. How odd all of that seems now). The highlight of the night was my friend Mr A.N. standing at the urinal trough next to Mr Albarn and splashing his desert boot.

And yet……

There’s no denying that they know their way round a tune; off the top of my head the following are all first rate- There’s No Other Way, Popscene, Girls & Boys, The Universal, MOR, Country Sad Ballad Man, Beetlebum, On Your Own, To The End, Coffee And TV, End Of A Century, Tender, This Is A Low, For Tomorrow, Under The Westway. In fact, that list makes me wonder why I don’t even own a Blur Best Of compilation.

For Tomorrow