February 12, 2003 -
Through the Blur
The first footage of Blur rehearsing
with their new guitarist Simon Tong has
been unveiled on the band's official website, dotmusic
can exclusively reveal.
The site has been following the
reshaping of the band for months, ever since it
was revealed that long-term guitarist Graham
Coxon had left the group, after more than a
decade with Blur.
Studio footage of the group had
previously captured them recording the album and
the three remaining members - Damon Albarn,
Alex James and Dave Rowntree -
rehearsing the band's long-awaited new album for
imminent tour dates.
However, the site, which also
carries a diary following the antics of bass
player James and a Q&A with drummer Rowntree,
now features the first visual evidence of Coxon's
replacement in action. Go to blur.co.uk to
see the footage, which spans the last three days
Meanwhile, Blur fans have
been giving their reaction to the news of Tong's
appointment. Tong, formerly guitarist in The
Shining, who made minor ripples in the rock
world last year, and also second guitarist to Nick
McCabe in The Verve, was unveiled at
an industry showcase on Friday.
Speaking on Blurtalk, where opinion
has been roundly against Damon Albarn and
in support of Coxon, following the
troubled guitarist's exit, one commented:
"I'm already trying to see things positive.
"I don't know The Shining
but I do know, of course, The Verve and
they're great too yeah. But it's just the fact
that someone else takes Graham's place now
and that's such a pity because Blur made
great music for over 10 years with Graham and
now Graham's gone so it's not Blur anymore."
Another welcomed the news, saying:
"Simon Tong is ace!! The Shining
where one of the best bands of last year, and The
Verve are class!"
However, one fan, reflecting the
frequently odd-ball, sometimes obsessive, nature
of comments exchanged between the members,
commented: "Simon Tong, what a name.
In Dutch 'tong' is a fish or a tongue. How