Assorted scribblings of a dog-eared music journalist

Melody Maker | Live | 26 May 1990

Kentish Town Bull & Gate, London

Blur are precisely that.

The antics of the band's vocalist have to be seen to be believed. He perpetually hurls himself around the stage, tumbles into the audience, scrambles onto the bassist's shoulders, swings from the rafters like a drunken chimp and leaps into the air time and time again, more often than not landing flat on his backside. At one point, he accidentally rips his hand open and smears the blood all over his face. He's obviously been eating too much cheap beef.

It's an entertaining performance but, unfortunately, Blur's sound is not nearly so courageous. Most of the songs conform far too neatly to the pop tradition of three-minute shakedowns, the melodies disappointingly easy to follow, the extra roll on the toms and the slide along the neck of the guitar coming exactly when expected. Only on a couple of occasions, when they slacken the pace, allowing the guitarist the time and space to angrily graze rather than simply polish the lopsided rhythms, do Blur offer any sort of challenge.

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