Graham Coxon – BBC 6 Music 10th Anniversary Concert – South Bank – 2012 – BBC 6 Music –
Former founding member of Blur, Graham Coxon in concert tonight, appearing at the BBC 6 Music 10th Anniversary, held at South Bank in 2012.
As the group’s lead guitarist and secondary vocalist, Coxon was featured on seven of Blur’s studio albums, from 1991’s Leisure to 2015’s The Magic Whip, despite being absent from the group from 2002 to 2008 owing to a dispute with the other members during the recording of 2003’s Think Tank. He has also led a solo career since 1998. As well as being a musician, Coxon was a visual artist: he designed the cover art for all his solo albums as well as Blur’s 13 (1999).
Coxon played several instruments and records his albums with little assistance from session musicians. Q magazine critic Adrian Deevoy has written: “Coxon is an astonishing musician. His restless playing style – all chord slides, rapid pulloffs, mini-arpeggios and fractured runs – seems to owe more to his saxophone training than any conventional guitar tuition.” An innovative lead guitarist, he has been described by Oasis bandleader Noel Gallagher as “one of the most talented guitarists of his generation.” Coxon was voted the 15th greatest guitarist of the last 30 years in a 2010 BBC poll.
Coxon had already released three solo albums while as a member of Blur before his 2002 departure. His first, released on his own Transcopic label was The Sky Is Too High in 1998, a ramshackle mixture of English folk music and 1960s-style garage rock, influenced by Billy Childish. This was followed by the more extreme The Golden D in 2000 and the thoughtful Dylan-Drakesque Crow Sit on Blood Tree (2001). After going solo full-time, he released The Kiss of Morning in 2002. The album proved to be his most accessible to date and was promoted with the single “Escape Song” which proved to be an interesting hybrid of Syd Barrett’s “Octopus” and progressive rock trail-blazers The Nice. In 2004, Coxon released his fifth solo album Happiness in Magazines, produced by ex-Blur and The Smiths producer Stephen Street. This proved to be his most successful album to date, and he received the NME Award for Best Solo Artist in 2005.
In March 2006 he released his sixth solo album, called Love Travels at Illegal Speeds, again produced by Stephen Street. It marked Coxon’s first album away from his now-defunct indie label ‘Transcopic’. The LP was preceded by the singles “Standing on My Own Again” on 27 February and “You & I”. Coxon embarked on a tour of the UK, starting at Newcastle University. He was also involved in a single supporting the England national football team at the 2006 FIFA World Cup. The song was a re-working of the Sham 69 hit “Hurry Up Harry”, and was released as “Sham 69 and The Special Assembly” (as well as Coxon and Sham 69, Virgin Radio DJ Christian O’Connell, who had run a competition on his show to find a band to record a song in support of the team, was involved in the recording of the song). “Hurry Up England” entered the UK Singles Chart at No. 10.
In October 2006, Coxon released a double live album Burnt to Bitz: At the Astoria immediately after his sold-out London Astoria show. The album features 27 songs, with at least one song from each of his albums. In July 2007 Coxon released a single with Paul Weller, called “This Old Town”. The single peaked at No. 39 in the UK Singles Chart.
Coxon’s seventh 15-track studio album titled The Spinning Top, produced again by Stephen Street, was released on 11 May 2009. Coxon stated that the LP, which is primarily acoustic, followed a narrative – the story of a man from birth to death. “The album is mainly an acoustic journey although there is, of course, some explosive electric guitar action,” he explained. “There are some guests too! Robyn Hitchcock supplies some counter-attack guitar, Jas Singh plays dilruba and jori with his friends Gurjit Sembhi on taus and Jaskase Singh on esraj. Danny Thompson plays the legendary Victoria, Graham Fox gives plenty of swing on the drums and sizzle cymbals and Louis Vause tinkles the ivories.” Pre-release response had been positive, with Monday Field of Frank Booth Review dubbing the album “a staggering artistic achievement, and Coxon’s best solo release to date.”
His eighth solo album A+E was released in April 2012.
This concert comes around the time of the release of that album. So to help you get over Thanksgiving dinner, crank it up and get moving.