Playing and singing at the same time is pretty cool, but sometimes it’s difficult to know when you can just really let go a bit because you’ve got to get back to bloody microphone and sing some stuff.
There are a lot of people who can do it on the guitar and sing at the same time, but I think what is harder is bass players that can play the bass and sing.
You know Manchester is always a bit of a hard place for people coming from London, just with all the history. Manchester has this immensely huge and healthy history musically.
I’m still trying to discover my position on my own artwork and hopefully at this exhibition someone will come and tell me. I’m open to listening to criticism.
A singer for me is more like someone who is standing alone with a microphone like Scott Walker, rather than someone who is bashing a plank and is spitting all over a microphone.
I had a breakthrough, I think my life just became calmer, I gave up drinking. My priorities changed as I had a young daughter. The group didn’t want me to record for the Think Tank album… so I took it as a sign to leave.
It’s a bit loose and the people in my group have got other groups. They don’t have to have a total allegiance to me. I think that’s really a bit weird and showing some weird insecurity.
It’s mostly Mars Bars and peanuts and cheese and you go to the fridge and there’s Red Bull and Beer. It’s not like people are holding me down and pouring beer in my face.
There were some extremely good teachers there that were great artists really in their own right. It was actually very hard to concentrate on getting down to going any work being an art student especially when it’s a flighty thing at best.
With my daughter, who at the time was one, my domestic life needed to take more precedent and really with my own self I needed to develop quite a bit more. So that put Blur down the list of priorities quite a lot by the time I came to thinking about it.
Manchester has it’s own pride and London has it’s sort of pride and sometimes we can be a bit mean to each other, but I think if we dig the music we can get on really well.
I think now, more than anytime I can remember, bands are sounding pretty similar whether they’re English or American, from Manchester or London… or Leeds or Welsh or Irish.
The other guys drink, but they don’t drink anywhere near what I used to. And I think they’re slightly respectful of the fact that I’m off it, so it’s not a problem.
When Blur first started and we were playing Manchester the Hacienda was the place to go. That was where a lot of exciting stuff was happening and London was pretty dead.
I suppose my little Martin acoustic guitar is quickly becoming a prize possession. It’s a lovely guitar. I bought it at the Cambridge Folk Festival in 2001 before I had cleaned up.
It was quite nice meeting up because we went through a lot together and we haven’t really seen each much other to communicate one to one for quite a long time.
There’s a focus that hasn’t been there for ages and ages and some American bands are sounding quite English like they did in the late 70s and early 80s.
But those audiences in Spain, they were just so stoned. I don’t like playing to audiences like that because they just don’t do anything. I’m up here with my band and we’re working really hard and they are just stoned.
Like, Mission Of Burma to me always sounded almost like they were part of the British Arty New Wave. I kind of like that. I like not being able to tell the difference.