Review: Graham Coxon at Roundhouse, August 2nd

Forget how many times you’ve listened to Daman Albarn’s ‘Everyday Robots’ in the last few months and forget what type of cheese Alex James is trying to make right at this very moment; Graham Coxon is the member of Blur that you really should be backing.

With eight albums under his belt, having released his last album A+E in 2012, Coxon clearly has everything it takes to captivate a crowd, and he certainly didn’t disappoint at his show at Roundhouse in Camden last week.

Playing an epic thirty track set, the night was divided into two acts. The first act showed Coxon’s talent as a songwriter with an intimate and beautiful acoustic set. Sure, not all the notes were pitch perfect, but that didn’t matter. Coxon drew you in so that you felt like he was playing to you personally, not to the thousand strong crowd. It was also a great opportunity to see Coxon’s sweet personality through the many nervous and “adorkable”anecdotes that he joked about between songs. In conclusion, it was the exact opposite to what the second act was like.

After a fifteen minute break, the acoustic guitar was tossed aside and Coxon showed exactly why he is seen as one of the best rock guitarists around. To be honest, it was a bit of a shock. After an hour of gorgeous sway-a-long songs, the wall of sound that erupted when Coxon reemerged on stage was something else. It was pure rock music – loud, raw and unreserved. Pretty much everything you would expect from one of the biggest Britpop icons ever. The first three songs were almost indistinguishable from the fact that they were so unexpectedly loud and aggressive, but as Coxon rolled and thrashed around on the stage, the audience couldn’t help but lap up every single minute of the exciting set.

It was a classic Graham Coxon gig. Beautiful songs, crazy guitar skills and something for everybody. As The Telegraph rightly pointed out, Coxon is almost the Jekyll and Hyde of music with talent in both the singer-songwriter genre and the ability to be a full out rockstar. It was a great evening with everyone leaving with a smile on their face, despite the lack of encore or the rumoured Blur reunion that people had hoped might happen. But Blur or no Blur, Coxon is without a doubt one of the best musicians around at the moment and can command a stage like the best of them, so it would be wrong to still refer to him as the “nerdy guitarist from that band”and not as the accomplished frontman he really is.

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