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July 12, 2009 - NME.com:

Blur defy illness to play 'last gig' at T In The Park

Graham Coxon races from hospital to play headline show

Damon Albarn at T In The Park

Blur defied illness to headline the final night of 2009 tonight (July 12), playing what frontman Damon Albarn described from the stage as the four-some's "last gig".

The reunited band's guitarist Graham Coxon rushed from a nearby hospital to play the show after being struck down ill. As a result they didn't arrive on the Main Stage until 10:15pm (BST) - nearly an hour and a half later than their scheduled stage time.

Co-headliners Snow Patrol had earlier played their Main Stage set an hour later than first scheduled to bide time for Coxon, with the Scottish band beginning their set at 8pm.

Blur eventually walked on stage to huge cheers, Coxon raising an arm in appreciation while Albarn simply said, "Hi", before launching into the band's debut single, 'She's So High'.

"We nearly didn't make it," he said when the song ended. "Graham literally walked out of a hospital to come here. He's alright. This is our last gig."

With the show the band's last scheduled live date, it was not determined whether the singer meant this was Blur's final ever gig or just the last of their summer run, which also saw them play shows in London's Hyde Park and headline Glastonbury.

"This is a very old song," Albarn said, introducing 'There's No Other Way' following 'Girls And Boys', which had the crowd leaping ecstatically and throwing beer.

"This is a new song," Coxon later said, winding the crowd up before playing their 1999 single 'Coffee And TV', which he sung lead vocals for.

'Tender' drew another huge singalong from the crowd, while 'Country House' drew cheers as fans recognised the intro.

"Do you want another one like that?" Albarn asked the crowd. "Alright", he added before playing 'Parklife' - singing the vocal parts originally recorded by actor Phil Daniels himself.

"Thank you!" he shouted after the song ended. "Do you want... another one like that?" The band then began a slow jam that morphed into 'Song 2', with the crowd going crazy as they finally recognised Coxon's famous guitar riff.

"That's the best ever, that one," the frontman said when the song ended, leading the band through slow number 'This Is A Low' next.

They then headed off stage, returning shortly afterwards to kick off an encore with 'Advert', which saw Albarn brandishing a loudspeaker to draw siren sound effects.

Following 'For Tomorrow', which Albarn described as a "more melodic one", the band ended their headline show with an epic rendition of 'The Universal', during which he rushed into the crowd to shake hands with the front row.

"I want to thank everyone who's supported us," Albarn said before heading off stage to close T In The Park 2009. "Everyone who's given their heart and soul."

Blur played:

'She's So High'
'Girls And Boys'
'Tracy Jacks'
'There's No Other Way'
'Beetlebum'
'Out Of Time'
'Coffee And TV'
'Tender'
'Country House'
'Parklife'
'Song 2'
'This Is A Low'
'Advert'
'For Tomorrow'
'The Universal'


NME.COM is coming live from T In The Park this weekend (July 10-12). Stay tuned for the latest news, photo galleries and video interviews.

Plus, make sure you get next week's issue of NME, on UK newsstands from July 15, for the ultimate T In The Park 2009 review.

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