NME - Graham hits back

BLUR guitarist GRAHAM COXON has hit back at comments that his new solo material bears a resemblance to the work of his former band.

Coxon, who releases �Bittersweet Bundle Of Misery' on May 3, says the single sounds nothing like Blur's 1999 hit 'Coffee And TV'.

"It�s not at all a resemblance," he said. "Rhythmically it is, but chordally it isn�t at all. Most songs are mostly made up of major or minor chords and there�s a lot of major chords in this like �Coffee And TV� but the shapes of the chords are completely different."

"I had an awful lot to do with �Coffee And TV�. It was an adopted child to me. I started off as an acoustic Damon (Albarn) demo vocal, and I guess I took it the way I thought it would benefit, to write the lyrics and sing it. There will always be similarities between Blur and my stuff as I was responsible for quite a lot of the flavour of Blur songs."

Coxon has been confirmed for this year's Reading and Leeds festivals, and will embark on a UK and Irish tour in support of his new album in May. 'Happiness In Magazines' is released on May 17.

"It�s their world of aspirations," he explained to XFM. "They�re all about great kitchens, great pots and pans, great bottoms, great suits and great cars. Looking through those magazines isn�t very good for my sense of reality. It makes my reality look an awful lot more dull after seeing those things."

"I can�t afford to mess about with my sense of what�s real and imaginary at the moment," he continued. "I�m often tipping too far to the imaginary, so sometimes I have to touch the trees and the roads and go �I�m here�. Y�know?"

NME - Cox Rocks!

is considering wearing an elaborate stage costume in an attempt to win over

Coxon has just been confirmed to headline the Radio 1 stage at the festival on Friday night in Reading and Saturday night in Leeds, the same time The Darkness will be playing on the main stage.

He told NME.COM: "It's a bit scary, it means I'll have to turn up really loud and wear loud trousers. Maybe I could wear a dogtooth check catsuit? Yeah, that might be quite nice although I'm a bit funny about showing myself off in that sort of way.

"I'd go and see me rather than The Darkness. I don't really know why, I suppose because it's going to be raining and I'd want to take cover."

The Von Bondies have also been added to the bill, but organisers have been careful to put them on a different day AND stage to headliners White Stripes following the Jack/Jason brawl last year.

The Bondies will play below Supergrass on the Radio 1 stage, meaning the closest Jack White will get to Jason Stollstemier is when they pass each other on the M1 as the bands travel from one site to another. The Vines, Hundred Reasons and Funeral For A Friend are also among the latest acts confirmed to play the festival.

Hundred Reasons will return to the festival for their fourth year in a row to play the main stage in Reading on Friday and Leeds on Saturday.

Jurassic 5 have also been added to the main stage on the same days as Hundred Reasons. Saturday in Reading and Sunday in Leeds see Funeral For A Friend headlining the Radio 1 stage and The Vines on the main stage, while Placebo play the main stage in Reading on Sunday and Leeds on Friday

NME - Graham Coxon touring frenzy!

has announced details of two tours to coincide with the release of his new album.

Released in May, �Happiness In Magazines� will be preceded by a single, �Freakin� Out�, on March 8.

Coxon said of the album: "I�m very pleased with it. It sounds like a lot of the music I�ve liked through my lifetime. I just thought of the album title last week; there was one daft working title called �No More Mr Lo Fi�, but that was a giggle really."

Coxon plays a string of low-key UK dates in March, calling at:

  • Stoke Sugarmills (March 9)
  • Bristol Firkin (10)
  • Bedford Esquires (11)
  • York Fibbers (12)

This jaunt is then followed by a full-scale UK and Irish tour beginning in May, visiting:

  • Manchester Academy 3 (May 20)
  • Liverpool Academy 2 (21)
  • Newcastle Northumbria University (24)
  • Edinburgh Venue (25)
  • Glasgow King Tut�s Wah Wah Hut (26)
  • Sheffield Leadmill (28)
  • Nottingham Rescue Rooms (29)
  • Birmingham Academy (30)
  • Cardiff Engine Rooms (June 2)
  • Oxford Zodiac (3)
  • Brighton Concorde 2 (6)
  • Norwich Waterfront (7)
  • London Electric Ballroom (8)
  • Dublin Village (10)
  • Belfast Limelight (11)

C. Murdoch 1999-2004