Graham Coxon, the guitar player and founding member of Brit Pop giants Blur, performed his first ever solo show on Canadian soil last week at the Mod Club. Armed with only a pair of guitars, one of which was played for a single song, and a pedal board, Coxon created a feeling of intimacy that felt more like watching a friend play songs in his living room than a night out in a rock club with one of the most accomplished musicians to come out of England.
Appearing shy and uncomfortable, Coxon opened the evening by announcing he had had no idea why he agreed to even do such a thing as a solo tour and that at the time, the dates seemed so far away and nothing to worry about. His dead pan humour and delivery had fans laughing throughout the evening adding even more sense of personalization and intimacy than the stripped-down setup alone.
The character transformation that occurred when Coxon began to play was instantly perceptible. There was no discomfort or awkwardness evident when he began to strum. Watching a master of his craft this close up and without the distraction of a band was a marvel to behold. Making use of pedal loops, Coxon played off his own strumming to create elaborate layers of guitars and even percussion recorded and looped from slaps off the guitar body.
The majority of the setlist was made up of Coxon’s work as a solo musician, of which he has released an impressive eight full-length studio albums. Highlights included “That Someone Ain’t You”, “Don’t Believe Anything I Say”, and “Brave the Storm”. Blur fans were treated to versions of “Miss America” and personal favourite “You’re So Great” during the encore. A fantastic version of Blind Faith’s “Can’t Find My Way Home” was also performed.
The Mod Club was Coxon’s only Canadian date on this tour but fans in the United Stated can still catch the tour until the final show on October 1st.
Review and photos by Dave MacIntyre