REVIEW: Graham Coxon, Leadmill

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WITH his guitar behind his head, Graham Coxon kneels on the Leadmill stage and does a backward somersault, all the while his fingers flashing up and down the fretboard in an awe-inspiring display of mastery.

Unfortunately, that’s the highlight of the Blur guitarist’s solo show.

The youthful 43-year-old is here to promote A+E, his eighth solo album in 14 prolific years.

But after an energetic, boisterous gig, with six people on stage wielding four guitars, bass and drums, the audience leave none the wiser as to whether Coxon and his crew have done the material justice.

The sound at the Leadmill tonight is terrible.

All we can hear is a clash of too many guitars, with Coxon’s guitar solos and Britpop lyrics lost in the mix.

At the height of the Britpop era Coxon grew so uncomfortable with his fame that he attempted to exit a party via a sixth-floor window.

An hour into this set some of the audience are looking around the Leadmill looking for a similar get-out.

Happily, by the time Coxon embarks on a five-song encore the sound has slightly improved, and we can almost make out the melody – if not the intricacies – of Seven Naked Valleys and Freakin’ Out.