Five stars

Those of us who witnessed Blur push past the curfew at T in the Park in 2009 after Graham Coxon's food poisoning incident didn't expect to see them north of the border any time soon, if ever again. We certainly didn't expect a full album of new material into the bargain. And yet here we are, at the start of a short small-venue UK tour leading up to Isle of Wight and Hyde Park gigs, with a set that digs deep into the recently released Magic Whip.

This isn't a band coasting on greatest hits nostalgia, although Song 2, Parklife, Girls And Boys, Tender, For Tomorrow, The Universal and There's No Other Way get an airing. This is a band with a new album to promote, their musical personalities clicking back into place despite tension over the years. Of the new ones, the Britpop swagger of Lonesome Street and escalating march of There Are Too Many Of Us are keepers.

There's been critics' talk of that new material bearing the mature and melancholy hallmark of Damon Albarn's Gorillaz and solo work. The on-stage reality? Three notes in, and Albarn is standing on the security barrier, leering at the crowd with punk intensity, taking a wild stage dive during Trouble In The Message Centre. Later, Coxon tosses and bounces his guitar during Beetlebum. It's crazy out there.

This is no low-key warm-up, either. The band swells from its four core members (Alburn, Coxon, Alex James louche and finger-fluid on bass, Dave Rowntree unsung and often stellar on drums) to 14 in strength, with four backing singers, a four-strong brass section plus additional percussion and keyboards. They play for just over two hours and, again, Scotland witnesses Blur push past the curfew.

Maturity? Well, yes; but only in the way Blur could teach their peers, old and young, how to play a gig. Melancholy? Not at all.