Blur's Alex James at literary fest

Blur's Alex James proves there's more to life than bass guitar on Saturday night when he appears at the Clerkenwell Literary Festival in London. He'll join Kevin Sampson to read excerpts from his rock'n'roll novel, 'Powder'.

Alex is no stranger to side projects - most recently he got together with Keith Allen for Fat Les, and prior to that he teamed up with Stephen Tin Tin Duffy in 'Me, Me, Me'.

It goes without saying that he thinks a change is as good as a rest - a sentiment shared by bandmate, Graham Coxon: "It's good to do other things, y'know, keeps you interested," Graham told Radio 1.

"When we're not Blurring we've got things we can do," said Alex. "When you're in a successful band people want you to write songs for them or whatever and so there's always like five or six things going on - three or which don't happen, two are crap and one's alright."

And Graham's been chatting on-line on the Top of the Pops website about reports this week that Blur wnated the chart figures re-counted after 'Coffee&TV' failed to make the Top 10. He says the band are more interested in tnhe amount of records they sell instead of chart position - that doesn't matter to them.

Session Obsession - Alex James' Favourite Tunes

First single bought: Tenpole Tudor - 'Swords Of A Thousand Man'
Fond musical memory: The Buggles - 'Video Killed The Radio Star'
First album bought: Adam and The Ants - 'Kings of the Wild Frontier'
Going-out music: Motorhead
First gig: The Cure at Poole Arts Centre
Recommended album: Scott Walker - 'Boy Child: The Best of Scott Walker 1967-1970'
Favourite football records: Ian Lees - 'Viva England'; Guantanmera in all sorts of incarnations; Chicory Tip - 'Son of My Father'; LIghtning Seeds - 'Three Lions'; Fat Les - 'Vindaloo'; Fat Les - 'Jerusalem'