Alex James' farm festival

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 13 September 2009
Alex James

Alex James' farm festival

Blur bassist Alex James recently hosted a rock festival at his Oxfordshire estate

Alex James hosted a rock festival in his sheep shed.

The Blur bassist - who became a cheese farmer when the group went on hiatus in 2003 - asked his land agent Paddy to help him arrange a "small" music event from his 200-acre Oxfordshire estate recently.

He said: "Last week I had Paddy organising a rock festival, only a small one, but it will be broadcast live on the BBC later this month from the sheep shed and a little bit from the kitchen. He takes it all in his stride."

The 40-year-old musician admits he often infuriates Paddy - who helps with the daily running of the farm - with his ambitious ideas for the estate.

He explained: "I've learned a lot but there's always so much I want to do here that I think I drive my land agent, Paddy, a bit mad sometimes. I suppose he must be fairly used to it."

Despite his complex ideas, Alex says he is an easy client compared to Paddy's previous employer, Madonna.

He added: "He is very discreet about his other clients but I know he built Madonna's stables a couple of years back. But a stable block, even for the 'Queen of Pop', is pretty much a run-of-the-mill job for a seasoned land agent. Stables are usually the first thing rock wives go for when they arrive in the country."

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