Alex James has claimed Blur only paid off their debts for their 'Leisure' tour "about two years ago".

The 'Song 2' group's record label bankrolled their 1992 US run in support of their acclaimed 1991 debut LP - which turns 30 on Friday (26.08.21) - after they got into a sticky financial situation with an unpaid tax bill and debts amounting to £60,000.

And the 52-year-old bassist - who now makes his money as an award-winning cheesemaker - has revealed it took them several years to clear their debt.

Speaking about the sacking of their manager in the early days of their career, Alex told Mark Hoppus on 'After School Radio' on Apple Music Hits: "I think part of the problem with 'Leisure' was that it was as ... I don't know whether you had this with your band, but our first manager was kind of like our mate and it turned out he wasn't very good at managing after all. And when 'Leisure' was coming out, we realised we didn't have any money at all. We had to sack the manager and get a sensible business manager, but we had a tax bill that we couldn't pay. That is actually an imprisonable offense if you ... It was really serious, but fortunately, we were on this tiny little indie label called Food Records... Fortunately, I think that our record label were able to apply some pressure to the American label SPK for them to back this enormous tour of America. It was a 13-week, steeplechase, going absolutely everywhere. But by the fact that the record company would bankroll this incredible tour, which I think we only finished paying off about two years ago. We were paying them for years. So we could get an advance on t-shirts, merchandise royalties, which meant we could pay our debts and get to America and have some fun. But it was really strange. The four weeks after 'Leisure' was released, 'Nevermind' came out. I think it was the day that we got there for that tour. "

The 'Parklife' group - completed by Damon Albarn, 53, Dave Rowntree, 57, and Graham Coxon, 52 - also released the song 'Popscene' to coincide with the start of the tour, but it wasn't a big hit with some fans, with frontman Damon admitting he felt they were "annoyed" by how "English" it sounded.

He said in 1993: "We felt 'Popscene' was a big departure; a very, very English record.

"But that annoyed a lot of people ... We put ourselves out on a limb to pursue this English ideal and no-one was interested."

They then planned to release a single named 'Never Clever', which was scrapped, and their second album (which ended up being 1993's 'Modern Life Is Rubbish') was delayed.

During the two-month jaunt across the pond, the Britpop legends started venting their frustrations towards one and other.

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