Veteran U.K. rock outfit Blur returned to live performance Friday in London with a short set of material from its as-yet-untitled upcoming album. The set of three songs took place as part of a preview

Veteran U.K. rock outfit Blur returned to live performance Friday in London with a short set of material from its as-yet-untitled upcoming album. The set of three songs took place as part of a preview of new releases by EMI's Parlophone label for members of the broadcast media at Whitfield Street Studios in the West End.

The album, the follow-up to 1999's "13" and Blur's first since the departure of guitarist Graham Coxon, is due for release in May, and will be preceded by the single "Out of Time." That track was unveiled at the presentation, and features distinctive vocals by Damon Albarn with strumming acoustic guitar detail.

Blur does not intend to appoint a permanent replacement for Coxon, according to the label, but will use session players instead. Last month, the group posted footage of itself on its official Web site performing as a trio. The album has chiefly been produced by previous collaborator Ben Hillier, with additional input by William Orbit.

As previously reported, Blur released a very limited edition taster in November, in the form of the white label vinyl single "Don't Bomb When You're the Bomb." The single was on sale in some London stores, but high demand ensured its almost immediate disappearance.

Also performing at the Parlophone showcase was emerging English modern rock signing Athlete, soon to release its debut album "Vehicles & Animals," and R&B vocalist Jamelia, who had a top-5 U.K. hit in 2000 with "Money."

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