Page last updated at 13:11 GMT, Friday, 9 April 2010 14:11 UK

Reunited Blur record new material

The band got back together for live shows last year

Blur have gone back into the studio to record their first new material as a four-piece for eight years.

A new track will be released on a UK-only seven-inch vinyl single for Record Store Day on 17 April, and will be limited to 1,000 copies.

Record Store Day is intended to support independent record retailers and the single will only be available from participating outlets.

Damon Albarn said such stores were "an important part of our musical culture".

"Music is a simple way for Blur to show our support and I hope people like it," he said.

Recent figures showed that there are now just 269 independent record shops in the UK - a third of the number there were five years ago.

It's literally two weeks from being recorded to turnaround to being in shops - I've no idea how they're going to get into shops
Spencer Hickman
Record Store Day

Blur's record label EMI said further details would be released next week and that there are currently no plans to release the track on any other formats.

The studio session comes after the band's successful reunion last summer, which saw the group play major shows at London's Hyde Park and the Glastonbury and T in the Park festivals.

It will fuel speculation about a possible new album from the Britpop favourites.

Spencer Hickman, who runs Record Store Day and the Rough Trade East shop in London, told BBC 6 Music the release would be a big boost.

"Blur went into the studio a couple of weeks ago," he said. "It's so close to the wire - it's literally two weeks from being recorded to turnaround to being in shops. I've no idea how they're going to get into shops. But we're confident that they will.

"They obviously think the track is good enough to release, which is exciting in itself, especially as nobody had any inking that they'd gone back into the studio.

"For bands of that stature to do something like that for record store day can only help us grow."

In-store gigs

The single will be part of a series of limited editions released by Parlophone Records to support the event.

The records, in vintage-style wrapping, will also include tracks by The Beatles, Bat For Lashes, the Pet Shop Boys, Hot Chip, Babyshambles and Lily Allen.

There will also be exclusive UK releases by The Rolling Stones, the Flaming Lips, Jimi Hendrix, the Stone Roses, MGMT and Goldfrapp.

Record shops across the UK will also be hosting in-store gigs by the likes of Ash, Laurie Anderson, The Paddingtons and Bombay Bicycle Club.

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