Blur bassist Alex James played to the band's biggest-ever crowds at Wembley this summer – but he says it was nothing compared to raising five children.

The 54-year-old shares Geronimo, 19, twins Artemis and Galileo, 17, and daughters Sable, 14, and 13-year-old Beatrix with his wife Claire Neate, and the whole family live on a 200-farm in Oxfordshire.

As of Beatrix's birthday in June, Alex is now officially the dad of five teenagers, all of whom were at home when OK! visited his farm for a sneak peek at his life off-stage.

"“Playing bass in a rock band is the easiest f*****g job in the world,” he told us. “Especially compared to things like cooking the kids’ breakfasts and washing up afterwards.”

For Alex, being a busy dad is harder than being an in-demand rockstar. "I’ve now got five teenagers,” he said. "So the Blur tour couldn’t have come at a better time because they’re all really enjoying the gigs. You know, it’s very hard for a father to impress a teenager."

Blur – whose lead singer is Damon Albarn – have been enjoying the revival to beat all revivals this summer with a tour that included two sell-out gigs at Wembley Stadium, which holds a whopping 95,000 people.

As part of the band's hectic schedule, Alex has flown – or is just about to jet off to – countries including Denmark, Belgium, Italy, France, and far afield as Japan.

“The current tour schedule has worked out so well, because it’s quite gently paced – just a couple of shows a week. Claire and the kids came to Denmark with us, which was brilliant. We’ve been making a nice family summer out of it.”

It's extra special this around though, he said, because all his kids have been to see him perform.

He added, “This time the kids were all there, bouncing up and down to Country House, having the time of their lives. I knew where Beatrix was standing and I knew she’d either love it or hate it.

"As the lights went up on the crowd I looked over to her and she had her hands in the air, head back, just absolutely loving it. Afterwards they were like, ‘Dad, we’re so proud of you.’ We had the best weekend of our lives, it was truly magical.”

Having teenagers is also a bonus, he said, explaining that all five are regularly roped into helping him and Claire host the annual Big Feastival, a music and food event, held later this month, that will see 25,000 people descend on their farm.

“Food, music and family are things I really understand,” he says. “And even though my kids are teenagers now, they’ll start having their own kids soon. And I never want to lose that family element of the festival because it keeps it all together."

• The Big Feastival runs from 25-27 August. For more information, go to

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