During the band’s almost six-year hiatus, Albarn kept himself busy with a solo album (2003’s Democrazy), a pair of Gorillaz releases (Demon Days, D-Sides), The Good, the Bad & the Queen (his project with Tony Allen, Paul Simonon and Simon Tong) and an opera (“Monkey: Journey to the West”).

Now Blur is back in action, complete with guitarist Graham Coxon, and ready to show the new kids how it’s done.

The group has half a dozen U.K. dates on the books beginning mid-June and will headline the Glastonbury Festival June 28, followed by a pair of sold-out concerts July 2-3 in London’s Hyde Park.

In addition, Albarn and company will top the bill for Nuits de Fourviere in Lyon, France (July 5), Oxegen in Naas, Ireland (July 10) and T in the Park in Kinross, U.K. (July 12).

Fans who can’t make it to the E.U. can pacify their Blur jones with the band’s new best-of collection, Midlife: A Beginner’s Guide To Blur.

The two-disc set features chart-topping singles (“She’s So High,” “There’s No Other Way,” “Chemical World,” “Girls & Boys”), fan favorites (“Sing,” “Badhead,” “This Is Low,” “Strange News From Another Star”) and the long-out-of-print 1992 single “Popscene,” only available on this collection.