Well 2009 was going to be a comeback year from nostalgia heaven with Blur and Michael Jackson on the bill. The chance of seeing my all time favourite was ripped from me by prescription drugs and the band it was cool to love opted to play Manchester, Glastonbury and Goldsmiths BEFORE their comeback gig….not much of a comeback year in the end. All is well though after the slightly older, slightly chubbier Blur delivered an energetic two hour gig in Hyde Park.
I was a bit dubious on how 2 gigs at Hyde Park were going to work but when we got there it was like a festival. Outdoor gigs are always a bit special, with the sun setting, birds tweeting and the annoyance of smokers being allowed to smoke!! I know Blur were amazing in their day but I was fairly surprised they managed to fill that space, it was crammed, and to do it twice…quite an achievement.
The support was a bit of a mixed bag with a hypnotic jazz band starting us off, followed by a Smiths inspired Golden Silvers. Crystal Castles were wasted on the true Blur fans that were kicking well into their middle age now. Their fashion sense really gave the atmosphere a bump it needed, with Alice donning a tight fitting T shirt bearing the slogan ‘OASIS HAVE AIDS’. Good to see the Canadians getting into the Britpop spirit, even if it is a bit late!
There was a lot of speculation as to who would be the 4th support…it was going to be either ‘Friendly Fires’ or ‘Foals’. Unfortunately we were dealt with the short straw. ‘Foals’ robotic set and generic look left us more interested in our Pimms and red wine we had snook in…
I suppose I better mention something about Blur’s set at some point, and it was EPIC!!! After a few hours debating what they would start with, what they would end with and everything inbetween, I was very happy to hear ‘SHE’S SO HIGH’ kick starting the nostalgic journey back to my childhood.
A Fred Perry deal was evident with Damon, Dave, the sound guy, and some backing singers all well dressed in the iconic black polo with yellow tipping. The whole band had reverted back to their 90’s indie style, including a camp Alex, after a few years away from the music biz drinking breast milk and whatnot.
All the favourites were revisited with Damon dedicating ‘BEETLEBUM’ to the sun, an extra long rendition of ‘TENDER’ and a crowd pleasing Paul Daniels running bow legged up and down the stage for ‘PARKLIFE’. There was slight panic in my mind early in the set with Damon struggling to hit the vocals, but he quickly brought it back with an atmospheric ‘OUT OF TIME’.
A cold had rendered me useless for the day, so stupid me decided I would probably be chilling out at the side and wouldn’t need proper shoes on. Of course, as soon as the music started my cold miraculously disappeared and I wanted to get straight in the pit. Not a great idea when wearing slip on pumps!! During ‘SUNDAY’ was a particularly scary situation as Damon didn’t explain himself very well, ” When I start running, I want you to run this way (towards him) and don’t stop till I stop” Oh bollocks, I thought this is it…I’m going to die in a Blur stampede! Thankfully, Blur fans did me proud as a smarter fan than usual and we ran on the spot – close shave!
The well deserving fans were rewarded with 2 encores. The first being a homage to 20th Century indie rock, fully equipped with signature high kicks, heavy guitar riffs, and the biggest mosh pit I have ever seen for ‘SONG 2’. The second being a reminiscent sing along, ending on a beautiful, ‘THE UNIVERSAL’.
I was upset to see there was no electricity between Damon and Graham at all. I can only hope this hasn’t been lost forever and it will grow with time, because from what we witnessed at Hyde Park Blur will be around for another good run in our charts….Thank God!!!