Blur at Hyde Park 20/6/15

To say that much of the music of the 80s left me cold is something of an understatement. Even though it was the era I came of age in, exploring music and bands of earlier decades held much more appeal. But when Blur and Britpop appeared my appetite for new music and new bands was dramatically awakened, like hitting a second bout of teenager-dom. I’d just started Uni in my late 20s as a mature student and Parklife was rarely off the juke box in the Goldsmiths college bar in 94.

And two decades later Blur are going strong and headlining Hyde Park once again, something they have done more than any other band according to the official blurb for this summer’s series of gigs in the Royal Park. And having seen them here in 2009 for their fantastically received reunion it’s good to be seeing them again. Unlike 2009, however, Blur have a new album to promote and they open with Go Out from this year’s The Magic Whip. Imagery from the album cover (featuring a big Mr Whippy) dominated the graphics on the big screen and they even have an ice-cream van on stage with Damon Albarn handing out cornets to hungry punters at the front. They play five songs from the new album tonight. It’s a strong album with strong tunes but the sound and feel is unmistakably Blur and they fit in well to the overall set. That not to say, however, there’s not a huge selection of classic Blur that everyone can sing along to, including There’s No Other Way, Beetlebum, Tender, Song 2, This is a Low and, of course, Parklife, with Phil Daniels coming on stage to reprise his famous spoken commentary (and hand out a few ice-creams, too, of course…)

The crowd is hugely good natured and it’s very much a communal celebration in Hyde Park. These songs have stood the test of time and are rightly held in great affection, as are the band who play them. Blur helped give a much-needed shake-up to a dreary and uninspiring UK music scene twenty-odd years ago and the love for the band tonight is testimony as to why they have been so important. Now let’s hear it for a Supergrass reunion…

Setlist:

Go Out
There’s No Other Way
Lonesome Street
Badhead
Coffee & TV
Out of Time
Beetlebum
Thought I Was a Spaceman
Trimm Trabb
He Thought of Cars
End of a Century
I Broadcast
Trouble in the Message Centre
Tender
Parklife (with Phil Daniels)
Ong Ong
Song 2
To the End
This Is a Low
Stereotypes
Girls & Boys
For Tomorrow
The Universal

http://www.blur.co.uk/

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