Here, for everyone: Blur in Hyde Park, 3 July 2009

Well, it’s about a month since Blur’s Hyde Park gig, and this being the future gig-goers now get to have an official CD of the night to listen to, also delivered on download which is useful if the posties go on strike because just its the future doesn’t mean it isn’t also 1979 and anyway…

I had a listen. I remembered a few things as I listened and, although I’m awful at writing about music, I wrote them down anyway:

  • I hadn’t registered on the day how much Damon’s voice has deepened since most of these songs were originally recorded. I like it. Graham sounds pretty much the same.
  • Jubilee would be 32 now. Wonder what he’s up to?
  • “Love in the 90s was paranoid.” Ha.
  • Early on in this recording the horns seem a little low in the mix, later they’re more audible. In general its a good mix – the crowd singing along rises in the mix for the more raucous crowd participation bits, and drops down a lot lower the rest of the time.
  • Out of Time chokes me up. Whatever else you think of Think Tank, that song is a great addition to Blur’s songbook.
  • Trimm Trabb becomes a real monster in this version, rattling around.
  • Park Life, on the other hand, bounces all over the shop and sounds like total bloody chaos. Phil Daniels quotes himself from Quadrophenia, a 2009 reference to the mid 90s interest in a 1979 film about the 60s.
  • Damon’s repeated bellowing of “thank you!” to the crowd seem like an almost involuntary, near overwhelmed bubbling of gratitude.
  • “Your mind gets dirty, as you get closer to…” Damon trails off, not saying ’30’. Perhaps because for him, and us, that’s well in the rear view mirror, and sits oddly with a song about sliding into a staid existence. We’ve been there, past it, and we’ve not fossilised yet, have we?
  • Damon gets us to say “Hello moon”, reminding me of the karmic cycle of Batman.
  • I like the way Blur pack and unpack their songs, tightening up their earlier shoegazy stuff and, in this instance, letting Song 2 expand with a slow, deliberate build. Tense, and release, and jump jump jump for your lives.
  • I was absolutely delighted to find, midway through the fantastic extended brass-break, just at a point when I had given hope, that Damon was, yes was, going to do that babbling talky bit in For Tomorrow.
  • Has The Universal ever sounded better than it does at the end of this two-hour, career spanning, lap-of-honour set? Arguably no. Blur have reformed, healed the rifts, surveyed their career, presented to us, and it has stood up to that scrutiny. Yes, the peak of Brit Pop was the peak of Blur’s output, but all of their albums have songs worthy of revisiting years later, and put together its a great songbook from a skilled, charismatic group of musicians. “It really, really could happen.”

And it did.

Mark

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July 31, 2009. Tags: , . Uncategorized.

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