Friday, 3 July 2009

Blur: Hyde Parklife

Apologies. This was meant to be a proper gig review, but my rambling got in the way. And other people do it better anyway.

I must admit I felt a bit of an impostor at Blur's big Hyde Park comeback gig. I had ticket number 11, but only thanks to Mad Mark who is actually a member of the fan club. Sure, I like Blur's music - correct that, I love it - but not in the same generation defining way that the rest of the crowd did. My 'discovery' of Albarn et al, like all the decent stuff in my catalogue, was a sisterly hand-me-down. It was Jules who got me into Pulp, The Pixies, Lou Reed, and the same for Blur. I used to get in trouble for constantly 'borrowing' her copy of Parklife.

Her musical nous was so refined that she was a fan of the Whitlams when they were struggling nobodies gigging around Sydney, and she tired of them long before the suicides and success, obviously foreseeing their popular acclaim and accompanying fall from musical grace. Without Jules' influence, my musical tastes run to cheese and pop (I didn't see Rick Rolling as a sudden flash-in-the-pan meme, but as long-deserved global acclaim - I never gave you up Rick)... and when I become a tragic fan of a band you've never heard of, it tends to stay that way (The Fantastic Leslie? Lazy Susan? The Real Tuesday Weld? ... maybe I just like bands with names in them). Anyway, the point is, Blur didn't happen to me like it did for everyone else. The battle of BritPop meant nothing to me. It didn't define my teenage years/twenties the way it did for the rest of the crowd. And I'm not qualified to comment on the musical mastery or otherwise displayed by Coxon etc... like the pair of Aussies in front of us who could air guitar/drum along with every song. I like the tunes, and they remind me of a bygone age, but not the same age that everyone else was remembering

Nevertheless, the gig was amazing. The lads have still got it, the crowd still loves 'em, and most importantly, they seemed to be really enjoying it up on stage. There was a whole lotta love in the park, (apart from typical gig-jerkery: shouted conversations during performance, needless shoving, bottle throwing...) If rumours of a proper reformation are true, I'll be sure not to come late to the party again.

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