“All the people / so many people. And they all go hand in hand through their parklife” – we’re not sure if the crowd of BLUR‘s triumphant comeback concert in London’s Hyde Park on August 12 really went hand in hand like in the 1994 classic from the britpop legends. But we’re pretty sure they had a jolly good time on that very special night. And the fact that this one-of-show was some sort of special closing concert for this year’s Olympic Summer Games in the English capital made it even more important. Well, if London needs to show the world what their musical culture and unique pop history is about, why not with one of its finest groups? Look world, this is Great Britain – and we freakin’ know how to make a good show. This night was a triumphant evening for the legendary band around masterminds Damon Albarn and Graham Coxon. Already released a day later in digital form the whole live experience will be re-released these days in physical form as a huge deluxe box-set featuring the album, a concert DVD plus bonus footage, like the group playing in a really small club this summer.
Writing about BLUR and their impact on guitar-driven pop music of the past years is a tough challenge. Pretty much everything has been said and written about them – the triumph of the 90s, their strange feud with OASIS, the split, the reunion and so on. After the departure of Coxon in the early 00s the group went separate way with especially Albarn exploring new musical territories. One thing was for sure – the high times were over. Everyone knew it, especially the band. And this might be the reason why their reunion back in 2009 was so special. It was’n about success anymore, it wasn’t about the future. The BLUR of these days are a bunch of old friends who got back together because they love each other, they love playing their music together and they knew that no silly personal conflicts could destroy their own legacy and what they’ve been through as a four-piece. So, although they visit a recording studio from time to time and they like to play together, there might not be a new studio album ever again from these man. A bit sad, but as they’ve already recorded so many classics it might be the best for their legacy to just leave it as beautiful and unique as it is. Parklive is about celebrating this music, this special vibe and the special feeling of this band.
Twenty-five live songs – full of hits. Of course you get the big party classics like Song 2, Country House or – directly as opener – Girls & Boys. And the amazing ballads like Coffee & TV, This Is A Low or a stunning closer The Universal. And a lot of rare material for all the fans, b-sides and album-tracks from the group’s golden era in the 90s. Rough lo-fi-rock energy meets big melodies. You can sense the pure energy in tracks like Popscene. And you’ll get goosebumps when thosands of enthusiastic people join the bands gospel “Oh my baby / Oh my baby / Oh why / Oh my” in the phenomenal performance of Tender. It’s this deep bound between band and their audience that you can sense in every minute of listening to the album and – especially – watching the DVD. BLUR might have never been the biggest band in the world – they not even tried as desperate as OASIS. Neither have they been as sophisicated as RADIOHEAD. They work best when they stick to their roots, to the basic ideas of their britpop anthems. And it’s their part to conserve this atmosphere whenever they play. Thank god, the group just announced some festival dates for 2013. This dream is just to good to end by now.
rock / pop
from London, United Kingdom