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It seems the whole of London is keyed up about Blur's Hyde Park shows, the first of which takes place tonight (July 2).

The sense of anticipation has been ramped-up, of course, by the tsunami of good will generated by the band's Glastonbury headline performance last weekend.

Can they possibly top that? Judging by past form, it really, really could happen. This is a band with a history of turning in sweat-drenched, epiphanic live performances - as these clips demonstrate.

End Of A Century (Town And Country, Leeds, 1994)
Barely after a month after the release of 'Parklife' (the album), the buzz is palpable. After the cascading dreamy-sweetness of 'EOAC', the band charge into 'Parklife' itself at 2.50: astonishing.





Bank Holiday (Glastonbury, 1994)
Hard to see how they could play this song any faster or heavier without actually becoming Napalm Death. Amazingly, Radiohead, Pulp, Oasis and Blur had all played the same (NME) stage that day. Spiritualized were still to come. Quite a line-up, all told.


Charmless Man (Feile Festival, Cork, 1995)
They've dropped this from the set (which is weird: it sounded great at the Colchester gig) so you're unlikely to hear it at Hyde Park. Is the na-na-na chorus simply too cheesy for Damon to sing these days?


Beetlebum (Jools Holland, 1997)
Feel that crunchy, viscous guitar riff break over you like mint chocolate ice cream melting on your tongue on a hot day.


This Is A Low (Glastonbury, 1994)
It's clearly an emotional song for Damon – note the tear rolling down his cheek at 4.58.


Song 2 (Wembley Arena, 1999)
Wait for the explosion of ecstatic noise and light at 0.30. This version, from Reading 1999, is pretty special too.

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