Blur make Hyde Park comeback for Olympic Games closer

Phil Daniels and Harry Enfield join Britpop icons onstage for a rendition of 'Parklife'

Blur make Hyde Park comeback for Olympic Games closer

Photo: Richard Johnson/NME

Blur returned to Hyde Park last night (August 12) - three years after their two acclaimed comback shows at the central London venue.

The Britpop legends played as part of the Mayor of London's Olympic closing ceremony celebrations.

Performing under a giant stage set of London's Westway dual carriageway, the band kicked off with 1994 hit 'Girls & Boys' – which you can watch fan-filmed footage of below, before launching into 'Parklife' favourites 'London Loves', 'Tracy Jacks' and 'Jubilee'.



After renditions of 1997 UK Number One single 'Beetlebum' and '13''s 'Coffee & TV', Albarn then dedicated a rendition of 'Out Of Time' to the people of Syria and the "athletes that were not able to compete because of the current political situation in their country".

"We dedicate this to all our children," Albarn told the crowd before B-side 'Young And Lovely'. "It didn't make sense when we first recorded it, but it does now," he said.

A rendition of 'Parklife' followed, with Phil Daniels joining the band on stage alongside comedian Harry Enfield dressed as a tea lady. "We dedicate this to a British institution always forgotten – the tea lady," Albarn beamed.

'Song 2' saw Albarn bounce around the stage before a more mellow finale of 'No Distance Left To Run', a singalong to 'Tender' and 'This Is A Low'.



Returning for an encore of 'Under The Westway', which was written especially for the Hyde Park show, Albarn told the crowd:

This song was written just for you. We've been watching a lot of telly recently. There's been no adverts, which we think has done us a world of good.


Praising the athletes, he said: "We've seen so much graft. It's been amazing." Albarn also singled out double gold medal winner Mo Farah for praise, describing him as a "incredible human being", and encouraging the crowd to do Farah's trademark 'Mobot' move.

Launching straight into 'End Of A Century' from a brief 'Intermission', Albarn jumped into the crowd amid bouncing fans, before climbing back onstage for 'For Tomorrow' and a grand finale of 'The Universal'.



Despite the band's performance, many fans were disappointed with the quiet sound levels. Charlie Roper, 22, said: "To be completely honest. I thought it was too quiet. Blur played very well but I felt lots of people weren't having the experience they came here for. The band were great but the sound levels were just so wrong."

However, other fans said the atmosphere made up for it. Leo Gee, 32 said:

Incredible. I've seen Blur several times, but this was by far and away their best gig. The atmosphere, the weather, the whole vibe was spot on. It's a shame about the volume, but the quality made up for it.


Matt Sharp, 33 added: "I was here a few years ago for the reunion gig and that was amazing. Tonight was a great selection of songs - there's just so many people here. It's absolutely incredible."

Lindsey Roddam, 26, said: "I loved it. They were really emotional. You could tell that they just loved it so much and we did just as much. The energy - the performance was amazing. The staging was great too. Everyone's had such a good two weeks with the Olympics and this was the perfect way to end it."



Earlier in the day Hyde Park had witnessed performances by Bombay Bicycle Club, New Order and The Specials.

Blur played:

'Girls & Boys'
'London Loves'
'Tracy Jacks'
'Jubilee'
'Beetlebum'
'Coffee & TV'
'Out Of Time'
'Young and Lovely'
'Trimm Trabb'
'Caramel'
'Sunday Sunday'
'Country House'
'Parklife'
'Colin Zeal'
'Popscene'
'Advert'
'Song 2'
'No Distance Left To Run'
'Tender'
'This Is A Low'
'Sing'
'Under The Westway'
'Intermission'
'End Of A Century'
'For Tomorrow'
'The Universal'




Read More On This Artist

Blur Merchandise
More News
Cult Brooklyn venue Glasslands set for closure
Lorde reveals 'crazy experiences' behind her 'Hunger Games' soundtrack
Red Hot Chili Peppers hoping to release 'super danceable' new album in the next 12 months
Honeyblood reveal 'Choker' video ahead of NME New Breed Tour appearance – watch
Zane Lowe defends BBC's plan to provide alternative soundtrack to 'Drive'
Pulled Apart By Horses announce 'Medium Rare' EP
Mike Skinner working on new project with London rapper Oscar World Peace
Singing nun who won Italy's 'The Voice' covers Madonna's 'Like A...
Foo Fighters say no to Isle Of Wight Festival headline slot
Paul McCartney shares long-lost John Bonham collaboration
Sylvan Esso announce biggest London headline gig to date
O2 Priority Tickets for Nina Nesbitt, George Ezra and The Charlatans available tomorrow
Ariana Grande reportedly cancels trip to Spain due to Ebola fear
Brian May exhibits his collection of Victorian 3D photos at London's Tate
Noel Gallagher to appear onstage with Johnny Marr at London gig
US judge refuses Led Zeppelin request to have 'Stairway To Heaven' plagiarism case...
Saxophone player Raphael Ravenscroft – man behind the 'Baker Street' solo – dies
Former Radio 1 DJ Mike Read says 'Ukip Calypso' track is not 'racist' but...
Graham Coxon's bikes sell for £24,000 at charity auction
The Charlatans preview new music at intimate London gig
Orbital announce split, Paul Hartnoll to release solo album as 8:58
Paul McCartney says Kanye West and Jay Z was the best gig he's attended

More News

Comments

Please login to add your comment.

Latest Tickets - Booking Now
 
Know Your NME
 

 
NME Store & Framed Prints
Inside NME.COM