Damon Albarn says the park influenced the band's landmark single

Blur paid tribute to London‘s Hyde Park during their massive gig there tonight (July 2), with frontman Damon Albarn explaining that the green space was the inspiration for ‘Parklife’.

He also revealed that the park held special significance for him due to its part in the 2003 anti-war demonstrations he was heavily involved with.

“Two million people marched into this park in 2003,” said Albarn before performing ‘Think Tank’‘s ‘Out Of Time’, “and tried to stop something and you know what happened, I just want to remind myself about it.”

Before ‘Parklife’, the singer said: “I had the idea for this song in this park, I used to live near Kensington Church Street and I used to watch pigeons and people and all that stuff.”

The reunited four-piece came on around 8.15pm (BST) and launched into their debut single ‘She’s So High’, swiftly followed by ‘Girls & Boys’.

“This was the first thing we did [after reforming], to book here,” said Albarn. “The last two weeks have been extraordinary.”

As well as their hits, including ‘Beetlebum’, ‘Country House’ and ‘Tender’, the group also played rarer tracks such as ‘Oily Water’ and firm fan favourite ‘Death Of A Party’.

After finishing their main set with a blistering ‘This Is A Low’, the band returned to perform a number of tracks, including ‘Popscene’ and ‘Song 2’.

“We feel really privileged to be able to do nothing for years then come back to this,” said a visibly moved Albarn before ‘Popscene’. “It’s incredible, really incredible.”

Before final track ‘The Universal’, the singer expressed doubts that tomorrow’s (July 3) gig would meet the standard of tonight’s, saying: “I honestly don’t know how we’re going to repeat this tomorrow, thank you for coming.”

Blur were supported by Foals, Crystal Castles, Golden Silvers and The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble.

Foals performed a set heavy on tracks from their debut ‘Antidotes’ just before Blur took to the stage, but also performed a more funk-influenced new track that frontman Yannis Philipakkis explained was unfinished.

Photo Gallery – Blur live at Hyde Park

Blog – Blur’s greatest live performances – video

Blur played:

‘She’s So High’
‘Girls & Boys’
‘Tracy Jacks’
‘There’s No Other Way’
‘Jubilee’
‘Badhead’
‘Beetlebum’
‘Out Of Time’
‘Trimm Trabb’
‘Coffee & TV’
‘Tender’
‘Country House’
‘Oily Water’
‘Chemical World’
‘Sunday Sunday’
‘Parklife’
‘End Of A Century’
‘To The End’
‘This Is A Low’
‘Popscene’
‘Advert’
‘Song 2’
‘Death Of A Party’
‘For Tomorrow’
‘The Universal’