Blur live at Hyde Park

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Blur live at Hyde Park

Blur at London's Hyde Park, Thursday July 2. It was the first of two consecutive nights the reformed band are playing at the venue. Photo: Andy Willsher

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Added: 3 Jul 2009

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Blur live at Hyde Park

During the gig Damon Albarn 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." Photo: Andy Willsher

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Added: 3 Jul 2009

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Blur live at Hyde Park

Before playing 'Parklife', Damon Albarn underlined the personal significance of the Hyde Park venue: "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." Photo: Andy Willsher

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Added: 3 Jul 2009

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Blur live at Hyde Park

"The last two weeks have been extraordinary," said Albarn from the stage during a gig that opened with the band's debut single 'She's So High' and ended with 'The Universal'. Albarn said at the end: "I honestly don't know how we're going to repeat this tomorrow." Photo: Andy Willsher

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Added: 3 Jul 2009

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Blur live at Hyde Park

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'. Photo: PA Photos

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Added: 3 Jul 2009

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Blur live at Hyde Park

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'. Photo: PA Photos

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Added: 3 Jul 2009

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Blur live at Hyde Park

"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." Photo: PA Photos

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Added: 3 Jul 2009

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Blur live at Hyde Park

Blur's setlist: 'She's So High', 'Girls And 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'. Photo: Andy Willsher

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Added: 3 Jul 2009

Photo: Andy Willsher

Blur live at Hyde Park

Blur were supported at Hyde Park by Foals, Crystal Castles, Golden Silvers and The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble. Beautiful weather ensured the central London venue was busy as early as 5pm, when this picture was taken. Photo: Andy Willsher

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Added: 3 Jul 2009

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Blur live at Hyde Park

55,000 fans bask in the early evening sunshine at London's Hyde Park, Thursday July 2. Fans with tickets to the second night will not be so fortunate: the forecast is for heavy showers. Photo: Andy Willsher

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Added: 3 Jul 2009

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Blur live at Hyde Park

Chief support act 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: Andy Willsher

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Added: 3 Jul 2009

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Blur live at Hyde Park

Golden Silvers prepare to hit the stage in support of Blur at Hyde Park. The '80s-indebted band released their debut album 'True Romance' in April. Photo: Andy Willsher

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Added: 3 Jul 2009

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Blur live at Hyde Park

Crystal Castles' Alice Glass brings the nihilistic digi-punk to the Hyde Park bill. Damon Albarn is apparently a big fan and was personally keen for the duo to fly over from Toronto. Photo: Andy Willsher

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Added: 3 Jul 2009

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Blur live at Hyde Park

Alice Glass confronts Blur fans. The vocalist is known for her reckless onstage antics: one recent gig was cut short when she appeared to assault a bouncer. Photo: Andy Willsher

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Added: 3 Jul 2009

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Blur live at Hyde Park

Crystal Castles might seem an incongruous addition to the Blur support bill, but Damon and co were apparently keen to put together a modern line-up. Electro-rockers Friendly Fires were initially slated to appear, but backstairs wranglings put paid to that. Photo: Andy Willsher

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Added: 3 Jul 2009

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Blur live at Hyde Park

Crystal Castles live in London. Following the sleeper success of their self-titled debut album, released in 2008, the Canadian band are set to return with new material before the end of the year. Photo: Andy Willsher

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Added: 3 Jul 2009

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Blur live at Hyde Park

True to the moshpit-baiting form displayed during the NME new Noise Tour in 2008, Crystal Castles vocalist Alice Glass spent much of the Hyde Park gig diving into the front row and goading the crowd. Photo: Andy Willsher

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Added: 3 Jul 2009

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Blur live at Hyde Park

Crystal Castles' Alice and Ethan relax backstage at Hyde Park after their show. The electro duo recently turned down a lucrative record deal by a US major label. Photo: Andy Willsher

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Added: 3 Jul 2009

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