Blur were cagey chaps in 2012. This gig in Hyde Park, performed while the Olympics closed across town, was rumoured to be their last, adding a sense of occasion to an event which was dramatically oversold and criminally under-amplified due to a combination of noise restrictions and greed.
But no matter on this 2-CD document of the event, which covers Blur’s multi-faceted output over the 25-song gig. The sound’s no problem, with everyone loud and clear, but there’s a lull halfway through as fan favourites Young & Lovely, Trimm Trabb and Caramel are played in succession. The setlist soon gets back to “normal”, as Sunday Sunday, Country House and Parklife placate the masses. Still, this is really about occasion – a disc containing the group’s 100 Club gig the week before is a more contained, intense burst, while a DVD again shows the elaborate Westway stage set.
Blur aren’t over, with more festival appearances booked across 2013, so this set is no longer a farewell. However, to date, it’s the best cross-section of live Blur there is: generous with its leftfield choices and indulgences, for better or worse. While certainly not all things to all comers, this deluxe edition makes a good fist of it.