Come on, Come on, Come on…Get through it. Blur have opened up old wounds, the 2009 reunion tour (yes I know technically they never split up) has fired a belated salvo back to the Gallagher brothers. They could almost be saying - Here is the benchmark, now beat this at Wembley Stadium. Maybe this is how it might have gone, had Blur not faded into irrelevance, see Oasis despite existing as musical luddites are still relevant, despite hanging by a thread creatively they are still a band that release new music, It pains me to write this as a Blur fan, bur Blur are no longer relevant. Hyde Park was a nostalgia trip. One thing immediately stood out from this gig that echoed the dark days of Britpop. Half a dozen or so songs into the set Damon Albarn announced to the crowd to calm down a little, fights were breaking out, there was a lot of ungentlemanly pushing and shoving, people were getting hurt. My view is that Blur are just as responsible for creating this monstrous type of fan, the loutish lad as their Northern rivals. As Blur copyists the Kaiser Chiefs astutely observed “Watching the people get lairy / Is not very pretty I tell thee”. It was distressing watching brutes in Fred Perry shirts knock back cans of Tuborg before knocking heads. Not that you want your crowds to be passive and polite, sedately applauding before bellowing “Bravo!” at the appropriate intervals. You want atmosphere, though throughout last nights gig something sinister hung in the air, yellowing the glorious goodwill that came from the stage. The prelude to the main event was perfect. Deerhoof bounded onto the stage with smiles on their faces, and absolutely, enthusiastically slayed it. The first thing you notice about Deerhoof live is how their music bounces around with pinball volatility. Highlights from the short yet thrilling set included blistering renditions of ‘Panda Panda Panda’ and ‘Tears’. A nutty version of ‘Going Up The Country’ went over most people’s heads. Then came Florence and the Machine, prior to this performance I had not been won over by Flo, today something clicked. She owned the stage, this performance which included ‘Kiss with a Fist’, ‘Dog Days are Over’ and ‘Rabbit Heart’ was a dress rehearsal for bigger things to come, in a couple of years she could well headline a gig like this. Quickly Amadou & Mariam were whisked onto the stage, with the stage manager frantic towards the end of Florence’s set attempting to keep time. It was a great shame that in my ear throughout their set I had two twats from Yorkshire bellowing “Fuck off Home”. It’s nice to know that a few BNP poster boys had taken the trouble to trundle down from Speaker’s Corner to make their ignorant voices heard. Pricks. Amadou & Mariam’s brand of slick afro-blues is perfect for a summer’s evening, songs like ‘Magossa’ and ‘Africa’ from the duos album Welcome to Mali were especially well received. I suppose the same could be said for Vampire Weekend whose breezy Afro-pop blossomed in the late evening sun; playing most of their self titled debut plus the airing of newer songs such as ‘White Sky’ and ‘Cousins’. The new songs were very derivative of their first album, perhaps it’s time they stopped nicking idea from Graceland and moved on to Angel Clare instead. It was main event time. Blur continued their form from Glastonbury. Die hard fans might have been disappointed that there was no surprising airings of B-Sides like ‘Inertia’ or ‘No Monsters in me’ or even album tracks like ‘No Distance Left to Run’, ‘He Thought of Cars’, ‘Charmless Man’ or ‘Colin Zeal’ but this was wishful thinking. What we did get was a rousing Greatest Hits set that delivered joy to those in attendance. It is hard to critique the performance, Alex James and Dave Roundtree the underrated rhythm section provide punch and drive, Graham Coxon is a fervent maestro who takes no prisoners and Albarn revels in his role, playing the consummate front man who has the crowd eating from the palm of his hand. You see although Alban has broken new ground with his post-Blur musical projects he is a populist at heart. The chance to play ringmaster one last time in front of fifty thousand people would always be too good of an opportunity to have turned down, so it made sense for him to once again buzz about the stage like an irritated bumble bee. For all the pertinent social critique and the experimental last third of their recorded output, the most well received songs are the dumb and fun hits ‘Parklife’, ‘Girls and Boys’ and ‘Song 2’, all induce absolute pandemonium. Blur are tight, benefitting from the warm up shows and their storming headlining set at Glastonbury. What fuels four musicians in their early forties, who have their collective fingers in other pies to gallivant like young bucks half their age is anyone’s guess. Deservedly the set is rapturously received, everyone goes home happy. Upon immediate reflection the band will be content that they had not tarnished their legacy throughout these reunion shows, only it looks unlikely that we shall see another Blur album or even another show, with Damon announcing this gig to be their last gig in London. Did he mean this year, or did he mean forever? Looking back, the morning after the night before I wonder whether this gig was a handshake to the fans that had supported them throughout their careers, or whether they had bitten the hand that feeds by cashing in, time will tell whether they do a Sex Pistols and return again and again to top up the pension fund. But did we really need to see another Greatest Hits album get released alongside a two commemorative live albums for both Hyde Park dates and possibly a DVD as well? Are we consumers or are we fans? Blur Setlist: She’s So High Girls and Boys Tracy Jacks There’s No Other Way Jubilee Badhead Beetlebum Out of Time Trimm Trabb Coffee and 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