1. Girls and Boys 2. London Loves 3. Tracy Jacks 4. Jubilee 5. Bettlebum 6. Coffee and TV 7. Out of Time 8. Young and Lovely 9. Trimm Trabb 10. Caramel 11. Sunday Sunday 12. \Country House 13. Parklife (feat. Phil Daniels) 14. Colin Zeal 15. Popscene 16. Advert 17. Song 2 18. No Distance Left to Run 19. Tender 20. This Is a low 21. Sing 22. Under the Westway/Commercial Break 23. End of a Century 24. For Tomorrow 25. The Universal
A few weeks ago I read a post while watching part of the opening ceremony from the Olympics where someone referred to Blur as the “British Sugar Ray.” Having long been a Blur fan, I immediately decided that this individual’s musical opinion no longer meant anything to me. Sugar Ray certainly had a skill for writing the big summer hit a few times, but they were no Blur. Besides, Blur weren’t playing at the Olympic Opening Ceremony; they were playing the Olympic Closing Ceremony Concert in Hyde Park! Everybody knew this… right???
The members of Blur have said that this performance will be their last, but whether or not this turns out to be true is anyone’s guess really. Luckily for all of their fans that didn’t get to attend the show, and those that would like a recording to remember it by, it is now available as Parklive. This live album clocks in at over 2 hours of music with 25 tracks that span over 20 years of recordings.
While the fans will wish the band played some other songs, and the casual listeners will wish a single or two more would have been played, Parklive is a pretty strong collection of Blur tunes. Songs are played from every album if you count “Sing” from their UK debut of Leisure, but are primarily from the last five releases, which were better than the first two. You also get some deeper cuts and even the newly written and excellent “Under the Westway.”
Parklive is a well balanced recording that shows the band’s range over their career and really reminds you just how could they were (are?). Even non-Blur fans that only know a few of their singles should be impressed with this concert and realize how many great songs they have. This concert not only celebrates the bands catalog, but it is important to remember that it is celebrating the close of the Olympic Games in London. This adds to the music and emotion from the band and audience and makes it all the more fun. Whether it ends up being Blur’s last concert or not remains to be seen, but if it truly is, it is certainly a fitting way for them to go out.
Key Tracks: Girls and Boys, Trimm Trabb, Sing, Under the Westway