BT London Live Olympic Closing Ceremony Concert

After the highs of the mountain biking on the Saturday, came the lows of the Sunday after...

We got to Hyde Park at around 4.30pm and waited in the queue to be frisked/X-rayed whilst we could hear Bombay Bicycle Club in the distance (at least, we could until we got nearer the speakers above the entrance - but more on the sound later). I recognised one of the songs anyway.

We had a quick look around - everything was pretty similar to how it had been setup the previous week, apart from the band merchandise stalls - we don't need a carboard milk carton a la Coffee & TV, but somehow it still took a lot of effort not to buy one.

We were about halfway back when New Order came on.


As you can see, we're fairly close to a speaker stack there, but the sound was abysmal - we could barely hear anything. It didn't help that the first half of New Order's set didn't feature any of their more famous songs, but at least I finally got to hear Blue Monday after they were booted off at Glastonbury 2005 before playing it. I have no idea why they finished with Love Will Tear Us Apart - I like the song and it's one I can 'tick off', as it were, but surely New Order have enough songs of their own? They didn't even do Regret.

We wanted to go a bit closer for The Specials, but first we queued for the toilets and water. The mens queue was fairly ridiculous, but it was nothing compared to the womens queue - I was able to walk the entire length of the site (looking for water taps - the ones at the back didn't have queues), fill up my bottles and walk back again before Anna had even got to the toilets. By this time the food stalls had ridiculously long queues as well, and the bars had unreal queues, especially considering they were charging £5 a pint!



We were a bit further forward for The Specials, the sound was still lousy but the band were better than New Order. Strangely though they didn't do Ghost Town!

So, for Blur we moved a bit closer still...


We were close enough that I could see the band on the stage, and we were in front of the mixing desk and the first set of delay speakers. However, the sound levels were atrocious - half the time I could hardly hear what Damon was singing. As a result, this made for a fairly crap atmosphere, which wasn't helped by what seemed to be a crowd which was mostly comprised of idiots. I don't know why people would want to fork out £61 a ticket to sing along to about five songs and then talk/smoke through the rest of the set, but apparently they do. Songs such as Popscene, Tracy Jacks and This Is A Low were talked over, obviously not helped by the low sound levels, whilst the only songs to really interest the crowd were Country House, Parklife, Song 2, Tender and The Universal. Phil Daniels came on to do Parklife, along with Harry Enfield dressed as a tea lady (I have no idea why, maybe Damon explained it but I couldn't hear him).

There were sustained chants of 'turn it up' but to no avail. The whole day, with long queues, low sound and crowd of idiots has left me feeling quite bitter. I've complained to Live Nation but I don't imagine for a second I'll get a response. I do know that I'll never be going to another Hyde Park gig, it is an atrocious venue - it is entirely flat so you can't see the stage/screens if someone stands in front of you (and I'm 6', so it must be worse for everyone shorter than me!), there weren't enough facilities for that many people and of course the sound levels were a joke.

It did feel like this was the end for Blur though - Damon looked very emotional at the end.

Keane Ingram

A father of three and husband of one. I enjoy spending time with my family, staying active (especially cycling, running and capoeira) and playing video games. I also enjoy reading and watching films.

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