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The Libertines| British Summer Time- Hyde Park- 05/07/2014| Live Review

We went along to British Summer Time in Hyde Park on 5th July, find out what we thought of the day here!

The Last Internationale- 2.5/5 

Source: The Last Internationale Facebook

First to the stage were The Last Internationale, aiming to break themselves in the UK. However I’m guessing that The Kills aren’t so known stateside as the US band infront of me essentially aped the blues meets sexed up and sultry female singer that the popular duo are known so well for.

That isn’t to say the band don’t do it well, adding a more bluesy vibe than The Kills, however it is still at times hard to escape the feeling that this is slowly becoming a tired formula.

Reviewer: Martin-john McDonnell


Darlia- 3/5

Source: Darlia Facebook

Whilst The Last Internationale were playing on the main stage, Blackpool band Darlia got the atmosphere going in the Barclaycard Theatre. Despite being a three man band, their pop-punk tunes filled the air of the small venue. Their sound was reminiscent of Nirvana and singer Nathan Day’s voice echoes through the theatre, a voice that can go effortlessly from a soft whisper to a rasping roar.

Their songs mixed quiet-loud dynamics with exploding riffs and the crowd responded, particularly to their more well known songs like ‘Dear Diary‘ and ‘Queen of Hearts‘. To finish off, Nathan jumped into the crowd and was surrounded by a swarm of fans who obviously loved the interaction.

Reviewer: Sophie Meeson

The Enemy- 5/5

Source: The Enemy Facebook

There’s not much to say that The Enemy smashed it! Buoyed by a drunk and up for it crowd the band fed off the energy to deliver an immediate and energetic set comprising mainly of material from debut album ‘We’ll Live And Die In These Towns’ among the lesser known newer material. Set highlights included ‘Aggro’ ‘Had Enough’ and ‘This Song Is About You’. Perhaps it takes seeing the Coventry trio live to realise why Paul Weller gives his support to a band who are let down by critics over and over again.

Reviewer: Martin-john McDonnell


Wolf Alice- 3/5

Source: Wolf Alice Facebook

Wolf Alice packed out the Barclaycard Theatre and their fans were in for a treat. The band, who won NME’s Best New Band 2014 must have gathered quite a following after having an increasingly successful year.  Continuing the grungy theme, but this time with elements of folk thrown into the mix, they kicked off their energetic set with ‘Moaning Lisa Smile‘. Starting off as a pulsing acoustic guitar rhythm, the song soon got the crowd moving as the mighty tune kicks in.

Another highlight was ‘Blush‘, a song which is both tender and uncertain. The opening guitar twinkles were followed with a shoegaze fuzz and the uneasy lyrics echoed through the theatre. Much softer than some of their other songs, it really shows off how versatile and talented these musicians are and how stunning Ellie Rowsell’s voice is. The song was a welcome break from the powerful set, soothing the atmosphere with heart-wrenching lyrics.

They ended their set with debut single ‘Fluffy‘. It is a boisterous tune with an undertone of tenderness. Ellie shows this combination perfectly through her voice which goes from a delicate whisper to a deafening shriek in seconds.

Reviewer: Sophie Meeson


Maximo Park – 3/5

Source: Maximo Park Facebook

Maximo Park for all intents and purposes should have been lower down the main stage bill, perhaps headlining the other stage with Graham Coxon moving to the main stage. That isn’t to slate the Geordie outfit, it’s just that on the whole the set lacked the confidence and meatiness that the main stage requires. Despite frontman Paul Smith trying his best to raise the crowd with his confident joker act, it all just seemed false and it seemed that many in the crowd felt the same way as the band got a relatively lacklustre reception compared to The Enemy. The hits did get some crowd reaction but nowhere near enough to merit their main stage slot.

Reviewer: Martin-john McDonnell


Reverend and the Makers- 4/5

Source: Nottingham Post

Reverend and the Makers played to crowd which filled the venue to its capacity. Outside, fans were stampeding over the rails and pushing past security to ensure they got in however a lot of people were left disappointed. Those who did get in were in for a confident and chaotic set from the Sheffield band. In fact, their show was more like a party than anything. The atmosphere was buzzing from the very start and when the band started to play their first song ‘Bassline‘, the crowd were really getting into it. Front man Jon McClure bounced along and invited the crowd to join him and as they did, the floorboards were bending as if they were unable to take the weight.

The atmosphere didn’t falter as they went into their back catalogue. ‘Open Your Window‘ was a highlight and the crowd sung, or shouted, along to the catchy chorus. Despite their new tracks like ‘Devil’s Radio‘ being well received, it was the older hits like ‘Heavyweight Champion of the World‘ and ‘He Said He Loved Me‘ that really sent the place into raptures. After a brief pause due to technical difficulties, they finished with ‘Silence is Talking‘.

McClure is definitely a character and the audience were lapping it up, becoming more and more riotous through the set. The crowd were so boisterous that venue had to be closed after their set due to health and safety reasons.

Reviewer: Sophie Meeson


Spiritualized – 3.5/5

Source: Spiritualized Facebook

I find it hard to criticise a band who were essentially victims of the bookers. Anyone who knows Spiritualized knows that J Spaceman (or Jason Pierce) is a man of two halfs. Some days he will focus on the more freak out improve based side of his catalogue, while at other times he will stick to the mellow, more “spiritual” songs in his repertoire. Today was unfortunately the second and Spiritualized received a lacklustre response as a result.

The band themselves, along with J, were actually on ace form with the likes of ‘Hey Jane’ and (one of my top ten favourite songs) ‘Shine A Light’ sounding as graceful as ever. It probably would have been better had the band dipped into the rockier end of the bands output, but you’d have to be a fool to expect a man who sacked his band at the peak of their powers to compromise his creative vision.

Reviewer: Martin-john McDonnell


Swim Deep- 4/5

Source: Swim Deep Facebook

After an hour delay and a venue change, Swim Deep took to the stage to play in a jam packed room. After waiting for the band in the Barclaycard Theatre it emerged that the venue was being closed due to health and safety reasons. Fans were whisked off through a side door of the theatre and led to a much smaller, darker venue. In some ways it was better, more intimate, but the lack of space meant that a lot of fans missed out. Not letting the situation get in the way of their feel-good music, Swim Deep were on excellent form and ready to party.

Their ‘beach-grunge’ music was the perfect end to a gray day, uplifting the crowd’s spirit. The Birmingham band didn’t disappoint the fans that waited so long to see them, performing some of their most well known hits including ‘The Sea‘.  The song was received well by the crowd who tried to dance in what very little space they had. Swim Deep also had a surprise in store in the form of a cover of James Brown’s ‘Get on Up’. It may not have worked but they really made the version their own, adapting it to their style and they managed to pull it off. Singer Austin Williams enthusiastically delivered the iconic lyrics and the crowd loved every second.

For the finale they played ‘King City‘, the song that started the hype for the band. The summery tune buzzes with a looped riff, building up to the poppy chorus.  Their music is full of pop melodies and it is almost impossible not to smile and dance along, even the band members were not hiding their impulse to dance. They put on a great show, they have a lot of character as a band and their enthusiasm is infectious. It was well worth the wait.

Reviewer: Sophie Meeson


The Pogues – 4/5

Source: Pogues Facebook

The Pogues put on an admirable set to rile up the crowd before Pete Doherty and co took to the stage. What makes it even more admirable is that they did it while conquering the proverbial elephant in the room that is Shane Macgowan. Mumbling his lyrics from an autocue with a glass of booze and a fag never far from him, the man who makes Pete Doherty look like Mother Teresa was only able to perform two or three songs from his dictation machine before going off stage to light another one and top up his drink. His sheer appearance (on deaths door if you must ask) was enough to raise the crowd in some sick joke, when the man clearly needs help and has done for a long while. The rest of the band were the real highlight and without Shane on stage actually performed great Irish classics that got the crowd jolly and moving.

Reviewer: Martin-john McDonnell


The Libertines – 5/5

Source: The Libertines Facebook

If this reunion was only about the money then they’ve got everyone fooled. The cynic in me immediately dropped with the first notes of opener ‘Vertigo’. Seemingly, it did for everyone else too as the band were forced to stop the set for ten whole minutes during second song ‘Boys In The Band’ before returning and finding their place quickly. The band did, however, constantly seem to be checking after each song whether they had permission to play another song to a crowd on the edge of danger. If it wasn’t for a band who have the connection (and wit) of Pete and Carl, along with the solid rhythmic backbone of Gary and John, this could have descended into farce.

What we had instead was a true show of the love that the band share, a deep connection as they were forced to fill pauses with flashes of wit, sing-alongs and banter that made the huge mass of Hyde Park feel that little bit more intimate. The connection was back and it was enough to make the cockles melt in even the most die-hard of punk souls.

The band tore through classics like ‘Time For Heroes’, ‘Up The Bracket’ and ‘What A Waster’ with an energy and soul that few bands can ever match. The audience lapping up each second with rabid enthusiasm.

However, it was the close feeling the band had with the fans in their 63,000 capacity that perhaps proved most impressive; with Pete singing solo hit ‘Albion’ during yet another stoppage only to be joined by Carl. The symbolism wasn’t lost on anyone who called out the lyrics with the pair as we saw a healing and thawing taking place before our eyes.

This is the magic of The Libertines, when they are all getting on and harmonious they are the best band in the UK. The nearest this century has got to a partnership in the ilk of Lennon/McCartney or Morrisey/Marr.

Even with all attention that was on them as they basked in the limelight and adoration that was thrown their way, it seemed fitting for Carl and Pete to break into an impromptu rendition of poem ‘Suicide In The Trenches’ to close a show that seemed to finally bring an end to an internal war between the two, while also highlighting the luck each of the 63,000 had to be there at the gig that night.

Long live The Libertines and may the good ship Albion sail a new album our way!

Reviewer: Martin-john McDonnell

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