The Libertines at BST Hyde Park Review

The sun shone on Hyde Park on the third day of the British Summer Time festival. The carnival vibe throughout the park set the scene for a chilled out day of great music, exotic foods and a few cheeky drinks. However what was to ensue was far more chaotic…
A last minute cancellation from Graham Coxon due to technical difficulties meant that all 60,000 festivalgoers rushed to the main stage to see The Libertines. The ‘Boys in the Band’ took to the stage after teasing the already frenzied audience with a montage of images from ‘The Good Old Days’. Grey haired and pot bellied, a healthy-looking Pete sauntered center stage, beaming to be reunited with his comrades.
They kicked off their hour and a half long set with ‘Vertigo’, the first track from their first studio album although, barely halfway through their second song, the band were forced to halt the performance due to safety issues. The crush of the 60,000 strong crowd was causing injuries as tumultuous fans jostled to get closer to their heroes. The band continued, only to be stopped for a second time as security rushed on stage to urge fans to calm down. Drummer Gary Powell, left his position at the kit to further plead with the crowd as hundred of fans started to be lifted out in various states of disarray.
The band finally kicked off again, playing classics such as ‘Time for Heroes’, ‘Music When the Lights Go Out’ and ‘Don’t Look Back into the Sun’. ‘Horrorshow’ was one of the highlights of the night, truly showcasing the energy that still lives on within the band and their fans. Pete and Carl’s relationship on stage was as vehement as ever, foreheads pressed together as they shared a microphone and even calling each other by their affectionate nicknames (Bilo and Biggles).
The performance was halted once more as fans began to climb the delay towers to get a better view. Pete used the interruption to tell the crowd tales before lilting into a rendition of Babyshamble’s ‘Albion’. Closing with the angsty anthem ‘I Get Along’, choruses of the tune could be heard all over London long after fans left Hyde Park.
Other highlights of the day included Wolf Alice who played an excellent thirty-minute set in the tiny Barclaycard Theatre Stage and Reverend and the Makers who played to a full capacity tent leaving hundreds of fans disappointed outside, unable to gain access. British Summer Time continues all throughout next week with free film screenings and comedy mid-week then playing host to Neil Young and Tom Jones over the weekend.

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