Over the last few weeks I took a trip back to my youth by attending two concerts that could've come straight out of the 90's. Blur in Hyde Park, and Oasis at Wembly Stadium.
Remember back in the 90's how there was a big competition between them in the press? About who was the best band? Well that couldn't be more relevant now. I mean, both of these were bands that I followed closely as a young lad, (although Oasis always got me that little bit more) but seeing them play now gives one great perspective.
Last week Blur played 2 nights to a sold out Hyde Park (roughly equating to 200,000 people all in). Their show consisted of lots of fairly good pop songs you can remember. It wasn't that tight, or that relevant anymore... but it was good.
Over the last few days Oasis played 3 nights to a sold out Wembly Stadium (around 240,000 people all in). Blasting out hit after hit of tightly played, visceral, and fresh sounding rock jams. I've seen them twice before, and this time they sounded like they meant it more than ever. A perfect example of why perseverance wins. They've got more hits, more fans, and play better. WAY better.
Which is why, to me and many others, the competition has finally been settled. Oasis win by a country house... I mean... a country mile. Their ridiculous pumped-up attitude, their no-nonsense 'music first, imagery second' standpoint, and their perseverance of sticking at it through the highs and the lows of being in a band has made them the better band. They went from the bottom to the top, back down and then back up again. (and they didn't pussy out and 'call it a day' when things weren't going their way.) And to me, that means a lot.
Don't get me wrong, I think there will always be a love for both of these bands. They came from a time where British music had a real sense of itself. People were proud of our scene and our bands, and didn't feel the need to copy the American trends of the time.
I think that the next Blur album, assuming they do one, will probably be quite excellent. Providing obviously that they steer clear of Norman Cook taking the producer's chair ("Think Tank" sounded so ewww), and try to pick up where they left off with "13", we could be in for something special; And with Oasis's Most recent effort "Dig Out Your Soul", their best since 95's "(What's The Story) Morning Glory?" seeing a resurgence in their popularity... We could be in for a good new era for British music.
That'd be nice right?
That said... Oasis have proved their stubborn longevity. They are in for the long haul. Blur... well, they left when the songs dried up and then came back in the middle of this reformation craze. So all I'm saying is, don't be surprised if in 5-10 years Blur have called it a day again and Oasis are still releasing vital British rock music.
P.S. Oasis played for over two hours and played only hits. And just to demonstrate how many hits this band have, I've created a list of all the ones they DIDN'T play:
The Importance of being Idle
Stand By Me
Some Might Say
D'you know What I Mean?
Go Let It Out
All Around The World
Little By Little
Cast No Shadow
Stop Crying Your Heart Out
Lord Don't Slow Me Down
Don't Go Away
Let There Be Love
You can't tell me that's not ridiculous.