Thursday, July 02, 2009

parklife 1

Hard Rock Calling, 27th June @ Hyde Park

After an impressive and hugely enjoyable two hour performance of classic songs by Neil Young, headlining the second of this three-day festival, it's probably a bit churlish of me to rant on about such a small thing... but what is it with the end of his songs?

I have observed that there's a longstanding convention that guitarist, drummer and bassist should mark the absolute end of the absolutely last note of a guitar-fuelled rock-out number (not really on my own patch here so bear with me) with what I can only describe as a simultaneous testosterone-induced "kerchang!"

Most, if not all, of Young's electric guitar-based songs tonight end, not just with this, er, "kerchang" but also with an extended feedback-fest or frantic exchange of unnecessary noodling with the drummer, each lasting some considerable time. It's a bit tedious frankly.

Seems it was ever thus with NY. Check out this performance of "Cinnamon Girl" from 1978:

See what I mean? The song as we know it (because we've heard the record right?) ends at 3:25 and yet the final "kerchang" doesn't get to us until 3:58.

It's asking a lot of an audience to keep the clapping and cheering going all that time, particularly when the same thing happens with every other song, and sure enough at the end of one number this evening NY complains that the crowd are "awful quiet". That'll be because we clapped and cheered for that last song when it finished five minutes ago Neil mate. Can you not wind things up a bit more sharpish?

Lest I present an unduly curmudgeonly view of proceedings, these are some of the things I did enjoy during the course of the afternoon/evening...
  • Everything else about NY. He's always been rather on the peripheries of my musical taste but I somehow know about two-thirds of the songs.
  • Fleet Foxes. Love those arrangements and they're pretty spot on with their vocal harmonies. Just a shame that a lot of festival goers talk, quite loudly, over their songs...
  • Magic Numbers, as ever. They'll soon have a new album out--hoorah!--and here are some of the songs from it, which sound good.
  • "A Day in the Life", NY's encore, along with showbiz mate one Sir Paul McCartney. Yes, I know he's got his thumbs up again like a grinning loon but he's a Beatle and I've never seen one of them before...


Wanderer said...

I can understand doing it with a couple of songs but it does get a bit tedious when it's all the time.

Isn't it why punk rock was invented?

Hoops Hooley said...

Yeah I can understand punk or metal bands doing it where guitar-based excess is the order of the day. It's just a bit unnecessary for Young. His songs are good enough to stand up for themselves without needlessly ramming the point home time after time...