Walthamstow Greyhound Stadium (1994)

And for once it’s an LP that deserves to be played from start to finish; sure there are bumps and detours along the way but somehow these are part of the appeal. The first four tracks will knock yer sideways, and by the time you hear Phil Daniels holler “Oi!” in his role as guest parky on the knockabout title track you will know this is no ordinary LP.

Blur's Parklife, Walthamstow Greyhound Stadium, Chingford Road, Walthamstow, Waltham Forest, E4

It’s a mess, all over the place, no song blends easily into the next, they all jar into each other like some home-made compilation chucked together when you were pissed.

Blur's Parklife, Walthamstow Greyhound Stadium, Chingford Road, Walthamstow, Waltham Forest, E4

And so a buttery pop tune like ‘End Of a Century’ is followed by the spiky punk attack of ‘Bank Holiday’ and then a spot of trad German ‘oompah’ drinking music. (‘The Debt Collector’). On paper it sounds like hell, in practice it’s joyous – a band prepared to have a laugh, to forget about the pomposity that surrounds the music business.

Blur's Parklife, Walthamstow Greyhound Stadium, Chingford Road, Walthamstow, Waltham Forest, E4

Amid the mayhem it takes two plays before you discover the album’s two true gems – the John Barry/Walker Brothers epic ‘To The End’ and the languid ‘Bedhead’ – which is kind of like discovering a fiver in a jacket you haven’t worn for months.

From Johnny Dee’s review of Parklife for NME (1994)

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