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Pretenders - Hyde Park, London, 29/6/2009

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 28 / 7 / 2009

Pretenders - Hyde Park, London, 29/6/2009


Anthony Strutt watches the Pretenders in an appearance in support of Neil Young at Hyde Park Calling play an excellent set of both new songs and classic hits

Its just before 3 p.m. on a lovely Saturday afternoon, and the Pretenders are the first name band of a day, which will end with Neil Young and a guy called Paul McCartney duetting on the Beatles' 'A Day in the Life'. The Pretenders have gone through a number of line up changes, and only Chrissie Hynde from the original line-up plays on their latest album, 'Break Up Concrete', for which this appearance at Hyde Park Calling is a rare UK date to promote it. The band open up with the first song from that album, 'Boots of Chinese Plastic', which is a full-on heads down rocker. The second track 'Don't Cut Your Hair', which Chrissie dedicates to "all the gentlemen here", also appears on the new album and has a country edge to it. 'Message of Love' from 1981 makes me shiver all over, and is the first of many really old numbers, 'Talk of the Town' follows and makes me feel very nostalgic for my old days of youthful abandon. 'Lovers of Today' is a new track with a feel of the old days, while 'Don't Lose Faith in Me' is a very sad ballad. The next song Chrissie days is "for your Dad". The group then bang out 'Back on the Chain Gang' 'Rosalee' is another newie which is from the new LP and actually is a cover."This is another one for you. We appreciate you coming out so early to see us," says Chrissie before the Pretenders launch into 'Brass in Pocket', which goes down a storm as it should do. 'I'll Stand by You' is latter peroid Pretenders, a torch song of a woman standing by her man, not matter what crap she has had to put up with. "Alright rockers, we are on our way," says Chrissie and they most certainly are. 'Up to the Neck' has me just melting in the hot grass and sounds very sexual to me, but then again Chrissie Hynde back in the late 70s when I was a teenager was one of my first sex fantasies. "One more then we got to go," says Chrissie. The group close the set with 'Middle of the Road,' a personal favourite of mine from 1984 and their 'Learning to Crawl' album. The Pretenders have deliver a perfect 44 minute set, and Ms Hynde still has the best rump in the music business.

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Pretenders - Hyde Park, London, 29/6/2009

Pretenders - Hyde Park, London, 29/6/2009

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