Album: Red Hot Chili Peppers

Live in Hyde Park, WARNER BROS
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The Independent Culture

Shorn of the visual distraction of the Peppers' hyperactive stage presence, the 26 tracks on this live double album do tend to sound a bit samey after a while: not that this will deter the legions of fans keen to obtain a souvenir of the recent Hyde Park shows. They'll probably not be disappointed: this is an efficient, well-sequenced set containing all the hits, a smattering of abbreviated covers and a couple of new songs, "Leverage of Space" and the languid funk workout "Rolling Sly Stone". There's even a "Drum Homage Medley" from Chad Smith, who mercifully refrains from indulging the full solo spot in favour of brief flourishes from "Whole Lotta Love", "We Will Rock You" and a U2 song whose name escapes me. The "Intro" establishes the brittle punk-funk-metal with which they established their reputation, the band seguing smoothly into the forceful "Can't Stop", then cruising with muscular grace to the concluding "Give It Away". They slip in a few surprises, such as the fragment of "I Feel Love" - for which Flea's nimble-fingered bass furnishes the entire electropop groove - and the thrilling riff of Joy Division's "Transmission", which gives way to the more mundane strains of their own "Right on Time". Less welcome is their cover of Looking Glass's 1972 US chart-topper "Brandy", which is entirely lost on a UK audience.

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