The Strokes with Beck, British Summer Time at Hyde Park, gig review: New material was conspicuous by its absence

The most hyped band of the Noughties don't appear to be looking to the future

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The Independent Culture

At their first UK gig in four years, The Strokes have much to prove. Long gone are the days when their CGBG’s inspired garage rock and insouciant New York cool made them the most hyped band of the noughties.

Recent years have been more newsworthy for in-fighting, intoxication and the general impression that being in The Strokes is a chore akin to jury duty.

In such circumstances, they could certainly do without following Beck. Unfeasibly boyish and lithe, he dazzles and charms his way through a brilliant, genre-hopping greatest hits set. 

It leaves The Strokes with an unenviable task, and whether they rise to it depends largely on how far from their swashbuckling, elegantly wasted heyday they dare to tread. If recent material is more Will This Do than Is This It, then songs from their still vital 2001 debut are rabble rousing enough to remind you what made The Strokes so electrifying first time around.

A riotous New York City Cops and the indie disco singalong of Last Nite, in particular, show that whatever the future holds - and new material is conspicuous by its absence - The Strokes are still capable of summoning their ever distant early spirit.

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