I'm not sure Hyde Park is the best place to see Neil Young, nor any band other than perhaps the Rolling Stones, it's just so 'bloody big'. One of those British Summer Shows with tiered entry, the extra £££ for "Premium View" certainly did not provide 'what it said on the tin' but, hey ho, the sun was out and an early start was to dive into the Sony Unlimited Music stage (which you could only get into if you gave someone with a clipboard your email address and favourite song, tiresome) to see The Battles of Winter, who are a very decent band indeed. A sort of cross between Boxer Rebellion and Interpol this four piece from London are well worth checking out.

With the sun still beating down we headed into the 'Village Hall' tent, to be greeted with a sauna type temperature through which the divine Webb Sisters excelled. Beautiful songs, a wicked sense of humour and, some very sweet harmonies. Finally off of the Leonard Cohen World Tour bus the ladies are now back on their own and should certainly be staking a claim on the music landscape.

The next obstacle came when trying to get into the 'Barclaycard Theatre' for the likes of Phosphorescent, Caitlin Rose and Midlake, which unless you were in the tent at 2pm and staying there for the afternoon, there was no hope. The queue for the aforementioned Phosphorescent impressively stretched almost across the width of the park! Perhaps a second outdoor stage is required when booking so many A listed bands in future?

Still plenty to see, Half Moon Run, Bruno Major & Tom Odell before The National appeared at 5.55pm precisely. A sparkling set with the benefit of their enlarged video backdrop, the band really did put their all into the next 1 hour and fifteen minutes and went down a storm.

One thing about 'British Summer Time' is that it all runs to schedule with the ever impending early curfew. Neil Young and Crazy Horse (minus Billy Talbot, who has suffered a mild stroke and added Rick Rosas and Mahogany Blue's Dorene Carter and YaDonna West) were blasting through 'Love and Only Love' before 8pm. Inserting the phrase "free the people of Palestine" into the opening song, Neil was in a 'No messing' mood.

I still think the intensity of the Crazy Horse sound is best experienced indoors, but Neil is on good form tonight and (for him) quite chatty. The majority of the crowd seem there for the timeless acoustic classics from the signs of the early heckling and Neil's sardonic sense of humour came to the fore calling the crowd "sad bastards" (and he meant it and not necessarily in a nice way although he was smiling – was he being cutting, because the crowd didn’t fully appreciate ‘the Horse’ perhaps?) mid- way through the show.

As ever the songs most requested came with a twist,  an electric 'After the Goldrush' before a sing –a –long, 'Only Love Can Break Your Heart' and acoustic (Dylan's)  'Blowin' in the Wind' and 'Heart of Gold'. These songs seem to carry the crowd through the remainder of the band's sonic run in to the lengthy closing version on 'Down by the River'

10pm and the day is done and dusted and the band are off to Liverpool for the next night's indoor show at the Echo Arena, with a similar set, it would be interesting to know the comparison of both shows. Try Thrashers Wheat for that.


Love and Only Love
Goin' Home
Days That Used to Be
After the Gold Rush .
Love to Burn .
Separate Ways
Only Love Can Break Your Heart
Blowin' in the Wind
Heart of Gold
Barstool Blues
Psychedelic Pill
Cinnamon Girl
Rockin' in the Free World