Bloc Party, Birthdays, London
Celebrating the top spot of their new album Four in the midweek charts, Bloc Party announced this intimate show at Birthdays in Dalston on Twitter. Stating that it would be free and on a first-come, first-served basis, the bar recommended that Bloc’s numerous fans not attempt to camp overnight but from 8am the next day they were already queuing for the show.
In a 90-minute set Bloc Party performed a medley of old and new tracks. Launching straight into haunting and heavy track “3X3” from their new album, Four, Russell Lissack’s familiar Telecaster riffs drive them into “ Hunting for Witches”, “Positive Tension” and the newer, more aggressive tracks like hardcore-inspired “Kettling”.
“This song is about standing up for what you believe in,” Okereke says, and the chaotic mosh of flailing limbs crash into each other on lyrics like, “We smash the windows, popo don’t fuck around”. Despite the riotous nature of the new songs, Okereke could not be more observant of safety and security, looking concerned from the start.
“This is starting to look dangerous, guys, if I lose any teeth, I’l l lose my beautiful smile,” he says, consistently checking that the crowd is all right. While the band’s 2009-11 hiatus saw each member exploring their own music and styles, they return with a show as slick and solid as ever.
It is clear that each member has put a personal stamp on the newer tracks: from the hardcore-heavy bass lines of “Coliseum” marking Gordon Moakes’ own band Young Legionnaire’s influence into the disco-inflected guitar delays on “ Octopus” reflecting Okereke’s own dance/electro solo material.
It is also clear that this is an album that unites their interests and the fans enjoy the new material as much as the band clearly love playing it. “See, there’s plenty more rockets in our pockets,” Okereke says after the mosh to “Octopus” and he ends the show by dedicating the last track to all the campers, covering Rihanna’s “ We Found Love” with scattered, jagged guitars that temper out into “ Flux” from “A Weekend In The City”.
The band recently announced the biggest show of their UK career, a 2013 gig at London’s 19,000 capacity Earls Court, which makes this 250- capacity show a rare event for fans. While Four may not be the Bloc Party’s best album, tonight’s show displays the depth and progression in the band’s long history together and proves that their live performances are as gutsy as ever.
Arts & Ents blogs
Owen Howells is a DJ/producer who grew up in Australia but was born in the UK. He came back to the U...
Fancy seeing a play about serial killers? How about inviting a funeral director into your home for a...
There are a good many moments in the second episode of this psychological thriller that deserve refl...
Coronation Street triumphs over EastEnders at British Soap Awards 2013
The Freemasons' Code: Dan Brown reveals the message that told him the door to the lodge is open
Archaeologists uncover nearly 5,000 cave paintings in Burgos, Mexico
Lord of the Sings: Sir Christopher Lee, 91, to release heavy metal album
Film review: The Hangover Part III (15)
- 1 Pope Francis: Being an atheist is alright as long as you do good
- 2 Man and woman arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder victim of Woolwich machete attack, named as Drummer Lee Rigby
- 3 'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Horrific attack brings terror to London’s streets
- 4 Archaeologists uncover nearly 5,000 cave paintings in Burgos, Mexico
- 5 Woolwich attack: The EDL will seek to exploit this evil crime for their own evil ends
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.