Bloc Party Live Review
Earls Court, London - 22/02/13
A few years ago when the future of Bloc Party was shrouded in uncertainty, a night as triumphant as this would’ve been unthinkable.
Despite three solid albums and a reputation as firm favourites on the festival circuit, in 2011 frontman Kele Okereke went solo and seemingly abandoned his band-mates, who reacted by announcing plans to recruit a new singer.
However the boys were soon reunited and making a new record nearly as quickly as the split rumours spread, and tonight they celebrated the success of their fourth LP, Four, by playing their biggest-ever UK headline show.
Already this year they’ve performed across the States, Japan and Europe, but this homecoming super gig at London’s Earl’s Court could easily be the most special.
A huge standing crowd at the 19,000-capacity venue welcomed Kele, guitarist Russell Lissack, bassist Gordon Moakes and drummer Matt Tong to the stage and within moments it had become one massive Friday night indie disco.
It was packed but there was room to dance as Bloc Party got their fans going by opening with So He Begins To Lie – the band’s first track off their latest album.
This was the Four tour but there were plenty of golden oldies in their set list, including the excellent Hunting For Witches and 2005 single Positive Tension.
Song For Clay was followed brilliantly by indie anthem Banquet with neither the band nor the crowd pausing to catch their breath.
Mr Okereke put down his guitar and put on his dancing shoes for One More Chance, while their Four-inspired colourful lasers looked fantastic.
After blasting out Octopus, Bloc Party left the stage without a word before returning for two encores, featuring Flux (which began with Kele singing Rihanna’s We Found Love) and new unrecorded song Ratchet.
Ending their 20-track set with Silent Alarm favourite Helicopter, Bloc Party’s loyal fans got their weekend in the city off to the best possible start.
Ben Lowe @mtvuknews