Sunday, 11 February 2007

Bloc Party, Rock City

It's a rare treat to get to see a band in the week after their new album is released, whilst their new material still feels fresh, rather than waiting months for them to perform.

They open the set as they do the new album with 'Song For Clay'. A lot of thought seems to have been given to the sequence of the songs on A Weekend In The City and it works well on the CD. As if the album is a story told chronologically. It works equally well live as tonight the tracks are played in the same order, albeit with songs from Silent Alarm, interspersed but even those tracks seemed to be picked specifically to blend in.

Like the album, the first half of the show is spiky. New songs such as ‘Hunting For Witches’ and the single ‘The Prayer’ are very much full of energy. Pulling no punches, telling a depressing tale of Britain today.

The end of Banquet is 'ruined' when Kele breaks a guitar string. No one seemed to mind, if anything it adds to the roughness of the sound.

A lively and surprisingly young crowd lap it all up even when Kele digs at youth culture. The song 'Uniform' questions their willingness to conform to a stereotype whilst thinking its rebellion. Tonight the masses hold up their camera phones and conform.

Again following the path of the album the gloom of the first half gives way to a calmer, steadier second half where (on the album) Kele goes on about his childhood and his loves. Not all of the new record is played and I particularly would have liked to have heard the superb 'I still remember'. Was it omitted because it may be a gay love song?

It’s an energetic if slightly dishevelled performance but as a gig going experience it's pretty damn near perfect. I haven't seen Bloc Party live before so I have no comparison but tonight they are quite stunning.

As for the record, the band have produced a wonderful, thought provoking, although slightly paranoid, album. Just as The Killers grew up with Sam's Town, so too now have Bloc Party.

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