Bloc Party Gig Review

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Bloc Party – Earls Court, London

After roughly a decade of gigging, Bloc Party had finally reached a zenith by playing their biggest UK show to date at the spacious but, slightly soulless, Earls Court.

It was the band’s final night of their European tour, which seems to have reignited their passion for the Bloc Party manifesto, as during frontman Kele Okereke’s solo phase the band’s future had been cast into doubt.

From the outset, Bloc Party and the audience themselves were in no mood to mess around. Starting with ‘So He Begins to Lie’, the energy and physicality down the front was ferociously intense, belying their reputation as angular indie purveyors. This was very much a deep, down and dirty rock show. To be frank, the moshpit carnage was beginning to get out of hand as they charged through old favourites, ‘Hunting for Witches’ and ‘Positive Tension’. Even more doleful moments such as ‘Waiting for the 7.18’ were greeted as beastly rock numbers. At the end of the day, it was Friday and Earls Court was ready to go insane and no quarter was given.

Such is the depth of the band’s back catalogue these days that old classics like ‘Banquet’ just feel part of the set, not necessarily the standout track.

After a marginal drop-off in quality, a thumping, glorious version of ‘The Prayer’, and the disco-infused ‘One More Chance’ quickly help us return to the high standards that permeate the majority of the show.

Adopting the policy of a double encore, their first one is a little mixed. The dreary ‘Kreuzberg’, followed by the uninspiring ‘Ares’ provide a brief lull, but it is quickly forgotten as they drop in ‘This Modern Love’, a favourite of their original angular-indie incarnation. The first encore climaxes with, arguably, their greatest song – ‘Flux’. As ever, it provides a futuristic soundscape eliciting a communal uprising in an Earls Court crowd now in a state of nirvana.

As for the introduction to their final encore, Bloc Party play a new track, Ratchet, which immediately grabs you due to a funky groove, supplemented by Okereke’s pseudo-rapping. Next is ‘Truth’, which feels like a makeweight before they play a set-closer that everyone is anticipating.

Okereke offers the usual gig-closing platitudes and urges those who haven’t to mosh. He shouldn’t have bothered as soon as he the opening riff of old-school classic ‘Helicopter’ is heard, chaos engulfs Earls Court, sparking an intensity and devotion that will hopefully inspire Bloc Party to carry on a few more years. There ain’t no party like a Bloc Party!