REVIEW: Bloc Party at the Guildhall
Ben Hansen Hicks gives the low down on Bloc Party’s sell out Southampton gig.
Rolling into Southampton on Wednesday night, the atmosphere inside a sold-out Guildhall was infectious, with everyone anxious to see a band – the glittering pinnacle of the indie and indeed the wider music scene in the UK for the last 6 years – get back on stage and bring out some belters, and they didn’t disappoint.
Bloc Party were supported by Theme Park, a London-based band with a sound similar to indie juggernauts Vampire Weekend with a twist. Their top single, ‘Jamaica’ got a big cheer and got the crowds into the mood for the headline act nicely. Set to support Bloc Party until the end of the UK leg, Theme Park have previously supported Two Door Cinema Club amongst many others.
Opening with the first track of their new album, ‘Four’, ‘So He Begins to Lie’, Bloc Party quickly stormed straight into the massive, ground-shaking Mercury and Hunting for Witches with Kele teasing the crowd with an ‘How are we doing Southampton?!” and the crowd soaked up the bass and went berserk.
With their 90-minute set including material from all four albums, ranging from old classics ‘So Here We Are’ and ‘Positive Tension’ to the explosive and newer ‘Flux’ and ‘Coliseum’, you barely had time to catch your breath between songs before Kele would introduce and launch into another.
Kele and the guys did well to mix old with new and fast with slow – almost always balancing one or two fast-paced songs with a softer, slower Silent Alarm-era number.
As the second half of the show drew to an end, Kele sang, with a wry smile, the opening lines of Rihanna’s ‘We Found Love’ before mashing it together with the opening bars of the ground-shaking ‘Flux’ – something that easily got the biggest roar of the night.
The atmosphere inside the cavernous Guildhall was a little off from time to time with a few little mistakes on Kele’s behalf, made apparent by a few theatrical grimaces, but nothing that couldn’t be brought back or compensated for by the next eloquently-written song from a band that really took the Indie mould and smashed it into a million pieces back in 2006 when Silent Alarm was released and Bloc Party went global.
As Kele so frequently described, the Guildhall and Bloc Party share a number of memories together and it was here that the newly crowned kings of indie found their feet, following the critical acclaim and success of ‘Silent Alarm’.
With the new material, an extensive back catalogue of beautifully constructed songs, a new tour and renewed drive, fans across the country and indeed the world can be sure of one thing, Bloc Party are definitely back and are here to stay. If you haven’t succeeded in getting tickets yet, beg, borrow or steal, and if you are so lucky to have managed to get your hands on some, don’t give them up for love or money, otherwise you might just miss the band that defined the music scene in the last decade and are well on the way to doing it all over again.
So He Begins To Lie
Hunting For Witches
Song for Clay (Disappear Here)
So Here We Are
One More Chance
This Modern Love