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Bloc Party at Irving Plaza (March 16, 2016)

By Will Oliver, July 19th 2016

1_Bloc Party_Irving Plaza

Ten years ago, it was impossible to imagine getting to see Bloc Party play a smaller place like Irving Plaza. But a lot has changed since the release of their classic debut Silent Alarm, including half of the original lineups departure (Kele Okereke and Russell Lissack are the only original members remaining, with Justin Harris and Louise Bartle replacing Gordon Moakes and Matt Tong), and a rather disappointing new album this year with Hymns (released via Vagrant Records).

Although I’m not a fan of their new output, there’s still plenty of reason to see Bloc Party live, when you still get to hear great performances of tracks like “Banquet,” “Positive Tension,” and “Helicopter” that sound just as urgent and passionate as ever before. While the set sadly missed “Like Eating Glass,” we did get to hear a well received cover of David Bowie’s “Heroes,” which opened the encore well.

Find the setlist posted below, along with some photos from their performance.
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Bloc Party Begin Work On New Album

By Will Oliver, March 18th 2015

Bloc Party

Bloc Party have ended their hiatus and begun work on their new album (their fifth). Frontman Kele Okereke confirmed this in an interview with Australian radio station Triple J, where he also shared a brand new song called “Exes,” which may ned up on the album.

He said that the album sounds like nothing that they’ve done before, and are in the writing and recording phrase. Here are some quotes taken from the interview:

I guess it’s the first time that I have talked about it but we are making a record at the moment. It’s sounding like nothing that we’ve done before but that’s what everyone always says. We’re at the writing/recording phase. We’ve started recording. I think we have about 18 songs ideas and we’re going to lay them down properly in the next few months.

We’ve always had very disparate elements to our music… this record feels like an evolution of where we were. So far there’s nothing that I can compare it to really in terms of other musicians, whereas in the past I always could — we were always trying to reference something else. I feel that this is very much our own record. I’m very excited by it.

This would be the band’s first album without drummer Matt Tong, who left the band on less than good terms during their last tour, and doesn’t seem to have any plans of returning. Which would be a huge loss for the group, but we’ll see what ends up happening. At least we’re getting new Bloc Party.

Find a stream of Kele’s performance of “Exes” posted below.
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Bloc Party

Bloc Party are going on hiatus soon once they wrap up their tour. This should be no surprise to fans at this point, as it’s just a part of who they are as a band. But we will get something before they disappear. They announced today that they will release a new EP titled The Nextwave Sessions via Frenchkiss Records on August 13.

They’ve released a song of the EP, “Ratchet.” It’s sounds very much like this era of their career would lead you to expect. Somewhat funky, with a big electronic/dance influence. It’s not a favorite of mine, as I am one of those guys who would honestly be happy if they just released another Silent Alarm at this point. We still got a few tracks to hear from the EP, so I am looking forward to hearing the rest of the new material.

Sure, this is probably a beast live, but it’s just not jumping out at me right now. Listen below and leave a comment below with your thoughts on “Ratchet.”

Bloc Party @ Governors Ball (June 9, 2013)

By Will Oliver, June 13th 2013

Bloc Party are still a fucking force live guys. Forget about their new records and everything else that has turned you slightly off to the band you once feel in love with. They still bring it live. It certainly helps that they opened with “So Here We Are”, a song that I never thought I would hear live ever again. It was glorious. Then they kicked into “Hunting for Witches” & “Positive Tension” before I had to leave to catch a bit of The xx. But that was as good of a 3-song opening as we could ever hope from Bloc Party in 2013. They still have the live energy and they know what works. If only they could carry this same stuff to their recordings.
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[rewind]: Bloc Party – Secrets

By Will Oliver, October 12th 2012

I love when you fall in love with a song all over again. You know, a song that dominated your plays at one point, but like an ex, you eventually just lost touch with it over the years? Well Bloc Party’s “Secrets” is one of those songs.

It’s a b-side from the A Weekend in the City sessions that was released on the compilation album Another Weekend in the City as well as being a b-side to the Hunting For Witches single release.

This song just rocks so hard. Wish they put this on a major album, as it seemed to get lost on most people. But I guess it would be fitting if this song remained a bit of a secret.

I have recently become well past addicted to the song, and I’m not mad, at all. Giving me a lot of memories from back when it came out.

[stream] Bloc Party – Four

By Will Oliver, August 14th 2012

Bloc Party’s new album Four doesn’t come out until August 20 (via Frenchkiss). But the band is streaming the entire thing right now at their website.

You will find that the band lived up to their promise of releasing an album that sounds like 4 guys rocking out in a room. It’s a heavy album that you would expect, and I think many fans will be pleased at this return to form.

Go ahead and listen to the album right now over here.


Bloc Party & The Drums @ Terminal 5 (August 8, 2012)

By Will Oliver, August 11th 2012

Bloc Party & The Drums. A top tier bill that really doesn’t get better than that. The Drums only got 30 minutes but did their job just like they have done every time that I have seen them to date. The band seems to still be missing Connor Hanwick on guitar, but the new guitarist fit in just fine. The band seems to get tighter and tighter every time I see them, with Johnny’s vocals sounding far more improved than the first time I saw them – way back during CMJ 2012.

Bloc Party started with “So He Begins To Lie”, the heavy track that opens their new album Four. They dabbled with songs from all albums throughout the night, mostly staying true to their first two albums. Positive Tension marked an incredible transition during the show. The band and crowd energy merged into one chaotic energy that made me realize that this show was not going to be like any other show. The band absolutely nailed “Banquet”, putting everyone into a sweaty frenzy. “One More Chance”, found a new life live, becoming a really fun dancey treat on that evening. The band ended their first set with high energy performances of “This Modern Love” and “Like Eating Glass” that was breathtakingly incredible. It was like reliving my first listen of Silent Alarm again. I don’t think I’m alone with my fellow attendees who had no voice left after these songs. The set was hardly over as the band returned for 2 encores.

The first saw powerful performances of “The Prayer” and Helicopter” while the finale one included new single “Octopus” and the dance-friendly “Flux”.

Bloc Party are really back folks. I haven’t felt this enthusiastic about this band in years. They seemed to be really in-tune and ready to go out and perform. They brought their A-game for this show, and it will be hard for me to find another show that made me feel this good.

Glad to have you back Bloc Party.

Find photo galleries from both bands below.
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[new]: Bloc Party – Day Four

By Will Oliver, July 30th 2012

Bloc Party’s new album Four comes out August 21st via Frenchkiss Records. “Day Four” is the latest cut to be shared from the new album. It didn’t blow me away first but on further listens it’s actually a pretty breathtaking piece of music. The band have certainly gone back to the sound of their 1st/2nd albums and are all the better for it.

Listen to “Day Four” below.

[new]: Bloc Party – Octopus

By Will Oliver, July 10th 2012

Over the weekend, Bloc Party’s new single “Octopus” was accidentally put on sale for a limited time on amazon. Some quick-minded fans bought the single and soon the song was out there for everyone to see. The band couldn’t have been pleased, but things have calmed down and now they have released the proper music video for “Octopus”, as originally planned.

“Octopus” isn’t your traditional rock single. Bloc Party don’t hold back in anyway, using guitar delay effects resulting in an experimental sound. It’s a lot different from what I expected from their return-single. I wasn’t impressed on my first listen, but I kept listening and soon it all clicked. “Octopus” will soon get a hold of you, just when you least expect it.

Watch/listen to “Octopus” below.

It’s off their new album Four, which comes out on August 21 via Frenchkiss. Pre-order it here.

[watch]: Bloc Party Play 2 New Songs Live: “3 x 3” & “Team A”

By Will Oliver, June 20th 2012 — with 1 comment

Last night Bloc Party played their first show in three years at Glasgow. They played a bunch of new songs from their upcoming album, Four. Videos have surfaced of two of them: “3 x 3” and “Team A”. Both seem to be more of a rock direction that fans have been begging for. Now it’s up to you to decide if this is up to the quality that Bloc Party fans have seemed to be in the search for since Silent Alarm.
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