Bloc Party (Bloctober Tour)
Venue: 02 Academy
Date: Oct 10 2009
Label: Wichita Recordings
Sheffield was the seventh gig of Bloc Party’s Bloctober UK tour. With uprising alternative rock outfit Grammatics being the sole support, it looked set to be an exciting night of live music. Doors opened at seven, and Grammatics took to take to the stage at eight. The seemingly endless wait for the band to arrive did the Leeds four-piece no favours, proceeding to play their opening song ‘Shadow Committee’ to a rather static and unenergetic crowd.
Regardless of disappointing time management, it was not long before the crowd began to realise that this hyped band really do possess a talent worthy of media attention, putting on a fantastic set filled with orchestral rhythms and the reverberating falsetto of main vocalist Owen Brinley. The on-stage harmony between the vocals of Brinley and cello player Emila Ergin created an eccentric yet powerful musical display on stage, an odd yet suitable band to set an eager atmosphere for the soon-to-come Bloc Party set.
The set list was received gratefully by the majority of Bloc Party fans – offering a selection of material from across all three albums, including the less predictable ‘Price of Gas’ and more recent ‘Zephyrus’. An even distribution of album material selection was certainly intentional and justifiable as the tour was ‘Bloctober’ as opposed to a solid Intimacy tour; Interviews with lead singer Kele reinforce the bands gig preferences, as they often claim to become quickly bored of playing the same material often.
Energy levels were raised significantly and sustained throughout the gig. The distinguishably young audience, as noticed by Kele, seemed adamant on creating havoc in the middle of the room – with lots of activity to adrenaline boosting songs such as ‘Helicopter’ and ‘One Month Off’.
The show encore was rather brilliantly clichéd in the “where are you going?”, “oh no you don’t” approach set by Kele, followed by ‘Helicopter’ and then once again with ‘This Modern Love’. Although the end of the show was somewhat reminiscent of a naff pantomime, it was still somehow great, simple yet fantastic entertainment alongside an overall good live performance. Bloc Party’s shows don’t vary much. Mid-set rambling and similar set list structure seem to be present at every performance; however a good quality of entertainment is always present, perhaps just becoming a little monotonous to the regular witness.
~ Article by James Murray