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How do you break news that everyone already knows? Well if you’re part of a tight-knit friendship group, there’s a good chance they’ve already made up their minds to continue liking you before you tell them what they’ve previously heard through gossip. If you’re Reading and Leeds festivals, then you just ignore that everyone knows and continue with the disappointment. If you’re Bloc Party however, it doesn’t really matter.
After all the ridiculous speculation that saw the London band propelled from cult rockers to tabloid garbage in the forms of Kele, the NME and a horde of blogs and even newspapers, its good to have Bloc Party back where they belong: on our screens, in the studio and on the stage. The new video for ‘Octopus’ surfaced a few days after the audio spread like wildfire across the net through the week, and its ‘DIY meets high production’ aesthetic is exactly the kind of vibe Bloc will be wanting to give off if they’re to reconnect with their fans after their hiatus.
So, will they? Judging on ‘Octopus’ alone, the road to redemption will be one that Kele Okereke and company will traverse with relative ease. It’s a bombastic four-piece rock return, as in your face as 2005’s “‘ilent Alarm’ opener ‘Like Eating Glass’ but with the mature confidence of 2008’s ‘Intimacy’ opener ‘Ares’. The tight sound that they’ve always had is retained and just like that, the affections come back.
Of course, if you’ve never liked Bloc Party, there’s a good chance this will mean little to nothing to you, but there’s a certain rock feel here that eclectic producer Alex Newport may have brought to the table. It would be foolish to say this is definitely the new direction of the band, especially considering their tendency to joke about, but its certainly a belter of a first release.
“Keep the faith”, said drummer Matt Tong at their Bournemouth show in October 2009. “Bring on ‘Four’” say we. You can watch the video below.
By Mary Chang
on Tuesday, 18th October 2011 at 10:00 am
While Kele Okereke voiced some concern last month that he’d been sacked by Bloc Party and was being left out of his band’s rehearsals for their next album, he’s showing no signs of giving up his solo career that began with 2010s ‘The Boxer’ (review here). Here’s the evidence: he’s recorded a cover of Q Lazzarus’s ‘Goodbye Horses’, famously appearing in the film The Silence of the Lambs. Why he chose this one is anyone’s guess: RCRDLBL has a humourous idea here.
By Mary Chang
on Friday, 5th November 2010 at 12:00 pm
This week’s Gonzo is really quite jam-packed with great stuff. For those of you who lived the ’90s Britpop revolution (or you are a big fan of that era of British music), Gonzo has a great treat for you tonight. Britpop legends Suede are Alexa’s guests tonight. Brett Anderson relates a story about Klaxons to Alexa, but we’re not sure where this is going… “We left Jamie from Klaxons lying down on a curb last night…don’t worry, he had a smile on his face.” Guess you’re going to have to watch this episode of Gonzo to find out!
Practically a resident advisor for Gonzo, Kele stops by for a birthday celebration and chats about the success of his solo album, ‘The Boxer’, released in June. Thanks to the wonders of the internet (and really, the even more wondrous Skype), American indie rockers We Are Scientists reach Alexa over the miles to say hello all the way from Texas. There’s even a chat with Everything Everything about the director’s cut of ‘Photoshop Handsome’, their newest (and most likely creepiest) video.
For the sci-fi fans out there, current Doctor Who heartthrob Matt Smith pops over to recommend a favourite song. There’s also a special performance by Chapel Club of their fab latest single, ‘All the Eastern Girls’.
Watch this week’s MTV Gonzo tonight at 7 pm on MTV Rocks, with a repeat at 9 pm on MTV.
By Mary Chang
on Monday, 25th October 2010 at 6:00 pm
Below is the video for Kele‘s forthcoming single, ‘On the Lam’ (out on 25 October on Wichita / Polydor). The frenetic cut and paste video reminds me a bit of Franz Ferdinand‘s ‘Take Me Out’ and Peter Gabriel‘s ‘Sledgehammer’.
I wonder if he secretly fancies being a professional basketball player, as he’s sporting a Detroit Pistons jersey in this video.
By Mary Chang
on Thursday, 21st October 2010 at 2:00 pm
This Friday’s new episode of MTV Gonzo promises to be a treat with some amazing guests. Graham Coxon, former (and perhaps continuing?) guitarist of seminal Britpop band Blur but now a solo artist in his own right, stops in for a visit with Alexa Chung, participating in an activity I’d never think of in a million years. The two personalities sketch each other!
Hot off the electronic scene, the talented chaps of dubstep act Magnetic Man also visit the Gonzo set. When confronted by the prospect of being up against Cliff Richard on the UK singles chart, band member Artwork proclaims, “Cliff Richard, I’ve got nothing against him I just want to beat him (in the charts)”. Not to be outdone, his bandmate Skream comments, “I just want to beat him up”. Yikes.
Recent blogosphere darlings the Vaccines come by to introduce themselves to the MTV-watching public. Judging from the hype surrounding their first single released this summer, ‘If You Wanna’, you’d be advised to keep an eye on this London quartet. If you’re looking for tips from your favourite stars, Gonzo has you covered as well. The Midnight Beast offer their unique point of view on boybands, and Kele Okereke recommends a new band. And if that weren’t enough, the show will also premiere a brand new promo video from My Chemical Romance. Whew!
Watch this week’s MTV Gonzo tomorrow night, Friday, at 7 pm on MTV Rocks, with a repeat at 9 pm on MTV.
By Mary Chang
on Tuesday, 17th August 2010 at 9:00 am
Bloc Party frontman Kele will be touring the UK for the second time this year in November. Catch him performing tunes from his solo debut, ‘The Boxer’, at the below dates. Tickets go on sale at Seetickets at 9 AM on Thursday (19 August).
Monday 15th November 2010 – Birmingham Institute Library
Tuesday 16th November 2010 – Glasgow Arches
Thursday 18th November 2010 - Manchester Ritz
Friday 19th November 2010 – London Electric Ballroom
Saturday 20th November 2010 – Bristol Motion