Live Review: Bloc Party live at Wolverhampton Civic (Sunday 1st February 2009)

By on Monday, 2nd February 2009 at 2:30 am

Bloc Party live at Wolverhampton Civic Hall (side)I was expecting a lot heading into tonight’s show by Bloc Party. They’d done a so-so cover of Girls Aloud’s “Call the Shots” on Radio 1, and I’d heard talk on the grapevine of something sensational with an acoustic guitar.

It takes a lot to keep me happy, and when the snow meant that we arrived almost an hour after doors, I was not in a good mood. We’d missed the first support, Wet Paint, however managed to sneek our way into the downstairs bit instead of our boring balcony seats to catch Tommy Sparks, who immediately cheered me up, with his great 70s style pop. A surprising choice to support Bloc Party, but then Matt was quoted recently as saying they may well be turning their back on indie.

Then the main act… the last night on their short tour meant all guns were blazing, banter between songs at its best. Every time I catch them, Kele seems to be chattier and chattier, tonight joking about topics  ranging from his dislike of Klaxons’ legacy (the throwing of glow sticks), Matt’s new pearl necklace, and the random objects thrown on stage (shoes, condoms, dirty (guy’s) underwear). Oh yes, they were chatty compared to that first night in Southampton over 2 years ago.

The songs? Well, we got the usuals. Positive Tension’s deafening finale, Song For Clay segueing perfectly into Banquet, Kele’s front-row walkabout for Mercury. All well and good, perfect as ever. However, where were those “gig defining” moments? The ones you remember for a looooong time? Well, to be honest the first one I felt was a let down – Letters to My Son featured an acoustic guitar, which was great but not amazing – I was hoping for a reworked “So Here We Are” or, a la Placebo, a slowed down version of an old classic.Still, as Matt commented after, “I never knew when we wrote that song that we’d see a circle pit going!” Indeed they did. It seems it really is true – Sunday night is the new night to party!

However, for the encores the double drums made a more than welcome return with “Sunday” from “A Weekend in the City” being wheeled out for Gordon to go head to head with Matt. Encores? Not encore? Yes, you read me right. Everyone’s filing out as Kele, Russell, Matt and Gordon sneek back on to plunge into Girls Aloud’s “Call the Shots”. It’s far better than their version on Radio 1, bringing the energy right back to how it was at the first song – everyone ready and up for it. Flux closed the evening, but not before Matt did a quick run around the stage in some fetching fluorescent undies. Needless to say, as we trudged out into the newly fallen snow, shared smiles said it all. No words were needed, and it more than made up for the painfully slow drive home.

Yes, I love Bloc Party in an unashamedly fan-like way instead of my usual head-screwed-on music blogger kind of way. However, they really are one of the brightest hopes for today, when everything’s topsy-turvy, Kele’s lyrics and Matt’s driving drums give us something to be happy about, and something to think about. Haven’t seen them yet? They’re playing two shows at London’s Olympia on Easter weekend, and will be back for a winter UK tour most likely. As ever, keep an eye on TGTF for the latest news.

Finally, in true fan-boy style, enjoy a shaky, dodgy quality video of “Call the Shots” from last night.


After the Jump: full setlist and some pictures. Fun.

Wolverhampton Civic Hall – February 1st 2009.

One Month Off
Positive Tension
Where is Home?
Waiting for the 7:18
Song For Clay
Modern Love
Letters to my Son
So Here We Are
Like Eating Glass


Call the Shots

Bloc Party live at Wolverhampton Civic Hall #1

Bloc Party live at Wolverhampton Civic Hall #2

Bloc Party live at Wolverhampton Civic Hall #1

Bloc Party live at Wolverhampton Civic Hall #1

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4 Responses

3:04 pm
2nd February 2009

helicopter was played after the prayer in the first encore 🙂

3:08 am
8th March 2009

cant believe u havnt commented on the exclusion of helicopter… i’m all up for girls aloud covers and dont mind that theyve excluded it, i just think u should at least have given a bloddy mention to its exclusion from the setlist considering it is by far their best and most popular song…im goin 2 see them in newport centre on bloctober 16th, and if they dont play helicopter then i cant pretend that i wont be upset…bands have a duty to their fans, i think, and though i do hope kele is in as jovial a mood as you portray him in your review, i hope the fun and excitement of pretending your cheryl cole is not a fad that will run in the bloc party camp for long
nice review, btw

3:11 am
8th March 2009

0h, nice one, i get all hot and flustered about them not playin helicopter then i read this cheeky little comment which says you missed it out…attention to detail, my friend! however, i find it just as perplexing that you didnt see it as necessary to pass comment on this great tune. also, while i can understand you’re annnoyed that you’ve heard the same stuff from bloc party every time, maybe u should solve yr problem by going to see a different band – what the fuck do you expect from a band but for them to play the songs they wrote??? just noticed more than a hint of negativity and cynicism about your article – but who can blame you in these trying times, eh?

[…] – Tuesday 22nd September 5) Bloc Party at Reading Rivermead – Friday 30th October and Bloc Party at Wolverhampton’s Civic Hall – Sunday 1st February 6) Muse at Teignmouth’s Den – Saturday 5th September 7) […]

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

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