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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.

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


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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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