Feeling like I’m about to go into the Big Brother house for the sheer amount of security and sniffer dogs that stood at the door, I approached The Warehouse Project, Manchester, with intrigue and anticipation waiting to see one of my favourite bands, Bloc Party. Taking the warehouse name to literal meaning the thousand plus capacity were surrounded by breeze blocks and scaffolding, something which seemed very fitting with the welcoming of Bloc Party.
Its gritty and dirty interior were brightened by Kele Okereke’s blue and yellow Hawaiian themed shirt as they opened the set with the debut track Octupus from their latest album Four. A reunion that many people were unsure would happen, they played through a catalogue of new and old songs with highlights including Banquet, This Modern Love, The Prayer and the newest single Kettling. Revelling in the Rihanna cover We Found Love before delving into the electro party track Flux, the atmosphere was electric. It’s been said that they weren’t the best of friends after the band went on a three year hiatus and Kele soldiered on alone, but the music was as solid as ever going back to their roots of good old guitar music. Jumping to the beat of a topless Matt Tong, rock was back on the agenda as an ambush of fans flooded in to see the foursome.
Advised to wear tatty shoes to the gig, everyone left the warehouse feet caked in mud but ears pounding with the sounds of indie anthems from days gone by and future tunes from the London lot. Playing well over an albums’ worth of music it was like going down memory lane with the band I lived my teenage years with and travelled with them through their electronic stage and going full circle hammering out what they do best.
Supported by the happy-go-lucky band Theme Park, they brought sunshine and dancing with a skip in their step that lightened the party. Prior to this, the band I’ve been waiting to see for some time, Plaitum, took the stage donning a Skrillex fringe. Shocked by how young they really were their sound was dark, ominous and mature that matched the warehouse setting, shame it wasn’t loud enough.
Without a doubt I cannot fault Bloc Party’s performance, despite the other half complaining they didn’t play his favourite track, they managed to squeeze mine in (The Prayer, just in case you were wondering) and I’m all the more grateful that they’re back.
Bloc Party at The Warehouse Project setlist:
Hunting for Witches
Waiting for the 7.18
Song for Clay
One More Chance
So Here We Are
We Are Not Good People
This Modern Love