Bristol Sounds: Bloc Party

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By Francesca Frankis, Music Editor

For the friday night show of 'Bristol Sounds' last week, Bloc Party invaded Lloyd's Amphitheatre with the return of their critically aclaimed debut album, Silent Alarm.

Back in 2006, Bloc Party’s debut album Silent Alarm won NME’s album of the year, and despite releasing a plethora of new work, the tracks of their first album still remain some of their most celebrated. Friday night offered a trip back to the mid 2000’s, as the London based indie outfit played their way through Silent Alarm to a devoted Bristol crowd.

The stage at Lloyd’s Amphitheatre was imposed against the backdrop of a heavy summer evening in Bristol. As the stage time for Bloc Party edged closer, people were shifting around, keen to get a glimpse. Coaxed out from the sidelines by cheers from the crowd, the band appeared on stage under a facade of impressive lights. They kicked the night off with ‘Every Time Is the Last Time’, a ‘secret’ track only available on the CD edition of the album, which in spite of its supposed secrecy still prompted a wave of moving feet, who seemed familiar with its tune.


After a warm welcome message from frontman Kele, Bloc Party swiftly began to make their way through the songs of Silent Alarm, but backwards. A few songs in, loaded track ‘Luno’ with its heavy drum part offered itself to the crowd as an archetype of 2000’s indie rock. People rushed in and out of mosh pits as Kele cried out the repeated chorus line ‘And your nose is bleeding’ over his impressive guitar riffs. The gig ventured further into the night and ever closer to the performance of their most acclaimed track, ‘Banquet’. It’s a song that suits being played live and showcases the band’s ability to nicely build up layers of sound in their work.

Image: Epigram/Patrick Sullivan 

Once the final lines of ‘Like Eating Glass’ were sung out by Kele, Bloc Party briefly disappeared to only reappear moments later, still riding on a wave of encouraging shouts from the crowd below. They went on to play some tracks from their second studio album, A Weekend In The City. This included ‘Flux’, which sounds like the kind of track performed at a battle of the bands’ in an imagined dystopian future.

Bloc Party’s Bristol Sounds set, celebrated one of the most acclaimed indie albums to emerge from UK in the 2000’s. Despite not touching on any of their newer music, which in truth hasn’t been as successful, the night showed the timeless supremacy that some great music can have. Which brought to mind an old age saying; if it isn't broken, don’t fix it.

Featured Image: Epigram/Bethany Marris and Patrick Sullivan

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