Review: Bloc Party, Manchester Central, 2007

Original review


Bloc Party at Manchester Central - Colin Warhurst (gig: 13/12/07)

Supporting a band as big as Bloc Party is no burden to scoff at and it was thankfully something which Foals were more than capable of, as their math rock sound is immediately compelling and demands your complete attention.

Foals give the impression that two ears were not quite enough to listen to everything that was going on, providing a fixating performance that once it took hold of you, refused to let go.
The band were clearly enjoying playing to such a capacity crowd, with Two Steps Twice notable for taking the final few songs in the set up yet another gear. Definitely a band to keep an eye on and a fine start to a thrilling evening.

That feeling nearly came off the rails when The Cribs followed. The Wakefield trio were nothing short of awful. Their vocals were shouty, their drummer ridiculously out of time and uncoordinated, and their songs didn’t so much take you somewhere else as made you want to leave.

The band played loose and loud in a defiant attitude and their finale was a wall fo dramatic feedback, a cacophony that actually turned out to be better than anything they had performed before it.
Luckily, The Cribs were a blip in an otherwise spectacular night, and as Bloc Party walked on stage to a deafening roar of approval, lasers and strobe lighting, the sense of relief flooded the room.

With charm, genuine warmth, enthusiasm and absolute coolness, Kele Okereke took point in his effort to "have a party in this great big railway hangar", leading the band on a brilliantly rendered non-stop tour of their greatest epics – with a special note going to Matt Tong for his drumming that just never ever stopped.

Helicopter was overwhelming in its scope, The Prayer united the assembled mass with its chorus and So Here We Are was etched with subtle malice that oozed out of the amplifiers.

The combination of lasers, epic guitars and gigantic percussion all added up to an audio visual tour de force, the audience and band united in celebration. In fact, it couldn’t have been summed up any better than the way Kele did himself with a simple "Manchester, you’re not bad for a Thursday night."