Saturday saw Bloc Party‘s return to Leeds after four years away, marking singer Kele’s 31st birthday with a return to form and an exhilarating party atmosphere. Kicking off with ‘Octopus’, the first single from their latest album, the tone was quickly set, with Kele working the crowd into an early frenzy. Exponentially more confident following his solo venture, he commanded the stage throughout, with ‘Ares’ in particular representing a significant improvement on his Intimacy-era performances.
Whilst the temptation to focus heavily on more recent tracks was largely avoided, ‘Day Four’ and ‘The Truth’ were welcome additions to the set-lists of old, but no Bloc Party set would be complete without a look back to their stunning debut; ‘This Modern Love’, ‘Banquet’ and ‘Positive Tension’ served as a sing-a-long opportunity that few in the sell-out crowd would pass up.
For all their focus on creating live-orientated pieces on Four and Intimacy, however, it remains the two non-album favourites of old, ‘One More Chance’ and ‘Flux’, that delight the crowd most, with few needing a second invitation to throw awkward indie shapes to the band’s most successful dance floor hits. Bloc Party are back, and my, how they’ve been missed.
Words: Andrew Kemp