Bloc Party @ Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide 21/11/2018

Not even the wild and woolly weather conditions stopped the fans from turning out in force to see Bloc Party at Thebarton Theatre. This show had been sold out for quite some time and when it was announced that the career shaping album Silent Alarm would be played in its entirety no doubt that this would be an added incentive to buy a ticket. Who remembers when this album came out in 2005? Gosh darn, it was a great time for the UK indie scene and when Silent Alarm came out it was one of those albums on constant repeat. I was also one of those crazy ones who bought every re-issued version of this album as it offered something new on every listen.

The floor was packed and fans were wedged in tight trying to find the best vantage point possible. There was a real buzz and a real sense of expectation seeing if their set tonight could eclipse their 2008 performance in the same venue. The Bloc Party line up is a little different compared to back then as mainstays Kele Okereke (vocals/ guitar) and Russell Lissack (lead guitar) are joined by Justin Harris (bass) and Louise Bartle (drums). When the band took to the stage it was a haze of white lights (a photographers nightmare) and a loud roar as they tackled Silent Alarm in reverse order starting with Compliments.

Kele greeted the crowd saying “we are Bloc Party” and that Adelaide was the first show on the Australian tour, what a way to start. It was a slow start with Plans and Luno but you could definitely feel the energy building as their set continued gaining momentum. Even Kele prompted the crowd to pace themselves as they’ve only just started. So Here We Are was great and the crowd were really in to Price Of Gas giving this one a huge clap in. Pioneers was another huge single from the album played with Kele telling Adelaide fans to give themselves a huge round of applause. He even said “where’s my manners? Are you enjoying the show? I am, I’m not meant to be drinking but it’s un-Australian to come all this way and not have a drink!”

There was a sea of white ticket tape during This Modern Love which was followed by She’s Hearing Voices. Kele asked the crowd at the back how they were feeling at the back because “I can’t feel you” which served as an intro to Blue Light where the crowd was asked to sing louder and louder, definitely one for the highlights reel. It was an absolute meltdown on the floor with one their huge singles Banquet whipping the crowd up in to a frenzy. The reactions to Positive Tension and Helicopter were just as huge. With the last track from Silent Alarm (which is the first) to be played in Like Eating Glass Kele closed the set saying walking off saying “and that was that!”

Returning for an encore Kele thanked the crowd for listening to their music and hoped they enjoyed listening to it as much as they enjoyed making it. With birthday wishes passed on to their original sound tech who thought the the original version of Silent Alarm was no good which was met with some laughs. Kele said it was on with round two with Two More Years, olden golden Little Thoughts, Octopus and The Love Within. With one “rocket left” Kele said they always enjoy coming to Australia and we can only assume a return visit won’t be as long next time. Ratchet was an awesome end to an awesome show leaving the crowd to return to that wild and woolly weather outside.

Live Review by Rob Lyon

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