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Bloc Party at Albert Hall, Manchester: Review

British Indie rock band Bloc Party are back on the stage of the Albert Hall. The recently evolved four- piece played at the Hall last year, when they were testing the water with new material and introducing new band member’s bassist Justin Harrius and drummer Louise Bartle.

The vast tech crew are setting up the stage and sound checking for a good 30min. Finally, the band arrive on stage and open with; ‘Only He Can Heal Me’ from their latest album ‘HYMNS’ released a year ago. The crowd are straight into it.

Charismatic frontman Kele Okereke waves and greets the crowd “Good evening Manchester!” There is a huge cheer from the crowd before another new more chilled out track ‘So Real’. What follows is track ‘She’s Hearing Voices’ from their 2005 album ‘Silent Alarms’ the crowd are pumped and there is an Intense club vibe already.

Kele is dressed very casual with a baggy T-shirt and tracksuit bottoms, jumping around the stage, at this point in the gig the band and crowd are nicely warmed up, as the set moves up a gear for classic ‘Mercury’ from their third album ‘Intimacy’. The brass Sax is out and the night’s mosh pit is springing to life. Up next is a couple of tracks from ‘A Weekend In The City’ (second album) has the crowd singing along.

Midway point we have rockier old school track ‘Banquet’ from first album, the hard core fans with their shirts off swinging round their heads. No one in the hall is standing still, it’s a massive party!

Whilst Kele’s Key’s are being set up, he takes a moment to say hello. “While my best mate fixes my piano, how are you guys doing? We’re very excited to be starting our run of shows in your wonderful city Manchester! so many fun times here” Plunging us back into the mellow of their latest album ‘Two More Years’ and ‘My True Name’. For these more sombre tracks Kele’s head is bowed into the keys, along with the restored chapel backdrop is a giving a more spiritual feeling to the night.

They rattle through a couple more tracks from their back catalogue ‘The Prayer’ and ‘Octopus’ Kele is dancing around the stage and the Mosh pit is heavy. “We are rocking so hard the roof is falling down. I like it!” whilst he picks up from the stage a ceiling debris.

Continuing the party with liveliest of the new songs is ‘The Love Within’ Kele is stood on the speakers at the front of the stage embracing the crowd.

As the band leave the stage there is anexcitable atmosphere for what is to come in the Encore. Before too long the band return, Kele shouts “This is Round Two” They kick things off again with ‘Stunt Queen’.

“So Manchester, a lot has changed in the world since we are last here, I hope you can stay safe and optimistic, the only thing we have to fight against hate with is love”

They play ‘Sunday’ followed by Bloc Party’s Signature song ‘Helicopter’. The base is heavy sending vibrations through the upper tier floor and there are Red and White strobes. It’s a hit packed second round and mass sing along.

“Oh my days oh my days! We come to the end of tonight’s performance. Thanks for coming out on this Wednesday nightManchester”

Closing track and old time favourite is ‘Ratchet’ from their previous album. Kele finishes with a bum wiggle and the four members come together centre stage to thank the crowd and then exit the stage.

Tonight’s gig was a knockout live performance, they played songs which spanned over all Six albums, which all come together for a perfect set list.

The band head to London’s Round House for Two sell out gigs, other than that there are no other shows announced.

SET LIST:
1. Only He Can Heal Me
2. So Real
3. She’s Hearing Voices
4. Mercury
5. Where is Home?
6. Song for Clay
7. Banquet
8. Two More Years
9. My True Name
10. The Prayer
11. Octopus
12. The Love Within

ENCORE:
13. Stunt Queen
14. Sunday
15. Helicopter
16. Ratchet

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