YouTube Live: Two hits from Bloc Party at Glastonbury ’08

Whether or not you fell off the Bloc Party wagon after A Weekend In The City wasn’t the hipster grand slam it was supposed to be, you’ll enjoy this video. Unless, of course, you’re John Lydon, in which case you’ll just have to wait for a video with more white people in it to be posted here on CoS. Sorry for the wait, John. I’m sure you can think of something to do in the meantime.

Bloc Party shared with the world one of the best albums of the 2000s in Silent Alarm, no matter what the end all, be all in perpetual hip-dom Pitchfork says. Full of energy, musical ability, and boasting a certain swagger that was completely original at the time, the album garnered significant praise from fans and critics alike. The album’s swift drumming, ear splitting guitar work, and Kele Okereke’s (who has a solo album due shortly, incidentally) heavy British accent made for a highly listenable album. It was as good a debut as any band I have seen before or since. Unfortunately, it remains their best release to date; they’ve yet to out-do themselves.

But that’s not to say the rest of their work has been a complete waste. They just set an extremely high bar with their debut. Actually, bits and pieces of the sophomore effort were, dare I say, better than anything on Silent Alarm, but the album suffered considerably from lack of consistency and a noticeable change in sound. I think also, there may have been some miscommunication somewhere down the line between publicists and consumers, because this album is nowhere to be found in a lot of people’s minds. To a lot of folks, it’s like Bloc Party ceased to exist in their minds after Silent Alarm. They came, they saw, they conquered, and then they were never seen nor heard of again.

In reality, this is not the case. To those of you who have followed their career post-debut, this will sound rudimentary, but here’s the skinny: after releasing Silent in 2005, they toured majorly and word spread like wildfire. They went back into the studio to prepare the follow-up to their masterpiece and emerged with a heap of tracks, 11 of which would make the cut to become A Weekend In The City. The rest became obscure, sought after B-sides and fanboy (or girl; don’t want to exclude anyone..) favorites. It was released to less fanfare because it was largely different from the debut. The toured that one extensively including sub-headliner appearances at prominent UK festivals T In The Park, Reading and Leeds, and Glastonbury, all the while managing to maintain a large, devout fanbase. With that behind them, they decided to record and announce the release of their third and most recent album, Intimacy. This album was released to considerably less fanfare and commercial success, and understandably so. The album was weak on the whole, with only a few highlights throughout. And that pretty much brings us up to date.

They toured and have been on hiatus since. The only news from the BP front is the aforementioned annunciation of Kele’s solo album entitled The Boxer (steal from The National much?) due on June 22nd. Ignore my negativity about the more recent endeavors of Bloc Party and focus more on how awe-inspiring this video is. Even after their departure from Silent Alarm, they still seem so in control and put on such a captivating show. This particular video is a couplet of a Weekend song and a Silent song is from the aforementioned Glastonbury appearance in 2008. Enjoy!


Follow Consequence