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==History==
 
==History==
 
===Formation and rising popularity (1999–2004)===
 
===Formation and rising popularity (1999–2004)===
[[Russell Lissack]] and [[Kele Okereke]] first met in 1998 in [[Essex]]. Lissack had attended [[Bancroft's School]], while Okereke attended [[Ilford County High School]], then [[Trinity Catholic High School, Woodford Green]] for [[sixth form]]. They bumped into each other again in 1999 at the [[Reading Festival]] and decided to form a band.<ref name="Guardian">{{cite web |url=http://music.guardian.co.uk/rock/story/0,,1984350,00.html |title=Kele Okereke: 21st century boy |publisher=''[[The Guardian]]'' |accessdate=2008-05-02 |date=[[2007-01-07]] }}</ref> Bassist [[Gordon Moakes]] joined after answering an advert in ''[[NME]]'', and drummer [[Matt Tong]] joined after an audition.<ref name="Guardian" /> After going through a variety of names, such as Union, Superheroes of BMX, The Angel Range and Diet, the band settled on Bloc Party in September 2003, a play on ''[[block party]]''.<ref>{{cite web | url = http://www.soundsxp.com/754.shtml | title = Interview: Bloc Party | accessdate = 2006-12-31 | author = G, Chris | date = [[2004-05-10]] | publisher = SoundsXP }}</ref> The band has said that the name was not intended to be an allusion to the [[Eastern Bloc|Soviet Bloc]] or the Canadian political party [[Bloc Québécois]]. However, the band's bassist, Gordon Moakes, said on the group's official Internet forum that it was more a merging of the eastern "Blocs" and the western "parties", in the political sense. Moakes notes that the name was not driven by politics, but rather it "looked, sounded, seemed fine so we went with it."<ref>{{cite news |url=http://www.beat.com.au/article.php?id=649 |title=Bloc Party |publisher=''Beat''|date=[[2007-01-31]]|author=Kirsty Brown|accessdate=2008-07-07 }}</ref>
+
[[Russell Lissack]] and [[Kele Okereke]] first met in 1998 in [[Essex]]. They suck balls and created crap music. Lissack had attended [[Bancroft's School]], while Okereke attended [[Ilford County High School]], then [[Trinity Catholic High School, Woodford Green]] for [[sixth form]]. They bumped into each other again in 1999 at the [[Reading Festival]] and decided to form a band.<ref name="Guardian">{{cite web |url=http://music.guardian.co.uk/rock/story/0,,1984350,00.html |title=Kele Okereke: 21st century boy |publisher=''[[The Guardian]]'' |accessdate=2008-05-02 |date=[[2007-01-07]] }}</ref> Bassist [[Gordon Moakes]] joined after answering an advert in ''[[NME]]'', and drummer [[Matt Tong]] joined after an audition.<ref name="Guardian" /> After going through a variety of names, such as Union, Superheroes of BMX, The Angel Range and Diet, the band settled on Bloc Party in September 2003, a play on ''[[block party]]''.<ref>{{cite web | url = http://www.soundsxp.com/754.shtml | title = Interview: Bloc Party | accessdate = 2006-12-31 | author = G, Chris | date = [[2004-05-10]] | publisher = SoundsXP }}</ref> The band has said that the name was not intended to be an allusion to the [[Eastern Bloc|Soviet Bloc]] or the Canadian political party [[Bloc Québécois]]. However, the band's bassist, Gordon Moakes, said on the group's official Internet forum that it was more a merging of the eastern "Blocs" and the western "parties", in the political sense. Moakes notes that the name was not driven by politics, but rather it "looked, sounded, seemed fine so we went with it."<ref>{{cite news |url=http://www.beat.com.au/article.php?id=649 |title=Bloc Party |publisher=''Beat''|date=[[2007-01-31]]|author=Kirsty Brown|accessdate=2008-07-07 }}</ref>
   
 
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Revision as of 01:45, 25 September 2008

Bloc Party
Bloc Party band shot.jpg
Left to right: Lissack, Moakes, Tong and Okereke
London, 20 April 2007
Background information
Origin London, England
Genres Indie rock
Post-punk revival
Electronica
Years active 2003–present
Labels Vice Records
Wichita
V2
Associated acts Pin Me Down
Website http://www.blocparty.com/
Members Kele Okereke
Russell Lissack
Gordon Moakes
Matt Tong
Past members David Searston
Mat Coleman
James Chorley

Bloc Party are an English indie rock band, composed of Kele Okereke on vocals and rhythm guitar, Russell Lissack on lead guitar, Gordon Moakes on bass guitar and Matt Tong on drums. Their brand of indie rock has been compared to bands such as The Cure, Gang of Four and The Strokes.[1]

The band formed at the 1999 Reading Festival by Okereke and Lissack. They went through a variety of names before settling on Bloc Party in 2003. Moakes joined the band after answering an advert in NME magazine, while Tong was picked via an audition. Bloc Party got their break by giving BBC Radio 1 DJ Steve Lamacq and Franz Ferdinand's lead singer Alex Kapranos a copy of their demo, "She's Hearing Voices", which was later released as a single.

In February 2005, the band released their debut album Silent Alarm. It was critically acclaimed and made NME's Album of the Year list.[2] The album was certified platinum in the UK a year later. The band built on this success with the release of their second studio album, A Weekend in the City, in 2007. The album reached a peak of #2 in the UK and #12 in the Billboard 200. In August 2008, the band released their 3rd album, Intimacy with little promotion apart from the preceding single "Mercury", released digitally via their website. The CD version is to be released in October.

History

Formation and rising popularity (1999–2004)

Russell Lissack and Kele Okereke first met in 1998 in Essex. They suck balls and created crap music. Lissack had attended Bancroft's School, while Okereke attended Ilford County High School, then Trinity Catholic High School, Woodford Green for sixth form. They bumped into each other again in 1999 at the Reading Festival and decided to form a band.[3] Bassist Gordon Moakes joined after answering an advert in NME, and drummer Matt Tong joined after an audition.[3] After going through a variety of names, such as Union, Superheroes of BMX, The Angel Range and Diet, the band settled on Bloc Party in September 2003, a play on block party.[4] The band has said that the name was not intended to be an allusion to the Soviet Bloc or the Canadian political party Bloc Québécois. However, the band's bassist, Gordon Moakes, said on the group's official Internet forum that it was more a merging of the eastern "Blocs" and the western "parties", in the political sense. Moakes notes that the name was not driven by politics, but rather it "looked, sounded, seemed fine so we went with it."[5]

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In November 2003, Bloc Party had their track "The Marshals Are Dead" featured on a compilation CD called The New Cross released by Angular Recording Corporation.[6] They then released their debut single "She's Hearing Voices" on the then fledgling record label Trash Aesthetics.[7]

The band got their break after Okereke went to a Franz Ferdinand concert in 2003, and gave a copy of "She's Hearing Voices" to both lead singer Alex Kapranos and Radio One DJ Steve Lamacq.[8] Lamacq subsequently played the song on his radio show, labeling the track "genius",[9] and invited them to record a live session for the show.[10] The buzz generated off the back of the single led to another single, "Banquet" being released by Moshi Moshi Records,[11] and to the eventual signing with independent label Wichita Recordings in April 2004.[12]

Silent Alarm (2004–2006)

Bloc Party’s Lissack and Okereke on stage in Cardiff in October 2005

Bloc Party's debut album, Silent Alarm, was released in February 2005 and was met with critical acclaim.[13][14][15] It was voted by NME critics as the 2005 album of the year,[16] and reached #3 on UK album charts before being certified platinum.[17][18] The first single from the album, "So Here We Are", made the top 5 on UK charts.[17] Further singles "Banquet" (which reached #13 in NME's "Top 50 singles of 2005"), "Helicopter", and "Pioneers", whilst failing to repeat this success, managed to reach the UK top 20.[17] The animated video for the single "Pioneers", made by the Shoreditch based Minivegas design agency[19] was number one in the NME video charts for 4 weeks.

The song "Helicopter" was used in the movie Grandma's Boy. It can be heard during the party at Alex's Grandmother's house. It was also used in the soundtrack of the football video game, FIFA 06, and was a playable track in "Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock" and "Guitar Hero: On Tour."

The band were met with good reviews from critics in the United States and they toured there heavily in the 18 months that followed.[20] In early 2006 they finished their tour with sold out shows in Los Angeles, Miami and Berkeley.[20] The album went on to sell more than 350,000 copies in North America and over a million worldwide.[18] After the success of this album, the established electronic group The Chemical Brothers soon collaborated with Okereke for "Believe", a track on the Brothers' Push the Button album.[21] An album of remixes of tracks from Silent Alarm was released at the end of August in the UK.[22] This remix album, Silent Alarm Remixed, retained the album's original track list and includes remixes from the likes of Ladytron, M83, Death from Above 1979, Four Tet and Mogwai.[23]

During July, Bloc Party recorded two new tracks with Silent Alarm producer Paul Epworth. The songs were released as an EP titled Two More Years.[24] The released of the EP was accompanied with a re-release of Silent Alarm, which included "Two More Years" along with former single "Little Thoughts". "Two More Years" was later released to coincide with their October 2005 UK tour.[25] The single format contained a remix of "Banquet" done by The Streets, for which a video was also recorded.[26]

The band also contributed the track "The Present" to the Help!: A Day in the Life compilation, the profits of which benefited the War Child charity.[27] In 2005, their album track "Like Eating Glass" was used on the soundtrack of low-budget horror film, Cry Wolf,[28] and was remixed for use on Activision's skateboarding game Tony Hawk's American Wasteland.[29]

A Weekend in the City (2006–2008)

Gordon Moakes tuning at Madison Square Garden in 2007

Bloc Party's second album, A Weekend in the City, was produced by Garret "Jacknife" Lee.[30] It was released in February 2007,[31] though it was leaked in November 2006.[32] It was released on the UK iTunes store before the physical release, and reached the number two spot in the Official UK Chart.[33] The album reached number two on the Australian and Belgian charts,[34][35] and debuted at #12 in the Billboard 200, with 48,000 copies sold.[36] The first single, "The Prayer", was released on 29 January,[37] and became the band's highest charting single in the UK Top 40, reaching #4.[38] In the build up to the release of the album, BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe aired a live set from the Maida Vale studio featuring a mix of old and new songs, on his evening radio show on 30 January 2007.[39] On 1 February 2007, A Weekend in the City was made available to listen to for free through the band's official MySpace page.[40]

The next single, "I Still Remember", was Bloc Party's highest charting American single, peaking at #24 on the Modern Rock Chart.[41] The band released their third single "Hunting for Witches" with an accompanying video clip in August 2007. The single became their only ARIA Chart entry, peaking at #20.[42]

In October 2007 it was announced that Bloc Party would release a new single, "Flux", on 13 November—ahead of their end of year gigs.[43] The track was also produced by Jacknife Lee,.[44] Flux, an electronic song, was very different to previous singles released by the band.[45]

The band's first gig following the release of A Weekend In The City was on 5 February 2007, in Reading,[46] and was broadcast live on BBC 6 Music that night.[47] On 20 May 2007, Bloc Party headlined on the In New Music We Trust stage at the BBC Radio 1 Big Weekend at Preston.[48] They also performed at the UK leg of Live Earth on 7 July 2007, at Wembley Stadium.[49] Furthermore, the band played sets at T in the Park and Oxegen 07 that same weekend,[50][51] as well as Glastonbury and the Reading and Leeds Festivals.[52][53] Bloc Party announced a tour of Australia and New Zealand in August 2007, which would include a special appearance at the Splendour in the Grass Festival on 5 August.[46] On 17 September 2007 they recorded a set for the PBS show Austin City Limits,[54] a day after playing at the Austin City Limits Music Festival,[46] and on 27 October 2007, the band performed a set at London's Roundhouse with the Exmoor Singers, a London based choir, as part of the BBC Electric Proms. The set included songs from both Silent Alarm and A Weekend In The City along with the first UK live performance of "Flux".[55]

Intimacy (2008–present)

File:Bloc Party countdown timer.PNG
The screen displayed on Bloc Party's official website following the countdown.

"Mercury", which is to be the first single from the upcoming third album, was played as an exclusive on Zane Lowe's BBC Radio 1 show on 7 July 2008,[56] before being uploaded to the Radio 1 website fifteen minutes later.[57] The exclusive followed an ominous countdown timer which replaced the band's entire website for three days, which ended with a link to the Radio 1 website at the time of Lowe's radio show. Many fans were expecting a release of new material over the internet,[58] with some being angered by the stunt.[59] The song had a similar electronic sound to the previous single, "Flux".[60] During the first play of "Mercury" on Radio 1, Kele was in the studio with Zane Lowe, and stated that Jacknife Lee and Paul Epworth will be producing the new album.[61] It has also been revealed that the single is to be released on 11 August 2008.[56] The video was unveiled along with the single.[62] Bloc Party has also announced that along with the full "Mercury" single that will come on CD with 3 remixes, on 12" vinyl with an extended and instrumental version and on 7" vinyl with the b-side "Idea for A Story."

Following the revelation of "Mercury", as well as its similarly electronic b-side "Idea for a Story", Bloc Party's third studio album takes an experimental, electronic direction,[citation needed] despite Kele suggesting this would not be the case,[63] having said that the sound will have the "rawness" of Silent Alarm, but the "experience" of A Weekend in the City.[64]

The band announced the rush-release of their third album, Intimacy, in a webchat with fans on August 18, 2008. From this date, the album became available for pre-order, in a variety of formats - a high-quality mp3 digital download (to be delivered on August 21, 2008) with the physical CD release on October 27, 2008. "Trojan Horse", a track from the album, was made available to stream exclusively through NME.com.[65] On August 20, 2008, the band added further album tracks "Signs" and "One Month Off", as well as "Trojan Horse", to their MySpace profile. On August 23-24, 2008, the band played sets at the Reading and Leeds Festivals, second highest on the bill before The Killers. The band played set-opener "Mercury", as well as album track "One Month Off".[66] A similar set followed a week later on August 30, 2008, when the band played a headline set at the Hydro Connect Music Festival, in Argyll, Scotland.[67]

The band are currently on a short tour of North America and Canada, including an appearance at Virgin Mobile Festival in Toronto on September 6, 2008, and the band's first ever American college show at Syracuse University.[68] They make their live return to the UK on September 30, 2008 with a special gig in London as part of Q Awards: The Gigs. As well as this, they play the Glasgow date of MTV Two and Topman's "Gonzo on Tour" on October 19, 2008.[69] On September 8, 2008, Bloc Party announced that their next single, "Talons" would be released on October 20, 2008. The song was not downloadable as part of the pre-order album released on August 27, but would feature on the full album release on October 27, 2008.[70] It was also available to fans who had already purchased the download-only album, distributed following the song's first play on Zane Lowe's BBC Radio 1 show.[71]

Musical style

Bloc Party claim that their variation of spiky guitar rock draws on influences such as The Cure, The Jam, Les Savy Fav, Blur, The Smashing Pumpkins, The Smiths, Pixies, Manic Street Preachers and Joy Division.[citation needed][32] Particular parallels were made between Bloc Party and Gang of Four upon their arrival on the music scene,[72] yet the band were "mildly infuriated" at such references, claiming they had never "particularly liked" Gang of Four.[32] To achieve their unique guitar style, numerous delay effects pedals are implemented.[73]

During the recording of the second album, the band suggested it would contain "some truly R'n'B styled beats, a song where [Tong] and [Moakes] play drums simultaneously [and] both eggshell-thin fragility and trouser-flapping hugeness",[74] as opposed to their typical indie rock sound. The style has been compared to and inspired by such bands as Radiohead, U2, Depeche Mode and Björk.[75] Some of the most noticeable changes are the songs have come more layered and less raw. With the release of "Flux", Bloc Party's style has become even more diverse with the inclusion of electronic music. For the third album, Tong has said, "I think our new stuff is going to be a lot less textured than the last record. I think the third studio incarnation of Bloc is going to be a bit like the rawer earlier Bloc, but with experience." They are working with producer Paul Epworth again and have revealed to NME magazine that they would like their third album to be released this year.[76] In their new single, "Mercury", Bloc Party even further distanced themselves from the traditional guitar band set-up, experimenting with dark electronic sounds and trumpets.[60]

Discography

References

  1. ^ "Listings - Artists - Bloc Party". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 2008-09-17. 
  2. ^ "NME Albums of the Year". NME. Retrieved 2008-05-05. 
  3. ^ a b "Kele Okereke: 21st century boy". The Guardian. 2007-01-07. Retrieved 2008-05-02.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  4. ^ G, Chris (2004-05-10). "Interview: Bloc Party". SoundsXP. Retrieved 2006-12-31.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  5. ^ Kirsty Brown (2007-01-31). "Bloc Party". Beat. Retrieved 2008-07-07.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  6. ^ "Various: The New Cross: An Angular Sampler". Shazam. Retrieved 2008-07-07. 
  7. ^ "Bloc Party - She's Hearing Voices". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 2008-05-02. 
  8. ^ "Bloc Party". NME. Retrieved 2008-05-02. 
  9. ^ "Berkshire Music - Club Velocity". BBC. 2004-02-12. Retrieved 2008-05-02.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  10. ^ Steve Lamacq (2004-01-19). "The downside to being the buzz band of the moment". BBC. Retrieved 2008-05-02.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  11. ^ "Releases: Banquet". Moshi Moshi Records. Retrieved 2008-05-02. 
  12. ^ "Bloc Party biography". Tiscali. Retrieved 2008-05-02. 
  13. ^ Heather Phares. "Silent Alarm Review". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-05-02. 
  14. ^ Imran Ahmed (2005-02-06). "Bloc Party - Bloc Party : Silent Alarm - Album Review". NME. Retrieved 2008-05-02.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  15. ^ Barry Walters (2005-03-24). "Silent Alarm : Bloc Party : Review". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2008-05-02.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  16. ^ "NME Album of the Year Archive". NME. Retrieved 2008-04-21. 
  17. ^ a b c "Bloc Party - UK Chart positions". EveryHit.com. Retrieved 2008-03-31.  Note: User has to search for "Bloc Party".
  18. ^ a b "Platinum Awards Content". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2008-03-31. 
  19. ^ "Bloc Party - Pioneers". Minivegas. Retrieved 2008-03-31. 
  20. ^ a b "Live : Archive". Bloc Party. Retrieved 2008-05-02. 
  21. ^ "Chemical Brothers, Push The Button". BBC. Retrieved 2008-05-02. 
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  24. ^ "Hear The New Single!". Bloc Party. Retrieved 2008-05-03. 
  25. ^ "Live: 2005 Archive". Bloc Party. Retrieved 2008-05-03. 
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  27. ^ "Help - A Day In The Life". Amazon. Retrieved 2008-04-21. 
  28. ^ "Cry Wolf". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-04-21. 
  29. ^ "Tony Hawk's American Wasteland - Credits". Allgame. Retrieved 2008-04-21. 
  30. ^ Tom Young (2007-02-01). "Rock/Indie Review - Bloc Party, A Weekend In The City". BBC News. Retrieved 2008-05-04.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  31. ^ "A Weekend in the City: Bloc Party". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2008-05-03. 
  32. ^ a b c Simon Vozick-Levinson (2007-02-21). "What A Weekend in the City means for Bloc Party". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2008-05-04.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  33. ^ "Bloc Party News". Wichita Recordings. Retrieved 2008-05-03. 
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  37. ^ "Amazon.co.uk: The Prayer: Bloc Party: Music". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-05-04. 
  38. ^ "The Prayer Hits The Top 5". Bloc Party. Retrieved 2008-05-04. 
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  45. ^ Ruth Barnes (16 December 2007). "Bloc Party On A High". BBC. Retrieved 2008-06-09. 
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  48. ^ "Radio 1's Big Weekend - Bloc Party". BBC. Retrieved 2008-05-04. 
  49. ^ "Live Earth - Bloc Party". BBC. Retrieved 2008-05-04. 
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  62. ^ "Videos: Bloc Party". blocparty.com. Retrieved 2008-07-07. 
  63. ^ "Bloc Party ditch dance edge". NME. Retrieved 2008-07-07. 
  64. ^ Kasia Galazka (2007-09-06). "Bloc Party talks touring, crisps". Paste. Retrieved 2008-07-07.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  65. ^ "Bloc Party to release new album this week". NME.com. Retrieved 2008-09-06. 
  66. ^ "BBC - Reading and Leeds Festivals 2008 - Bloc Party". BBC.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-09-06. 
  67. ^ "Hydro Connect: Day 2 review: Bloc Party". theregoesthefear.com. Retrieved 2008-09-06. 
  68. ^ "Syracuse-born band Ra Ra Riot to open Juice Jam 2008 Sept. 7 on SU campus, along with rapper Talib Kweli and headliner Bloc Party". syr.edu. Retrieved 2008-09-07. 
  69. ^ "The Gonzo on Tour 2008: Bloc Party + Magistrates". Barfly.com. Retrieved 2008-09-06. 
  70. ^ "Bloc Party reveal new non-album single - exclusive". NME.com. Retrieved 2008-09-10. 
  71. ^ "Bloc Party announce 'Talons'". BlocParty.com. Retrieved 2008-09-10. 
  72. ^ "OneMusic Documentaries - Time For Heroes: Gang Of Four". BBC. 2005-08-15. Retrieved 2008-05-04.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  73. ^ Matt Dyson (2005-08-30). "Berkshire - festivals - Review: Bloc Party". BBC. Retrieved 2008-05-05.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  74. ^ "Bloc Party reveal new sound". NME. Retrieved 2008-05-04. 
  75. ^ Daniel Melia (2006-02-24). "Bloc Party Plan Experimental "Radiohead" Like Second Album". Gigwise. Retrieved 2008-07-10.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  76. ^ Kasia Galazka (2007-09-06). "Bloc Party talks touring, crisps". Paste. Retrieved 2008-07-10.  Check date values in: |date= (help)

External links