Bloc Party question Labour's priorities From the excellent website that is Global Cool:
Kele Okereke from Bloc Party believes the money the Government intend on spending on Trident would be better invested in the fight against climate change. Bloc Party are among a battalion of music acts, including Franz Ferdinand, Kaiser Chiefs, Damon Albarn, Razorlight and Jarvis Cocker, who have signed up to a campaign to “choose peace and justice, not nuclear weapons and war.”
CND recently projected a ‘No Trident Replacement’ logo on the House of Commons, and tomorrow (24th February) an anti-nuclear power march will kick-off at Speakers’ Corner in Central London at midday before rounding off in a rally on Trafalgar Square later in the afternoon. Okereke, frontman of the much lauded East London four-piece, said: “Climate change is clearly the greatest security threat we face. A £76 billion investment in tackling it would change the world for the better. £76 billion on replacing Trident will bring us closer to catastrophe.”
It is not the first time the singer, whose band is lined up to appear at this summer’s Live Earth event, has spoken out about climate change. Global Cool caught up with him at last summer’s V Festival where he said: “Global warming is something that I’m very worried about right now and I don’t want future generations… my children to be in a situation that’s uninhabitable, that’s for sure. In 10 years time the planet will be irreversibly changed unless we do something about it now.”
Festival rumours Bloc Party look set to play at a plethora of festivals this summer, so expect to hear 'The Prayer' in a muddy field, maybe with some of Michael Eavis' prize cows on backing vocals. Speaking to 6Music earlier today, Gordy had this to say:
"I don't know which ones have been announced from which ones haven't, but I know we're playing T In The Park. I think we're playing Reading Festival, and Glastonbury, so I think we'll be ever-present over the summer."
Aberdeen Music Hall, 18.02.07 According to NME.com, last night's gig was halted after Kele got hit by a coin. Luckily, he wasn't badly hurt and after a brief intermission Bloc Party continued with their set. What kind of idiot throws coins at gigs though...?
Here's a couple photos taken last night from the photo pit by Stu Kane:
Bloc Party Join Wembley Stadium "Live Earth" Concert Bloc Party have joined the line-up for the 24 hour global'Live Earth' concerts on 07/07/07. The UK concert, one of seven simultaneous shows across the planet, will take place at the new Wembley Stadium and be broadcast to an estimated audience of more than two billion people worldwide. The event is being staged by SOS (Save Our Selves) - the Campaign for a Climate in Crisis, launched today by former US Vice-president (and climate change campaigner extraordinaire) Al Gore.
Ticket and line-up details will be announced shortly. You can read more about the 'Live Earth' concerts here.
'I Still Remember' gets a release date The second UK single to be taken from 'A Weekend In The City' will be 'I Still Remember', released through Wichita Recordings on April 9th. Check back soon for formats and b-sides.
Bloc Party crack US top 20! Bloc Party have followed hot on the heels of fellow UK-signed act Lily Allen by breaking into the Top 20 of the US albums chart for the first time.
The Wichita Recordings act have debuted at number 12 this week on the Billboard 200 with second album 'A Weekend In The City', which is released through Atlantic in the US. It is a marked improvement on the chart success of their first album 'Silent Alarm', which peaked at 114 on the same countdown in 2005.
The US success of the new album, which debuted at two in the UK last Sunday behind Mika’s 'Life In Cartoon Motion', is accompanied by high chart entries across the globe. The album, which has a worldwide ship of around 0.5m units, has entered at two inAustralia, Ireland and on the Japanese international chart for non-domestic acts, while entering the top five in Belgium and Germany and starting chart life in Switzerland and France in the Top 10.
Bloc Party are the latest UK act to win new chart acclaim in the States this year, with Corinne Bailey Rae’s self-titled debut album reaching the top five for the first time, fellow EMI artist Lily Allen’s first album 'Alright, Still' entering at 20 on the Billboard 200 a week ago and Warner’s Paolo Nutini and Universal’s Mika both charting in the States for the first time.
Bloc Party will back their high US debut by playing 14 gigs in North America next month, beginning at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle on March 11, taking in South by South West in Austin, Texas and concluding with two dates at the end of the month at New York’s United Palace Theatre. They are also performing in Japan during the month.
Bloc Party design exclusive T-shirts for charity Bloc Party have designed a couple of exclusive T-shirts for 'Whatever It Takes', a unique project which gathers artwork from '21st Century Leaders'. These artworks are then printed on ethically produced clothing, wristbands, and stationery, which are sold to raise money for the artist's chosen cause.
The T-shirts designed by Bloc Party go on sale on February 16th, and £9.40 will go to Unicef for each T-shirt sold.
Amsterdam Paradiso, 03.12.05...watch the full concert! In December 2005, Bloc Party rounded off their crazily hectic year with a gig at Amsterdam Paradiso. Watch the full 75 minute set, including a rare performance of 'Luno', courtesy of Fabchannel.com.
And don't forget...you can watch even more live Bloc action on NME.com, where they're streaming last week's Bristol gig in its entirety.
The Making of 'Hunting For Witches' From Pitchfork:
Now that the plastic's off everyone's copies of 'A Weekend in the City', it's time to hear what Bloc Party thinks of their second album. Vice Records pulled singer/guitarist Kele Okereke and bassist Gordon Moakes aside to give a track-by-track rundown of the writing and recording process. Here we learn how the band sampled a radio broadcast for their track, 'Hunting For Witches', and also get into the particulars of how the song's bass tracks were laid down. If it sounds a little tech-geek, well, yup. But as Moakes admits, "[We're] kinda nerds when it comes to recording."
Bloc Party edit NME.com This week Bloc Party edit NME.com. They're putting up their favourite videos and tracks, running competitions and, best of all, the whole of last week's Bristol Academy gig is available to stream...watch it now.
For more information on NME.com's 'Bloc Party week', click here.
'A Weekend In The City' goes in at #2 Well, Bloc Party missed out on the number one album spot, thanks to Mika...booooo! It's still a very respectable position though, and it doesn't look like the album leak affected sales either!
I spent my formative teenage years in the prairies: small towns, small-minded people and an even smaller tolerance for anything moving in a new or different direction. I found myself longing for city life, and all the adventurous, romantic folly that came along with it. I found that one of the only ways to escape the boredom of my small town existence was through a mixtape that I called 'Big City Nights' (taken from perhaps the greatest music video these eyes have ever seen). DJ Shadow ('Endtroducing' is still the greatest night-time driving album ever made), My Bloody Valentine, and even Jay-Z (cut me some slack, I was young) graced my headphones as I laid back in quiet, street light bliss. If 'A Weekend In The City' had been released during my Grade 12 year, I could guarantee you it would have found a place on that mix. Not only does this album give you that long exposure, city street image (the album art by Rut Blees Luxemburg helps), but it poses a lot of ideas about the state of our generation.
There's something special about this record, something that sets it apart from the average modern rock album. Kele Okereke has written one of the most important statements of the 2000's. Every song speaks about something that our culture seems to blindly accept, not realizing the effects. "Our parents suffered for nothing", "the 90's/optimistic as a teen/now it's terror/airplanes crash into towers" or "I have decided/that at 25/something must change" are just small examples of how, rather than succumbing to writing songs about the typical 'boy loves girl' situation, Okereke would rather take a look at what's going on with society. Another dominant theme on the record is Kele's longing for change, which culminates in one of the best tracks on the record, 'Kreuzberg'.
As great as it is to see a band trying to say something different, the really beautiful thing about this record is the music. Everything screams "massive", just as their debut, 'Silent Alarm', did. Matt Tong's drumming is still incredibly tight and huge, and the production is, once again, second to none. Try to not tap your foot to 'Hunting For Witches', or to nod your head to 'I Still Remember', or to flat out shake your butt to 'The Prayer'. Of course, because of its danceable nature, this record is definitely a mood record. It can make you look around at your surroundings and long to make a change in the mundane; it can make you dance harder than you could have ever imagined; it can be the record you put on as you fall asleep after a late night of adventures with friends. It has everything a good record needs and, because of that, it can cover any range of emotion you might be feeling.
I think the most important part of 'A Weekend In The City' is summed up in the chorus of 'Waiting for the 7.18': "Just give me moments/not hours or days". People are going to criticize this record to death: "it's too produced", "it's not as good or as poignant as their last record". I'm trying not to be a cynic, and this record demands a person to look at it with open eyes. This record is a statement for the moment we're in, whether our generation wants to accept it or not. We buy too much, we drink too much and we waste far too much time on "crosswords and Sudokus". Bloc Party are just four guys looking for a home, discontent with city life, and I think that longing for home is all too familiar with every twenty-something. What are we going to do about it?
Watch three 'Black Session' videos Lesinrocks.com is currently streaming three videos from Bloc Party's recent Black Session for French radio: 'Waiting For The 7.18', 'Banquet' and 'Hunting For Witches'...ici.
Bloc Party chart battle...don't let Mika beat them! From MusicWeek:
Bloc Party ahead in mid-week album tussle
It's all-out war in the mid-week album charts, with Bloc Party currently topping the pile with second album 'A Weekend In The City' (Wichita), just ahead of Mika’s 'Life In Cartoon Motion' (Island). Despite the early lead, Mika is likely to sell steadily throughout the week, as opposed to the East London quartet, who are likely to sell more strongly at the beginning of the week. Albums 01 Bloc Party 02 Mika (2000 behind) 03 Fall Out Boy
Those who are yet to experience the delights of Mika...have a read of this review. We cannot let him beat Bloc Party to number one!
'A Weekend In The City' out now! Today's date has been circled on every Bloc Party fan's calendar since October last year. (Unless you've been hiding in a cave for the past four months, in which case you'll be unaware that Bloc Party's second album, 'A Weekend In The City', is in the shops NOW, or tomorrow if you're in the States!)
So, as Gwen Stefani once said, what you waiting for? Follow this seven-step plan for instant gratification:
'The Prayer' enters the charts at #4! 'The Prayer' sits at a very impressive #4 in this week's Official UK Singles Chart, making it Bloc Party's most successful single to date (above 'So Here We Are', which made #5 back in February 2005). A whopping 18,500 of you bought it during the week!
P.S. Another new track can be streamed online...visit MTV Canada to listen to 'The Once And Future King'!
7digital Competition Anyone who's not yet pre-ordered 'AWITC'...order it from 7digital.com to be automatically entered into a competition to win this rather snazzy T-shirt, plus an 'AWITC' poster and badge.
London Astoria, 31.01.07 Song For Clay (Disappear Here) Like Eating Glass Blue Light Hunting For Witches Banquet Waiting for the 7.18 The Prayer The Modern Love Uniform Little Thoughts So Here We Are Helicopter
Positive Tension Sunday SRXT (first time played live) The Pioneers