Bloc Party are indifferent to the singles chart and say scoring a hit is no longer important to them. The band physically released their third album 'Intimacy' on Monday following its rush release in download format on 21 August. The band say they didn't think of the release as "a business decision", and weren't worried about chart positions. In fact, bassist Gordon Moakes revealed they may stop putting out physical singles in the future.
'Intimacy' was not eligible for the Top 40 charts last month, due to its download-only release. While this month might see it enter the top 10, Moakes told 6 Music that it's not really a priority: "I don't think our digital release was eligible so this is our only shot at the charts - but the kind of band we are, isn't one you were going to see on Top Of The Pops really. We've never entirely played the game. Maybe we'll find out that it's a great success, but maybe we'll find out that people just aren't buying CDs anymore."
Last October, Radiohead put out their latest album, 'In Rainbows', with a "pay what you like" price plan. However, it still went to number one after its physical release in January. Asked whether Bloc Party were hoping for a similar impact, Moakes said: "I don't know. We're waiting to find out really. I think none of us were sufficiently concerned about it as a business decision to not do it - to say, 'if you put it down as a download, x amount of people might not buy it'."
"Our record company's been behind our ideas for this record and future singles," Moakes continued. "We're talking now about not doing anymore physical formats for singles meaning we won't have any more eligible singles after 'Talons'. I think the days are gone where you can really make a splash in the charts, being a band like us, and have that sort of thing make a difference to your reputation and your sales. Music was never a competition, whoever made it a competition? One decision might be to not get involved in that and put out non-eligible things on purpose."
However, their view on the physical release of albums has not changed: "We have a young fan base so I don't know how doing it the way we did will affect us, but it's still an event to put out a record. We're still vinyl fans. With the last record we put out a picture disc. All this extra stuff that's dying out, we're still into as a band."
After the gig, Bloc Party treated a very lucky group of fans to an acoustic rendition of 'This Modern Love' outside the Truskel pub in Paris...quelle chance!
Ares / Halo / Hunting For Witches / Positive Tension / One Month Off / Song For Clay (Disappear Here) / Banquet / Better Than Heaven / Signs / Talons / This Modern Love / The Prayer / Like Eating Glass
Mercury / Price Of Gasoline / Flux / Helicopter
She's Hearing Voices
Bump:La Blogotheque have posted a higher-quality video of Kele and Russell's performance in the Parisian streets:
Bloc Party played a one-off gig inside Berlin's historic Tempelhof International Airport last night (October 23rd). Taking to the stage in Tempelhof's dining lounge shortly after 10pm, Bloc Party played an hour-long set in full view of the airport's runway.
The band, who release new album 'Intimacy' physically next Monday (October 27th), were in jubilant mood throughout the gig. During 'Mercury', singer Kele Okereke burst through security staff into the crowd to sing. Despite being mobbed by fans, Okereke managed to make his way to the sound desk, which he proceeded to stand upon until the end of the song.
Drummer Matt Tong also used the gig to practise his German. Tong, who lives in Berlin, jokingly ordered a latte from the stage before admitting that he hadn't had time to learn the language properly. Shortly after the gig, Bloc Party bassist Gordon Moakes told NME.COM that the band were impressed by the gig venue, saying it was "surreal" to play in such a strange setting. "It was quite exciting when we first walked in and saw the runway right next to us," he said. "Weirdly, it actually reminds me of the Academy 3 in Birmingham a bit! In terms of the stage size, anyway. But the building itself is a lot better than that. It reeks of old Germany."
Despite the success of the gig, it is almost certain that the event will be a one-off, as Tempelhof is set to close for good next week (October 30), and will be replaced by the new Berlin-Brandenburg International Airport.
One Month Off / Hunting For Witches / Positive Tension / Blue Light / Halo / Song For Clay (Disappear Here) / Banquet / Signs / Better Than Heaven / Talons / This Modern Love / The Prayer
Mercury / Price Of Gasoline / Flux / Helicopter
Edit: Concert Online recorded the entire set...click here to buy it (audio or video). Here's a preview of the video:
With the physical release of 'Intimacy' just 4 days away, the Bloc news is gathering pace like a snowball rolling down a very steep tree-less hill. Here's the latest press blurb...
If you pre-ordered the album, you'll be receiving the physical CD on Monday (if you haven't, you can still get it here). The tracklisting is:
05. Trojan Horse
07. One Month Off
10. Better Than Heaven
11. Ion Square
12. Letter To My Son
13. Your Visits Are Getting Shorter
The North American version will have the same songs, plus 'Flux'. You can get that one here.
This UK / European deluxe version will also come with access to 'Live and Intimate' - a special up-close and personal live performance including tracks from the new album, and 'Banquet'. The film was shot in The Pool Studios. Highlights from the film will be screened on Channel 4 on October 31st at 12:10am.
You can also see a preview of 'Halo' on the Bloc Party takeover of the Guardian Music which also features Cooking with the Tongs, some words from Gordon, Kele's advice column and an exclusive remix of 'Ares' by Russell. You will be able to watch 'One Month Off' on NME.com from Monday. NME also have an interview with Kele and Matt live now.
And in the spirit of giving, the album will also be available as an iTunes Exclusive bundle which will include the full album, and the iTunes Live EP (from the band's recent in store at the London Apple Store). You can get that from Sunday at this link.
For those of you wondering which formats will be available for the album, in addition to the above you will be able to buy it on vinyland picture disc.
Finally, the band will be playing a set at the Oxford Circus branch of HMV on Monday (October 27th) at 6pm. Wristbands will be available from 9am ON THE DAY - these wristbands are first come first served, so please get down early!
The boys from the Bloc will make their third appearance on Jools Holland's legendary BBC television show tonight. You can catch them performing tracks from 'Intimacy' at 22:00 GMT on Later Live (BBC2) and then on the full show at 23:20 later tonight on BBC2. The latter programme will also be repeated this Friday night. Got that...?! Non-UK readers...check back for any YouTube coverage.
Edit: As promised, here's some YouTube action (thanks to Kristoffer for the uploads):
'Mercury' (no "we apologise for the sound problems" jokes please :D)
Read a review of this tiny gig and see some photos here! During the encore, Kele did a spot of crowd surfing and also managed to lose his in-ear monitors in the process. If you picked them up, send a message ASAP to email@example.com and you'll receive two guestlist places for one of the Glasgow gigs next year.
Halo / Hunting For Witches / Positive Tension / Signs / Song For Clay (Disappear Here) / Banquet / Better Than Heaven / Talons / This Modern Love / The Prayer
Get your talons on 'Talons' from today...Bloc Party's new single is out now in all good (and not-so-good) shops / digital stores. Check out the full tracklisting below, and order your own copy here. The acoustic version is well worth downloading...a Gregorian chant-tastic take on the original - you can hear Kele stifle a laugh at one point.
Just when you thought the BLAG PARTY covers project was dead and buried, up pops one of the best, and most unlikely, Bloc Party covers yet! This gorgeous acoustic version of 'Flux' was recorded by Jeremiah Satterthwaite, aka 'Of Yesteryears', and also features his friend Karin Haase on backing vocals. The track is pretty much unrecognisable from the indie-techno original, with hushed 'Iron & Wine'-esque vocals, finger-picked acoustic guitar and a smidgen of violin.
Of Yesteryears: "I was inspired by how well José González was able to turn The Knife's 'Heartbeats' from electro-indiepop song to a beautiful acoustic tune...so I decided to attempt to do the same with 'Flux'...and after I wrote the guitar part I decided to record it and just added some extra little things here and there!"
Listen to all of the previous BLAG PARTY covers here and send in your coverif you feel inspired to record your own! No-one's recorded a cover of any 'Intimacy' tracks yet, so any grindcore versions of 'Ion Square' are more than welcome (or something a bit more conventional, of course).
In which Mr. Okereke and Mr. Tong watch biodiesel fuel being made in front of their very eyes, discuss their next album (only likely to be available as sheet music due to credit crunch-driven electricity shortages), and announce that they will be performing live on their upcoming South American tour. Clicky here.
'Hunting For Witches'...the video that didn't get used
This alternate video for 'Hunting For Witches' was produced by the Semifinalists frontman, Ferry Gouw. Starring ex Dazed & Confused photographic director, Sylvia Farago, as a tormented witch, this is what Ferry had to say about it: "I did a low low budget video for them. I think they thought I was taking the piss. I should put it up one of these days. It’s really emotional. The witch created a creature that she loved, but its heart was spoiled and cursed, so the creature destroyed everything it touched."
Bloc Party appeared on Zane Lowe's BBC Radio 1 show this week to showcase some tracks from 'Intimacy'. Download below the full interview with Kele and Matt plus live recordings of 'Talons', 'Halo', and 'Signs'!
BlocParty.net comes top 20 in the BT DMAs...thanks BLOG PARTY readers!
BlocParty.net has come #16 in the 'Best Unofficial Music Site' category at this year's BT Digital Music Awards! Thanks to everyone who voted and re-voted...top 20 is pretty awesome considering the relative fanbases of some of the other bands up there. It's also one place above the Sex Pistols fansite - that's karma for you. View the Top 100 sites here.
P.S. Bloc Party will be playing an in-store set at London's Apple Store this Friday (October 10th) at 9pm. Fifty tickets will be available on the door, and tickets can be won both here and here. Good luck!
Here's a video of Bloc Party performing 'Banquet' at MTV's Video Music Brazil yesterday - their first ever South American appearance. This must be what happens when you ask Kele to lip-sync...instead of pretending to sing he leaps around the stage like a hyperactive child hepped up on E-numbers. Even Matt (sporting a natty fake moustache and bow-tie combination) and Gordy join in later on.
Edit: Bloc Party's playback performance has hit a bit of a nerve in Brazil, with loads of disgruntled fans commenting on this MTV VMB 2008 blog, and many people over there accusing Bloc Party of choosing to do the playback rather than playing live.
Edit #2: Here's a longer article about the playback. From a quick go with Google Translate, it appears that the band themselves requested the playback at the last minute. Read the (badly) translated article here! Anyway, rest assured, the boys will be back on form come their return to Brazil in November.
Bloc Party's new single, 'Talons', the second cut from 'Intimacy', will be released on October 20th and, as previously announced, it'll be available across three formats. You can now preview / pre-order all of the b-sides below via 7digital, including an acoustic version of the original track and the last ever Phones remix!
Halo / Hunting For Witches / Positive Tension / Talons / Signs / Song For Clay (Disappear Here) / Banquet / Better Than Heaven / Mercury / This Modern Love / The Prayer / So Here We Are / Like Eating Glass
Ares / Price Of Gasoline / I Would Die 4 U (Prince cover) - Flux / Helicopter
The band came back on for a second encore and Kele gave the microphone to the fans at the front, saying they'd play whatever song was said first. To the relief of many, the first fan responded by chanting "Skeleton!". Well done that man...may you go down in the history books as the person who finally persuaded Bloc Party to perform 'Skeleton' live again. Watch some video evidence below...