Bloc Party + Tommy Sparks @ Wolverhampton Civic Hall – 1st February 2009

Bloc Party ~ Wolverhamtpon Civic Hall

Whilst sitting in The Goose, the anticipation of seeing my favourite band was finally hitting me and I was pondering what to expect from tonight’s gig, and taking bets as to if they will play “Price of Gas”
as well as my wife telling me how much she longed to hear “So Here We Are”.

Every time I’ve seen Bloc Party play I have been blown away for different reasons, and that is something to live up to. I caught a glimpse of the early part of their set last night (down to the fact I
was Djing Blast Off and I pulled off some sneaky maneuvers through the venues security), and it pleasantly surprised me with them playing “Biko” within the first few songs, which was both brave and genius at the same time!

First on the bill were Wet Paint, a 90s grunge influenced outfit who reminded me of bands like Pavement and early Smashing Pumpkins, all in all they were very impressive, but perhaps not for your average Bloc Party fan. Next up were Tommy Sparks and 80s driven synth rock band who put out fast and punchy pop ending on their recent single “I’m a Rope”. They tried their best to get the crowd into what they were playing but there seemed to be a general lack of enthusiasm from the crowd. I know that it was a Sunday night gig but the lead singer seemed to imply that the crowd showed the same lack luster attitude for the Saturday night too.

Tommy Sparks ~ supporting Bloc Party

Bloc Party gigs always seem to have that wow factor and this was no exception, from the set list to the way they delivered it to the fans, everything about it was awesome. Clocking up 3 albums of material (and the rest) they had the opportunity to mix it up in a big way and they certainly did that, picking out some of the most exceptional tracks off all three records and throwing in some surprises too. With it being the last night of the UK leg of their tour the whole band seemed to be in a very upbeat mood as did the crowd who gave them virtually a whole wardrobe in lost property, from pearl necklaces to men’s boxer shorts!

The sound was perfect! Yet again they sounded just as good as they do on CD and the set list spoke for itself in terms of confidence and maturity! It was good to see that they had dropped some of the songs from last night, although this included “Hunting for Witches”, which I was quite shocked about!

Bloc Party ~ Wolverhamtpon Civic HallBloc Party ~ Wolverhamtpon Civic Hall

They began with the fantastic new single “One Month Off” which raised the roof, followed by the excellent “Halo”. The first highlight of the set for me was the 3-song merge of Waiting for the 7:18, Song for Clay and Banquet it was so good I very nearly stopped dancing. The second surprising highlight was the fact that they played “Letter to my Son” a bonus track (very reminiscent of early Cure songs) on “Intimacy” which clearly nobody in the venue had heard with the exception of my
wife and I. My wife got her wish with the forever beautiful “So Here We Are” coming just before they ended on the hugely popular “Like Eating Glass”.

Bloc Party ~ Wolverhamtpon Civic Hall

We were granted a surprise in two encores, the first of which started with Kele proclaiming “the least thing I like about the Klaxons is the legacy of glow sticks” as yet another one hit the stage. Then came the pounding of Matt’s drums together with a reverse kit for Gordon to play alongside to the brilliant song “Sunday”, we got so dance to the sound of the sirens in “Ares” and it ended with the ever energetic “Helicopter”. The second (very much) surprise encore (as some people had already left the building) began with the bands cover version of Girls Aloud’s “Call the Shots” after which we finally got to throw ourselves about to their ‘dance’ song “Flux”.

Bloc Party ~ Wolverhamtpon Civic HallBloc Party ~ Wolverhamtpon Civic Hall

OK so I lost the bet about them playing “Price of Gas” but that didn’t matter because yet again Bloc Party continued to deliver a set so full of emotion and energy that I got completely lost in the moment and entered a different world where nothing else matters other than their music.

Set List
One month off
Positive tension
Where is home?
Waiting for the 7:18
Song for Clay (Disappear Here)
This modern love
Letter to My Son
So here we are
Like eating glass

The Prayer

Encore 2
Call the shots – Girls Aloud cover

Review – Imran Khan
Photos – Lee Allen

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