The Rescue Rooms has been the scene of many a ‘next big thing’ gig. Thisyear the 500-capacity venue has witnessed performances from
Tonight there’s a feeling that this will almost certainly be the lasttime this London four-piece will play here. They’ve managed to sell out thevenue despite having only released three singles to date, a testament to themedia’s ability to blow up bands beyond all proportion. On first listen BlocParty sound something like TheCure, with a hint of The Specials thrown in on some of theirgloomier moments – this is hardly a bad starting point, but the mainquestion is, as ever, whether they can live up to this venerablebilling.
It’s hot, packed to the rafters and expectation is high. A goodperformance tonight and it’ll be written in the stars that their debutalbum, set for release early next year, will be a hit and that next timethey tour the country the venues they play will be considerably bigger.
Bloc Party don’t look like your average rock band. A black singerfronting the latest indie saviours is certainly uncommon, then there’s aguitarist who looks like he’s still at prep school. It’s a good thing thatthey let the music do the talking, and speak to us it certainly does.Kicking off with The Marshals Are Dead, the venue is immediately silenced.”Attention! Unbelievers!” shouts front man Kele Okereke over a menacingdrumbeat, and we’re compelled to see what the band have in store over thenext forty minutes or so.
Magnificently catchy debut single Banquet excites many in the crowd, andthe inevitable sing-along is word perfect. Live, it is quite franklythrilling: its spiky guitars and Okereke’s wide-ranging vocal ability makethis one of the best singles of recent times. New single Helicopter isarguably the fastest and heaviest thing they’ve written in their shortcareers, and tonight it’s despatched with enormous frenzy. “Are You HopingFor A Miracle?” screams Okereke on the chorus, with more songs of thisquality the album should be nothing short of one.
That’s not to say everything on display cuts the proverbial mustard -there is a slightly dull moment. She’s Hearing Voices is a bit too dark forcomfort, and meanders to its conclusion without leaping forward anddeclaring its brilliance like some of the other songs on show.
But who cares? The band have been playing as if their lives depended onit and Okereke has been smiling and joking with the crowd all night. Theirpuppy dog enthusiasm coupled with a few stunning moments is more than enoughto make this a gig people will be talking about for some time to come. Theyend with their biggest hit – “to date!” jokes Okereke, prompting yet anothercheer from the crowd. As the assured glory of Little Thoughts closes, it’squite clear that this is just the start of something quite big indeed.
With The Libertinesseemingly in turmoil, and TheOthers unable to muster anything with a tune, Bloc Party areLondon’s bright indie rock hopes. ‘God bless Bloc Party,’ declare T-Shirtsaround the venue – this couldn’t be more appropriate.