Review: Bloc Party, Live in Cardiff 29th January 2016

Gareth Matson takes a look into Bloc Party’s latest developments…

To celebrate the release of ‘Hymns’, their first record in four years, the new sounding Bloc Party celebrated by headlining the NME tour at Cardiff’s Great Hall.

Embracing the new release they opened with album track ‘The Good News’ hoping the crowd will also embrace their new style, which on the whole was a great success. However, there were frequent murmurs of people upset by the change in the bands direction, with 2 members being replaced and a more tranquil, less guitar infused album, a handful of fans felt disillusioned, some of them sounding like a YouTube comment section. They were soon muted by the hard-hitting 2007 single ‘Hunting For Witches’ and the infamous fan-favourite ‘Banquet’ being played within the first half hour. In reality the new songs fitted seamlessly into the set list, somev people just can’t accept change, but with the assistance and encouragement of frontman Kele Okereke, songs both old and new were received by the crowd with indiscriminate dancing that could shift platonic plates.

They finished the pre-encore set list with ‘The Love Within’ – the lead single off ‘Hymns’. This song received a lot of criticism on their Facebook when it was first released, however it’s a completely different beast live, so much so, it was by far and away the best received song of the night and those who were criticising the new material early on in the gig were now unquestionably converted. Even so, the encore was a colossal crowd pleaser, with hits ‘Helicopter’, ‘Flux’ and ‘Ratchet’ all getting the crowd moving and ending the night on a high with a buzz in the air. Bloc Party are back.