New Rhodes and Tom VekEdit this event
Sometimes you just don't want the night to end, and tonight was no exception. And to think that just a couple of hours earlier, the end couldn't have come soon enough.
The end of Tom Vek's set that is. If all of the rumours are to be believed that the boy Vek is being offered shedloads of dosh by a number of major record labels then on this showing you have to ask one question - Why?
Because for all his efforts to be the new Beck/Gough/Coxon/whoever there seemed to be one vital ingredient missing - a tune. And his keyboard player looked like the twin sibling of Zane Lowe.
Thankfully parity was restored when arguably the finest thing to come out of Bristol since Beth Gibbons last uttered the words "It's only you who can turn my wooden heart..." took centre stage.
New Rhodes may have been saddled with a reputation as being the English Strokes but in singing guitarist James Williams they have a frontman who oozes charisma and the ability to both play and hold a note at the same time, so beat that Casablancas. Two years may have passed since the creators of Nelson Scamp first appeared but the way old favourites such as 'I Tried' have developed into pulsating anthems alongside the likes of 'I Wish I Was You' and forthcoming single 'You've Given Me Something That I Can't Give Back' suggests an impending ascendancy comparable to tonight's headliners beckons in the not too distant future.
And so on to the main event.
The last time Bloc Party played in Nottingham to less than 100 people, most of whom seemed to find them bewildering and dehabilitating.This time around the clamour for tickets saw the "Sold Out" signs go up weeks ago and suddenly everybody else wants a piece of the action that London has been getting its knickers in a twist about for so long.
After all of about 30 seconds, it's not hard to understand why.
When Kele Okereke isn't singing about "An insult that dilates forever" or torturing the life out of his six stringed weapon of crass destruction, he's grinning like a Cheshire cat, making jokes about how surreally unreal to him their rise in popularity is, and teasing the crowd by playing the opening bars of Franz Ferdinand's 'Michael' before bellowing a curt "Nahh, we don't do that one" that resonates equal measures of laughter and disappointment from those assembled.
And it doesn't just stop with the front man. Guitarist Russell Lissack looks for all the world like a young Bernard Butler. Where before he may have used his fringe to hide behind, tonight it becomes a measure of the intensity he puts into his performance, sweeping from side to side like a sail in the wind. Bassist Gordon Moakes meanwhile engages in a kind of running on the spot that could earn him the title of Band Drill Instructor. Cap'n Kele's right hand men, and when you've the tribal pounding of Matt Tong at the rudder, only the hard of hearing and even harder to please can see Bloc Party not succeeding now.
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