Word has reached DiS that Bloc Party (pictured) vocalist Kele Okereke was subjected to a racist attack at the weekend, by former Sex Pistols screamer John 'Johnny Rotten' Lydon and members of the one-time punk hero's entourage.
Okereke was attacked at the Summercase Festival in Barcelona on Saturday night; he was left shaken and with bruising to his face, cuts on his face and body, and a burst lip.
The attack, according to reports, was unprovoked. A witness commented that Lydon and company were at the festival "acting like a gang of racist thugs".
Trouble flared when Okereke asked Lydon backstage at the festival if he'd ever consider reforming Public Image Ltd, as the Bloc Party singer is a big fan of the seminal post-punk outfit fronted by Lydon. The former I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here contestant grew aggressive, with his party suggesting that Okereke had a "black attitude", and that was a problem in some way.
The story goes that then Okereke was punched and kicked by Lydon's crew, albeit not Lydon himself, while Ricky Wilson of Kaiser Chiefs and Yannis Philippakis of Foals attempted to fend off the attackers. Security broke up the fight and Spanish police were duly informed. Okereke made a statement to UK police once home.
Over 50 people witnessed the Barcelona attack - alongside members of Foals and Kaiser Chiefs were Mystery Jets, Neon Neon and Har Mar Superstar, all of whom saw what unfolded. Of the attack, Okereke has stated:
"It's not an issue of the physical assault, even though it was an unprovoked attack. It is the fact that race was brought into the matter so readily. Someone as respected and as intelligent as Lydon should know better than to bring race into the equation, or socialise with and encourage those who hold such narrow-minded attitudes. I am disappointed that someone I held with such high regard turns out to be such a bigot."
DrownedinSound can not convey accurately just how disgusted we are by this unbelievable incident in words without completely destroying our swear filter. Suffice to say that if you see John Lydon and 'crew' any time soon, give him a piece of your mind on our behalf. We wish Kele a speedy recovery from his injuries.
A review of Summercase will appear on DiS soon