hmv.com reviews… Bloc Party @ Cardiff Great Hall
Bloc Party breezed into Cardiff on Friday (January 29th) to headline the NME Awards Tour and we were there to review them...
Bloc Party, back with a fresh line up and a brand new album to promote.
Inside Cardiff Students Union on a very wet and windy day in the Welsh capital.
Any good supports?
Drenge have been doing the rounds a lot recently featuring in support slots for both The Maccabees and Wolf Alice in the later half of last year, yet show no signs of fatigue just yet. Dedicating 'We Can Do What We Want' to Cardiff's infamous 'Chippy Lane' sets the middle section of the crowd into a frenzy. Whilst songs like 'Backwaters' and 'I Want To Break You In Half' copy this trade they change the pace towards the end and finish with the extended grungy 'Let's Pretend'.
Was it full? And how were the crowd?
It's not completely sold out with enough room to be able to move to wherever you would like in the crowd. However they all clamber together in the centre for the hits.
So what was the set like? What did they play?
They start with their latest Blur-inspired single 'The Good News', which is rather mid-tempo and a strange choice to open up proceedings. Things pick up a little with 'Hunting For Witches' and then even better with 'Positive Tension' from their still excellent debut Silent Alarm.
Then follows 'Mercury' which altogether feels a little sloppy and all over the place in comparison. Even with added live saxophone being thrown into the mix it can't help but feel like just a bit of a mess. The same can be said for new song 'Virtue' which almost sounds as if it's broken. Especially as it precedes 'Song For Clay' straight into 'Banquet' showing the crowd what can be done in a performance. In fact thhe older songs receive a much larger reaction than that of the tracks from the new album.
'The Love Within' the opening track from new album 'Hyms', much like the other new songs played tonight doesn't fully flow or deliver the thrills that a song as experimental as it is should. Whilst the crowd jump along, you get the sense they are almost doing it as a thank you to their older songs; most notably 'Helicopter' within the encore. The volume feels like it's been taken up another gear along with the energy in the entire room. Five albums into a band's career it's no surprise to hear people screaming for the older songs, but tonight it feels like that's all anybody's here for.
Did they put on much of a show?
Not really, the band are quiet and business like throughout.
What was the highlight of the set?
Bloc Party aren't on great form tonight, but hearing 'Helicopter' in all it's full on glory as it gives an indication as to how electric the evening could have actually been. Everyone sings along to the tune and shouts back the opening few lines right back at the band, opening up the centre even more.
Where can I catch them next?
The tour sees them travelling across the UK to destinations such as Bristol, Newcastle, Leeds, London and Birmingham. They also play the BBC 6 Music festival in February and are expected to be on several festival bills this summer.
Bloc Party's new album HYMNS is out now.