In sum, three years ago, the Bloc Party might have been over. After a decade of recording, touring and planet-girdling graft, personal space and side-projects loomed the four were heading their separate ways. Yet here they are, back, solid, forthright and foursquare. Grievances, they admit, were aired. Positivity, they are pleased to acknowledge, emerged. And a rebooted enthusiasm for their band, and what their band could do, quickly dominated proceedings. The gang of four were back in action.
Their fourth long-player, appropriately named ‘Four’, crashed into the charts at number three, garnering praise across the board with the band soon announcing their biggest date ever, at the 18,000 capacity Earls Court Arena.
Second single to be taken from ‘Four’ is the unashamedly abrasive ‘Kettling’. Its vivid lyrics were inspired by the global civil unrest of 2011: “There was so much going on in the world in 2011” says Kele, “you couldn’t turn on the television without seeing pictures of people protesting or rioting or mass disarray. Of course those are quite frightening images. But there’s also something quite poetic about people standing up and saying they’ve had enough of something; that no, they will not take this any more. That’s what the song was really about.”
The video, filmed at a primary school in Charlton, SE London, sees a group of kids partaking in one of the country’s oldest yet most controversial playground games – British Bulldog. Variously banned in some schools and encouraged in others across the UK due to its physicality and boisterousness, this childhood throwback was seen by director James Lees as the perfect accompaniment to the song’s confrontational subject matter.
Finally, coming soon to a venue near you, one of the most inventive British guitar bands of the Noughties, doing what they’ve long done brilliantly: rocking it live. That’ll be real FOUR play.
Bloc Party UK tour dates:
12/10 – Newcastle, O2 Academy 13/10 – Leeds, O2 Academy 14/10 – Glasgow, O2 Academy 15/10 – Birmingham, O2 Academy 17/10 – Southampton, Guildhall 18/10 – Bristol, O2 Academy 19/10 – Manchester, WHP 20/10 – Cambridge, Corn Exchange