Carling Weekend Countdown: Bloc Party

Carling Weekend Countdown: Bloc Party

This weekend sees the start of the annual Carling Weekend – a three day festival of some of the biggest and the best of the world’s rock bands.

Starting this Friday (Aug 24) the event’s headliners include Smashing Pumpkins, Nine Inch Nails and Razorlight.

Throughout the week, Uncut will be previewing some of the must-see bands.

Bloc Party are one of them. Playing the Main Stage on Saturday in Reading and Sunday in Leeds, the London band will be playing material from their second album titled - not entirely in keeping with the festival spirit - A Weekend In The City.

The work of a self-consciously maturing band, this is an album by people who have got to the top only to find things are pretty dark when you get there. Sex, drugs and occasional violence are some of the album’s abiding themes, while the lyrics of singer Kele Okereke – like his memorable declaration “East London is a vampire…” – see the band unafraid of sticking their neck out.

It’s dark stuff, but all that emotional turmoil makes for an explosive live show. Powered by Okereke’s impassioned vocals, and the spiky guitar playing of the wonky-haired Russell Lissack, Bloc Party are an excellent mixture of passion and fashion, and are definitely worth a look.

Bloc Party appear on the main stage in Reading on Saturday and Leeds on Sunday, alongside Red Hot Chili Peppers, Arcade Fire, Eagles Of Death Metal and The Shins.


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Very taken with Africa Express' version of "In C", by Terry Riley, this week. I have a few takes on the piece (50 years old this month, incidentally), the latest being one by Portishead's Adrian Utley from a couple of years back, though I still probably default to what I think is the original...