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Bloc Party

Review of their gig in The Village, Dublin, 16th January 2005

Bloc PartyReview Snapshot:
Experiencing a live Bloc Party show is almost like a high-speed rollercoaster journey - full of twists & turns, roars of excitement, pounding volume in the eardrums, ecstatic highs, terrifying lows and a feeling of fulfilment right at the end.

The CLUAS Verdict? 8 out of 10

Full review: As many eager revellers withstood the bitterly cold night clutching their golden ticket, touts circled the area ready to pounce on anyone who seemed even a little unsure about climbing aboard 'The Bloc Party Experience'. The turnstiles soon opened and a swarm of adrenaline junkies swarmed in. A preview jaunt before the main ride came in the form of Red Jetson. It was a shaky start for all involved with the sound of Jim Morrison meets Brandon Flowers trying to adjust to the tracks under the red flared lights. Stares were fixated straight ahead. A wall of four guitars crashed simultaneously while the drums kept up with the chaotic pace. The ride stepped up a gear and the passengers warmed to the atmospheric Hope Of The States-like moodiness in front of them. Although with five songs quickly devoured the preview ride was soon over. It was a case of back into the queue to waiting for the main excursion to start.

Place all hands close to your chest. Please turn all mobile phones off and buckle your seatbelts. Welcome to the NME Hypefest; the first gig of 2005 to get excited about. The time is 22:10 so please step aboard and take your seat upon 'The Bloc Party Experience'.

Every carriage is full and there are still more people lurking over, trying to join in. The lights start to flash. The drums start to bang. The guitars start to wail. 'The Marshals Are Dead' take us up the first straight in an urban, rockier Franz Ferdinand style catapult. The passengers shout, whistle and clap with excitement. The first shaky turn comes in the form of 'Like Eating Glass' but gravity soon resumes thanks to the rollicking 'Banquet'. Sweat drips from the brow. Feet begin to ache. Stomachs churn. Yet there is a call for more, to go faster. The conductor doesn't disappoint and takes the ride on a full loop agitation in the form of 'This Modern Love'. Smiles start to stretch and screams begin to howl. Distortion cries and chords whimper. Then the throttle slows down slightly as the tempo threatens to stay a midlevel pace. Two songs later and the capacity rose with a huge surge from a hammering intro and a marching drumbeat. It is 'Positive Tension' all the way. Couples are separated as bodies all scuttle together toward the climax of the ride. The momentum increases on 'Little Thoughts' and people are holding on for sheer survival. You could never have this much fun at Disney World. All good things must eventually come to an end though. And so the ride hit the brakes. A gloom shadow hung over the passengers, as they were reluctant to end the proceedings there and then. Neither was Bloc Party. The engines rebooted and the arms rose up high. Mouths were hanging open just as 'So Here We Are' set the pulses racing and 'The Price Of Gas' had neck muscles bulging. The encore was polished off with 'The Answer' and the experience sailed to a safe halt.

As Bloc Party disappeared from view, everyone took a chance to catch their breath. Then the realisation kicked in; that a rare paradigm of live events had just occurred. Everyone was in total agreement that for once, the hype was justified.

Gareth Maher

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