Bloc Party

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This article is about the English indie rock band. Bloc Party_sentence_0

For other uses, see block party (disambiguation). Bloc Party_sentence_1

Bloc Party_table_infobox_0

Bloc PartyBloc Party_header_cell_0_0_0
Background informationBloc Party_header_cell_0_1_0
OriginBloc Party_header_cell_0_2_0 London, EnglandBloc Party_cell_0_2_1
GenresBloc Party_header_cell_0_3_0 Bloc Party_cell_0_3_1
Years activeBloc Party_header_cell_0_4_0 1999–presentBloc Party_cell_0_4_1
LabelsBloc Party_header_cell_0_5_0 Bloc Party_cell_0_5_1
Associated actsBloc Party_header_cell_0_6_0 Bloc Party_cell_0_6_1
MembersBloc Party_header_cell_0_8_0 Bloc Party_cell_0_8_1
Past membersBloc Party_header_cell_0_10_0 Bloc Party_cell_0_10_1

Bloc Party are an English rock band, composed of Kele Okereke (lead vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards, sampler), Russell Lissack (lead guitar, keyboards), Justin Harris (bass guitar, keyboards, saxophones, backing vocals) and Louise Bartle (drums, percussion). Bloc Party_sentence_2

Former members Matt Tong and Gordon Moakes left the band in 2013 and 2015 respectively. Bloc Party_sentence_3

Their brand of music, whilst rooted in rock, retains elements of other genres such as electronica and house music. Bloc Party_sentence_4

The band was formed at the 1999 Reading Festival by Okereke and Lissack. Bloc Party_sentence_5

They went through a variety of names before settling on Bloc Party in 2003. Bloc Party_sentence_6

Moakes joined the band after answering an advert in NME magazine, while Tong was picked via an audition. Bloc Party_sentence_7

Bloc Party got their break by giving BBC Radio 1 DJ Steve Lamacq and Franz Ferdinand's lead singer, Alex Kapranos, a copy of their demo "She's Hearing Voices". Bloc Party_sentence_8

In February 2005, the band released their debut album Silent Alarm. Bloc Party_sentence_9

It was critically acclaimed and was named Indie Album of the Year at the 2006 PLUG Awards and NME Album of the year which both honour indie music. Bloc Party_sentence_10

That year, the record was also certified platinum in Britain. Bloc Party_sentence_11

The band built on this success in 2007 with the release of their second studio album, A Weekend in the City, which reached a peak of number two in the UK Albums Chart and number twelve in the Billboard 200. Bloc Party_sentence_12

In August 2008, Bloc Party released their third studio record, Intimacy which entered the UK Albums Chart at number eight and number eighteen on the Billboard 200. Bloc Party_sentence_13

The band went on a hiatus in October 2009 to focus on side projects. Bloc Party_sentence_14

They reunited in September 2011, and shortly thereafter released their fourth album, Four, which entered the UK Albums Chart at number three. Bloc Party_sentence_15

In 2013, Bloc Party released their third EP titled The Nextwave Sessions in August; the band then began an indefinite hiatus to continue with their respective side projects. Bloc Party_sentence_16

The band's fifth studio album, Hymns, the first to involve Harris and Bartle, was released on 29 January 2016. Bloc Party_sentence_17

Bloc Party have sold over 3 million albums worldwide. Bloc Party_sentence_18

History Bloc Party_section_0

Formation and rising popularity (1999–2004) Bloc Party_section_1

Russell Lissack and Kele Okereke first met in 1998 in London. Bloc Party_sentence_19

Lissack had attended Bancroft's School, while Okereke attended Ilford County High School, then Trinity Catholic High School, Woodford Green for sixth form. Bloc Party_sentence_20

They bumped into each other again in 1999 at Reading Festival and decided to form a band. Bloc Party_sentence_21

Bassist Gordon Moakes joined after answering an advert in NME, and drummer Matt Tong joined after an audition. Bloc Party_sentence_22

After going through a variety of names, such as Union, The Angel Range, and Diet, the band settled on Bloc Party in September 2003, a play on block party. Bloc Party_sentence_23

The band has said that the name was not intended to be an allusion to the Soviet Bloc or the Canadian political party Bloc Québécois. Bloc Party_sentence_24

However, Moakes said on the group's official Internet forum that it was more a merging of the eastern "Blocs" and the western "parties", in the political sense. Bloc Party_sentence_25

He also notes that the name was not explicitly driven by politics, but rather it "looked, sounded, seemed fine so we went with it." Bloc Party_sentence_26

In November 2003, Bloc Party had their track "The Marshals Are Dead" featured on a compilation CD called The New Cross released by Angular Recording Corporation. Bloc Party_sentence_27

They then released their debut single "She's Hearing Voices" on the then fledgling record label Trash Aesthetics. Bloc Party_sentence_28

Also in 2003 Bloc Party personally mailed Steve Aoki a 7-inch of the track “She’s Hearing Voices” and signed to Dim Mak shortly thereafter. Bloc Party_sentence_29

Dim Mak teamed up with VICE, a subsidiary of Atlantic Records, and entered a major label deal for the first time. Bloc Party_sentence_30

Dim Mak and Atlantic later released Bloc Party's critically acclaimed and commercially successful Silent Alarm in 2005. Bloc Party_sentence_31

The band got their break after Okereke went to a Franz Ferdinand concert in 2003, and gave a copy of "She's Hearing Voices" to both lead singer Alex Kapranos and BBC Radio 1 DJ Steve Lamacq. Bloc Party_sentence_32

Lamacq subsequently played the song on his radio show, labelling the track "genius", and invited them to record a live session for the show. Bloc Party_sentence_33

The buzz generated off the back of the single led to another release, "Banquet/Staying Fat", this time through Moshi Moshi Records, and to the eventual signing with independent label Wichita Recordings in April 2004. Bloc Party_sentence_34

Silent Alarm (2004–2006) Bloc Party_section_2

Bloc Party's debut album, Silent Alarm, was released in February 2005 and was met with universal critical acclaim. Bloc Party_sentence_35

It was voted 'Album of the Year' for 2005 by NME, and reached number 3 on the UK Albums Chart before being certified platinum. Bloc Party_sentence_36

The first single from the album, "So Here We Are/Positive Tension", made the top 5 on the UK Top 40 chart. Bloc Party_sentence_37

Further singles "Banquet" (which reached number 13 in NME's 'Top 50 Singles of 2005'), "Helicopter", and "Pioneers", whilst failing to repeat this success, still managed to reach the UK top 20. Bloc Party_sentence_38

The animated video for "Pioneers," made by the Shoreditch-based Minivegas design agency, was top of the NME video charts for four weeks. Bloc Party_sentence_39

NME tagged them as "art-rock" at that time but the band felt it was too limited. Bloc Party_sentence_40

The band received positive reviews from critics in the United States and they toured there heavily in the 18 months that followed the release of Silent Alarm. Bloc Party_sentence_41

In early 2006, they finished their tour with sold-out shows in Los Angeles, Miami and Berkeley. Bloc Party_sentence_42

The album went on to sell more than 350,000 copies in North America and over a million worldwide. Bloc Party_sentence_43

After this success, the established electronic group, The Chemical Brothers, soon collaborated with Okereke for "Believe", a track on their Push the Button album. Bloc Party_sentence_44

An album of remixes of tracks from Silent Alarm had also been released at the end of August 2005 in the UK. Bloc Party_sentence_45

This remix album, entitled Silent Alarm Remixed, retained the album's original track list and includes remixes from the likes of Ladytron, M83, Death from Above 1979, Four Tet, and Mogwai. Bloc Party_sentence_46

During July 2005, Bloc Party recorded two new tracks with Silent Alarm producer Paul Epworth. Bloc Party_sentence_47

The songs were released as a single with a B-side, titled "Two More Years", to coincide with the band's October 2005 UK tour. Bloc Party_sentence_48

The tour was also accompanied by a re-issue of Silent Alarm, which included "Two More Years" and former single "Little Thoughts" as bonus tracks. Bloc Party_sentence_49

A remix of "Banquet" by The Streets, as well as a music video for the song, were included in the "Two More Years" single. Bloc Party_sentence_50

Bloc Party also contributed the track "The Present" to the Help! Bloc Party_sentence_51 : A Day in the Life compilation, the profits of which benefited the War Child charity. Bloc Party_sentence_52

A Weekend in the City (2006–2008) Bloc Party_section_3

Bloc Party's second album, A Weekend in the City, was produced by Garret "Jacknife" Lee. Bloc Party_sentence_53

It was released in February 2007, although it was leaked in November 2006. Bloc Party_sentence_54

It became available for download on the UK iTunes Store before the physical release, and reached the number 2 spot on the UK Albums Chart. Bloc Party_sentence_55

The album also reached number 2 on the Australian and Belgian charts, and debuted at number 12 in the Billboard 200, with 48,000 copies sold. Bloc Party_sentence_56

The first single, "The Prayer", was released on 29 January, and became the band's highest charting single in the British Top 40, reaching number 4. Bloc Party_sentence_57

In the buildup to the release of the album, BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe aired a live set by the band from Maida Vale studios on 30 January 2007, featuring a mix of old and new songs. Bloc Party_sentence_58

On 1 February 2007, A Weekend in the City was made available to listen to for free through Bloc Party's official MySpace page. Bloc Party_sentence_59

The next single, "I Still Remember", was Bloc Party's highest charting American single, peaking at number 24 on the Modern Rock Chart. Bloc Party_sentence_60

The band released their third single, "Hunting for Witches", with an accompanying video clip in August 2007. Bloc Party_sentence_61

The single became their only ARIA Chart entry, peaking at number 20. Bloc Party_sentence_62

In October 2007, it was announced that Bloc Party would release a new single, "Flux", on 13 November—ahead of their end of year gigs. Bloc Party_sentence_63

The electronic song, also produced by Jacknife Lee, was very different from previous singles released by the band. Bloc Party_sentence_64

The band's first gig following the release of A Weekend in the City was on 5 February 2007, in Reading, and was broadcast live on BBC 6 Music. Bloc Party_sentence_65

On 20 May 2007, Bloc Party headlined on the In New Music We Trust stage at the BBC Radio 1 Big Weekend in Preston. Bloc Party_sentence_66

They also performed at the UK leg of Live Earth on 7 July 2007 at Wembley Stadium. Bloc Party_sentence_67

Furthermore, the band played sets at T in the Park and Oxegen 07 that same weekend, as well as Glastonbury and the Reading and Leeds Festivals later in 2007. Bloc Party_sentence_68

Bloc Party announced a tour of Australia and New Zealand in August 2007, which would include a special appearance at the Splendour in the Grass Festival on 5 August. Bloc Party_sentence_69

On 17 September 2007, they recorded a set for the PBS show Austin City Limits a day after playing at the Austin City Limits Music Festival. Bloc Party_sentence_70

On 27 October, the band performed a set at London's The Roundhouse with the Exmoor Singers, a London-based choir, as part of the BBC Electric Proms. Bloc Party_sentence_71

The set included songs from both Silent Alarm and A Weekend in the City along with the first British live performance of "Flux". Bloc Party_sentence_72

Intimacy (2008–2009) Bloc Party_section_4

"Mercury" was released as the first single from Bloc Party's third album in August 2008. Bloc Party_sentence_73

Again produced by Jacknife Lee and Paul Epworth, Intimacy was rush-released later that month, with the album available to download 3 days after an announcement in August 2008. Bloc Party_sentence_74

Later in the month the band played second on the bill at the Reading and Leeds Festivals before headlining the Hydro Connect Music Festival in Argyll, Scotland. Bloc Party_sentence_75

During the autumn of 2008, the band went on a short tour of North America, which included an appearance at the Virgin Festival in Toronto, as well as the band's first ever American college show at Syracuse University. Bloc Party_sentence_76

They made their live return to the UK on 30 September 2008 with a special gig in London as part of Q Awards: The Gigs. Bloc Party_sentence_77

They also played the Glasgow date of MTV2's and Topman's "Gonzo on Tour" on 19 October 2008. Bloc Party_sentence_78

A follow-up single, "Talons" was released in October 2008. Bloc Party_sentence_79

The song was not part of the pre-order album, but did feature on the full album CD release and was made freely available to people who already purchased the download-only album. Bloc Party_sentence_80

An album of remixes of all tracks on Intimacy, Intimacy Remixed, was released in May 2009. Bloc Party_sentence_81

The band undertook their first UK tour since December 2007 in October 2009, dubbing it "Bloctober". Bloc Party_sentence_82

One More Chance and hiatus (2009–2011) Bloc Party_section_5

In July 2009, Okereke stated that the band did not have a current recording contract and had no obligation or pressure to release a new album in the foreseeable future; he went on to suggest that the release of a fourth album was on an indefinite timescale. Bloc Party_sentence_83

A new single, "One More Chance", was released in August 2009. Bloc Party_sentence_84

The song did not appear on Intimacy and was produced by Jacknife Lee. Bloc Party_sentence_85

After this, the group went on a hiatus, with the members unsure as to whether they would carry on. Bloc Party_sentence_86

During this period of hiatus Lissack revived his project Pin Me Down and joined the live line-up of Irish rock-band Ash as guitarist and synthesiser player on their touring for the A–Z Series. Bloc Party_sentence_87

Moakes formed the group Young Legionnaire with Paul Mullen, vocalist & guitarist of The Automatic, and William Bowerman, drummer for La Roux, releasing a single, "Colossus" in August 2010. Bloc Party_sentence_88

Okereke released a solo album, The Boxer, in June 2010. Bloc Party_sentence_89

Produced by Hudson Mohawke and XXXChange, its release was preceded by the single "Tenderoni". Bloc Party_sentence_90

Rumours throughout 2011 suggested Okereke had left the group to focus on solo work, though these were denied by other band members. Bloc Party_sentence_91

Four and The Nextwave Sessions (2011–2013) Bloc Party_section_6

Bloc Party started writing material for a fourth album in 2011, but decided not to play live. Bloc Party_sentence_92

In the meantime Okereke finished an EP titled The Hunter. Bloc Party_sentence_93

The group stated they intended to release a new album in 2012. Bloc Party_sentence_94

In May 2012, Bloc Party announced Four, which was released on 20 August 2012, after being made available to stream in its entirety for over a week preceding release. Bloc Party_sentence_95

The album was recorded with Alex Newport, who had previously worked with At The Drive In and The Mars Volta, in New York City. Bloc Party_sentence_96

Bloc Party released "Octopus" that July and later released another single entitled "Day Four". Bloc Party_sentence_97

The band released "Kettling" on 12 November 2012, followed by "Truth" on 25 February 2013. Bloc Party_sentence_98

Four peaked at number three on the UK Albums Chart and at number 36 on the Billboard 200. Bloc Party_sentence_99

The band debuted new material during their 2013 North American tour, including "Children of the Future" at Rams Head Live! Bloc Party_sentence_100 , "Ratchet" at The Pageant, "Montreal" at the Ogden Theatre and "X-cutioner's Song" at Mr. Smalls Theater in Pittsburgh. Bloc Party_sentence_101

Lissack later confirmed the band's plans to release a new EP in "northern hemisphere summer". Bloc Party_sentence_102

He told Marc Zanotti of Australian website MusicFeeds that the new material was "not like a continuation of the record we've just made, it's a completely separate thing [...] the next step; the next progression". Bloc Party_sentence_103

"French Exit" was given its debut live performance at Crystal Ballroom on 24 May. Bloc Party_sentence_104

Some of the new material would feature on The Nextwave Sessions, an EP announced on 25 June and for release on 12 August via Frenchkiss Records. Bloc Party_sentence_105

Hiatus and line-up changes (2013–2015) Bloc Party_section_7

During the summer tour of 2013, drummer Matt Tong left the band. Bloc Party_sentence_106

Lissack told a Canadian newspaper, the National Post that the band were planning to take an indefinite hiatus following their appearance at the Latitude Festival on 19 July. Bloc Party_sentence_107

In October 2013, Kele assembled a DJ Mix for !K7's Tapes mix series, released under the Bloc Party name. Bloc Party_sentence_108

In September 2014, Okereke stated that Bloc Party were working on a fifth album. Bloc Party_sentence_109

In March 2015, bassist Gordon Moakes tweeted he had parted ways with Bloc Party. Bloc Party_sentence_110

Following the departure of their former members, Okereke and Lissack started to work on new songs on their own in late 2014. Bloc Party_sentence_111

Bloc Party unveiled their new line-up at two intimate gigs in the Los Angeles area (19 August 2015 at The Glass House in Pomona and 20 August 2015 at The Roxy in Los Angeles). Bloc Party_sentence_112

Following these performances, Bloc Party also subheadlined FYF Fest in Los Angeles on 22 August 2015. Bloc Party_sentence_113

At these shows, the band confirmed that they've finished recording their next album. Bloc Party_sentence_114

The shows marked the live debut for new bassist Justin Harris of the Portland, Oregon, indie rock outfit Menomena, who had previously opened several Bloc Party U.S. tour dates in April 2009; and Louise Bartle, who was accidentally announced a month earlier as Bloc Party's drummer by instrument manufacturer Natal Drums in a since-deleted tweet, leading to fan speculation regarding her membership that was ultimately proved correct. Bloc Party_sentence_115

These shows also included the first performances of two new songs called "Eden" and "Exes" according to the setlist. Bloc Party_sentence_116

Hymns and Silent Alarm Live (2015–2019) Bloc Party_section_8

In a performance at Maida Vale, Bloc Party gave "The Good News" its live debut; hours later, "The Love Within" was featured as "Hottest Record in the World" by Annie Mac on BBC Radio 1. Bloc Party_sentence_117

Okereke revealed the band's upcoming fifth album is set to be titled Hymns. Bloc Party_sentence_118

The album's release was later confirmed on social media as 29 January 2016. Bloc Party_sentence_119

Later in 2016, the band released the standalone single 'Stunt Queen' to mark their performance at the Hollywood Bowl, which Okereke claimed was a "significant milestone" for the band. Bloc Party_sentence_120

It marks some of the first new material that featured Justin and Louise as co-writers. Bloc Party_sentence_121

March 2018 saw the band announce a series of shows touring their 'Silent Alarm' album which would be played in full. Bloc Party_sentence_122

Due to the success of this short tour, Bloc Party announced further dates in 2019 again playing tracks from the whole of their debut. Bloc Party_sentence_123

Untitled new album (2020–present) Bloc Party_section_9

On 22 January 2020, Okereke announced on his personal social media accounts that Bloc Party had begun writing a new album. Bloc Party_sentence_124

Musical style Bloc Party_section_10

Bloc Party's musical style has been described as indie rock, post-punk revival, post-Britpop, alternative rock, art punk, art rock, dance-rock, and alternative dance. Bloc Party_sentence_125

Bloc Party's brand of guitar rock draws on influences such as The Chemical Brothers, Pixies, Joy Division, Sonic Youth and The Smiths. Bloc Party_sentence_126

Okereke has also stated that Mogwai's album Mogwai Young Team changed his life by being his musical "year zero". Bloc Party_sentence_127

Okereke also cites Suede as a major influence, he says Dog Man Star was the first record he fell in love with. Bloc Party_sentence_128

Particular parallels were made between Bloc Party and Gang of Four upon their arrival on the music scene, yet the band were "mildly infuriated" at such references, claiming they had never "particularly liked" Gang of Four. Bloc Party_sentence_129

To achieve their unique style, numerous delay and other effects pedals are implemented. Bloc Party_sentence_130

During the recording of second album A Weekend in the City, the band suggested it would contain "some truly R&B styled beats, a song where [Tong] and [Moakes] play drums simultaneously [with] both eggshell-thin fragility and trouser-flapping hugeness", as opposed to their typical sound. Bloc Party_sentence_131

The style has been compared to and inspired by such bands as Radiohead, U2, Depeche Mode, and Björk. Bloc Party_sentence_132

Some of the most noticeable changes between debut Silent Alarm and A Weekend in the City are that the songs became more layered and less raw due to inclusion of string arrangements. Bloc Party_sentence_133

With the release of "Flux", Bloc Party's style became even more diverse with the inclusion of electronic music. Bloc Party_sentence_134

"Mercury" saw Bloc Party distance themselves even further from the traditional guitar band set-up by experimenting with dark electronic sounds and a brass section inspired by Siouxsie and the Banshees. Bloc Party_sentence_135

The band's third album Intimacy also features synths, processed drum beats and loops, vocal manipulation, and choral arrangements. Bloc Party_sentence_136

Even though the album was influenced by electronic music, the band still had not lost their feel for guitar music. Bloc Party_sentence_137

For example, in an interview, Okereke said that the band was starting to miss their more traditional sound, and confirmed that may have been the way fourth album was headed. Bloc Party_sentence_138

However, Tong contradicted this, stating: "There's every chance we might go back to more orthodox arrangements or things that resemble a traditional band but I don't think we'll ever write songs like we did on Silent Alarm again." Bloc Party_sentence_139

A 2009 Vice Records mix lists the following songs Bloc Party are influenced by: Eagle Boston's "Wild Wild Ost", Pylon's "Working Is No Problem", Delta 5's "Mind Your Own Business", John Foxx's "Underpass", Prince's "I Would Die 4 U" (also covered live), Sonic Youth's "Youth Against Fascism", Dinosaur Jr.'s "Freak Scene", La Roux's "Quicksand (Nightrunners Edit)", and Bruce Springsteen's "57 Channels (And Nothin' On)". Bloc Party_sentence_140

Members Bloc Party_section_11

Current Bloc Party_sentence_141

Bloc Party_unordered_list_0

  • Kele Okereke – lead vocals, rhythm guitar, sampler, electric piano (1999–present)Bloc Party_item_0_0
  • Russell Lissack – lead guitar, sampler, synthesiser, programming (1999–present)Bloc Party_item_0_1
  • Justin Harris – bass guitar, backing vocals, synthesiser, glockenspiel, saxophone (2015–present)Bloc Party_item_0_2
  • Louise Bartle – drums, percussion, backing vocals (2015–present)Bloc Party_item_0_3

Former Bloc Party_sentence_142

Bloc Party_unordered_list_1

  • Gordon Moakes – bass guitar, backing vocals, occasional lead vocals, keyboards, synthesiser, drums, glockenspiel (2002–2015)Bloc Party_item_1_4
  • Matt Tong – drums, percussion, backing vocals (2002–2013)Bloc Party_item_1_5

Former touring Bloc Party_sentence_143

Bloc Party_unordered_list_2

  • Sarah Jones - drums, percussion (2013)Bloc Party_item_2_6

Timeline Bloc Party_sentence_144

Discography Bloc Party_section_12

Main article: Bloc Party discography Bloc Party_sentence_145

Studio albums Bloc Party_sentence_146

Bloc Party_unordered_list_3

Awards and nominations Bloc Party_section_13

Bloc Party have had several nominations from a number of different awarding bodies during their recording career. Bloc Party_sentence_147

The band themselves were nominated for 'Best New Artist' at the 2005 NME Awards, and were also up for the 'Best Alternative Act' category at the 2005 MTV Europe Music Awards. Bloc Party_sentence_148

In 2006, Bloc Party were nominated for another NME Award, this time in the 'Best British Band' category. Bloc Party_sentence_149

They were also shortlisted for three PLUG Awards: 'New Artist of the Year' in 2005, and 'Artist of the Year' and 'Live Act of the Year' in 2006. Bloc Party_sentence_150

At the 19th GLAAD Media Awards in 2008, they were nominated in the 'Music Artist' category for their work on second album A Weekend in the City. Bloc Party_sentence_151

Their debut album Silent Alarm was nominated for the 2005 Mercury Music Prize and won the NME award for 'Best Album'. Bloc Party_sentence_152

It was also nominated as 'Album of the Year' at three different ceremonies: the New Pantheon Music Award (Shortlist Music Prize), the 2006 NME Awards, and the 2006 PLUG Awards, where "Helicopter" was also up for 'Best Music Video'. Bloc Party_sentence_153

The record won the award for 'Best Indie Rock Album' at the 2006 PLUG Awards. Bloc Party_sentence_154

At the 2008 NME Awards, "Flux" was nominated in three different categories: 'Best Track', 'Best Video' and 'Best Dancefloor Filler'. Bloc Party_sentence_155


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloc Party.