From guitar music’s great hopes for the future to the verge of splitting up, Bloc Party went through it all in six short years.
They’ve reconvened, though, found their mojo once more and are set to storm London and make a statement.
Since Kele Okereke and the boys leaped into the public’s attention with single Little Thoughts back in 2004, Bloc Party were the ones to save indie music with their jagged, angular sounds.
They were more left-leaning than contemporaries The Futureheads and more intellectual than Kaiser Chiefs (both of whom they shared a stage with on 2005’s NME Awards tour).
Their debut Silent Alarm crashed the UK top 10, as singles Helicopter and Banquet became indie night staples.
They followed it up with two more albums, but each moved the band further and further away from their indie guitar origins, and then it all went tits up.
Kele abandoned the Bloc-ship to go it alone, hanging up his guitar to take third album Intimacy’s electro-synth sounds to their logical conclusion on his debut solo offering, The Boxer. It was a success and went top 20.
However, as if he had purged this from his system, and after reports of the band continuing without him did the rounds, the foursome came back as quickly as they had seemed to implode, with last year’s Four showing a rougher, harder-rocking edge that they’d previously jettisoned a long time back – lead single Kettling has an alt-rock guitar solo that absolutely screeches.
Back and stronger than ever, make sure you don’t miss this party!
Fri, Feb 22. Doors at 7pm £29.50
Earl’s Court, SW5 9TA
Tube | Earl’s Court
This synth-pop three-piece are another example of some of the top sounds coming out of Glasgow right now.
Forget the maudlin wailing of past dour indie bands, this lot have written one of the most uplifting Eighties-styled anthems to touch your ears in years with debut single The Mother We Share. An absolute treat.
Wed, Feb 27. 7pm £12
The Mall, SW1Y 5AH
Tube | Charing Cross
Layo and Bushwacka’s 2013 opening party
In their first party of 2013, Layo and Bushwacka, whose fourth album Rising And Falling was out last year, welcome Ewan Pearson (he’s remixed for the likes of Depeche Mode and Metronomy), and Terry Francis, who’s been tearing up dance floors for the past 10 years before finding his recent ‘instant’ fame.
Sat, Feb 23. 10pm-11am £10+
200 York Way, N7 9AP
Tube | King’s Cross
The top class Brighton-based label celebrates, well, itself, with this night of crossover multi-genre madness from the past, present and future.
There’s live performances and DJs serving up everything from hip-hop and electro to funk and soul with Quantic (DJ), Hidden Orchestra (live), Anchorsong (live) and more.
Sat, Feb 23. 9pm-3am £15.50
Tube | Mornington Crescent
This London all-girl four-piece were all over ‘ones to watch in 2013’ lists at the end of last year, and they make good on this expectation with their biggest headline show yet.
Here they’ll deliver their post-punk, Interpol-esque moody racket to no fewer than 1000 eager punters. Just the first step in a big year for the gals.
Wed, Feb 21. 8pm £12.50
184 Camden HIgh Street, NW1 8QP
Tube | Camden Town
No Fit State
Mulletover are keeping it simple with a small party and a big line-up.
House and tehno head Ellen Allien (above), who’s been DJ-ing round the world for the past 20 years, is the big headline attraction, with one-time Hacienda resident Simon Baker and underground pioneer Geddes swiftly behind.
Fri, Feb 22. 6pm-6am £10+
Tube | TBC
NME Awards Tour
This year’s line-up of superstars-to-be is as eclectic and diverse as we’ve come to expect from that lot over at NME.
Edinburgh left-field indie troupe Django Django (nothing to do with Tarantino) headline, with Miles Kane, indie-punk upstarts Palma Violets and psych-rockers Peace along for the presumably riotous ride.
Sat, Feb 23. 7pm £20.60
211 Stockwell Road, SW9 9SL
Tube | Brixton