Bloc Party share new single The Love Within, play radio gig, announce new album Hymns.

Bloc Party are back!

Last Monday (Oct 05th), the UK Indie-Rock band presented a new line-up featuring Justin Harris (Menomena) on bass and Louise Bartle on drums, when they played a special performance featuring two unreleased songs at the famous BBC Maida Vale studios in London. In the evening, they presented the first airing of their new single The Love Within.

The high squawking electronic intro of the song (that, as we know by now, is not a synth, but completely created by guitar effects) sounds like the stalling of an engine, but at the moment where the drums fully kick in it evolves into the sound of some little elephant playfully stomping around on a keyboard.

Interestingly, it’s lyrics apparently do not deal with a clubby / druggy night out, in spite of the electronic arrangement, and in spite of Kele recycling the opening line Lord give me grace and dancing feet from 2007’s single The Prayer, that dealt with overcoming the debiliating effect of self-consciousness with the help of music and dancing (and drugs?) on a night out in a club.

The lyrics to The Love Within, though, seem to reference a certain type of redemption and euphoric explosion that stems from some force (religion/spirituality? love? music?) of a non-chemical nature (sweeter than any drug).

Overall, the song still appears a bit sketchy with all its focus on new sound  experiments, but it’s still growing on me and it’s definitely enough to keep me curious about what’s more to come there.

Bloc Party @ BBC Maida Vale Studios, London, UK
Monday, Oct. 05th, 2015

The Good News (new song)
Octopus
Real Talk
Song For Clay (Disappear Hear)
Banquet
Interview / Q&A
Exes (new song)
This Modern Love

Bloc Partys fifth album called Hymns is to be released on January 29th, 2016. The band is going to tour Europe in November. Guess who’s going.

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Ryan Adams & The Shining // Hamburg, Docks // July 1st, 2015

It was my fifth time seeing him (Berlin Kesselhaus ’06 // Berlin Arena Treptow ’07 // London Shepherd’s Bush Empire 2 nights in Sept ’14), so I am familiar with his ways of performing. But still, with this gig I was really amazed / surprised. And I don’t have the slightest clue what it was – was he angry? Enthusiastic? More prepared / more warmed up with the band?

ryan_gsgAnyway – I never have seen him as energetic, as rocking, as impulsive, intense as yesterday night. Not from his appearance / audience talk, but in his playing! So much playful stuff, so many little licks and soli all over the place where they only could fit into a song – taming his guitar, that was between singing and howling, sprawling improvisation… just amazing. Very vital.

And yes, that backbending thing seems to become his signature move. Really great.

ryan_feelslikefireI was really happy with the setlist, too. TWO songs from the 7″ series. Burn In The Night – not sure, whether it was its live premiere, i think it was played before – he introduced it as a new song and that therefore they would fuck it up – which they didn’t. And Blue Light – it is just so hauntingly beautiful, and the guitar playing on that one and its general vibe are so TheSmiths-like… And with Feels Like Fire – I was over the moon. I had heard it from outside the venue being soundchecked, but tried not to get my hopes up too high. And it was flawless.

Except for Oh My Sweet Carolina, Come Pick Me Up and the encore no acoustic guitar. And the encore was pretty spontaneous – the roadies already had begun to clear the stage, the lights had been lit and the music had started, when he returned for a very sweet and calm version of New York, New York.

He’s still not fond of requests though. At one point he responded to a request: You know what? Every time somebody requests a song that is already on the setlist – I strike that song out. 😉 Actually, we do know how to play that song, but you really don’t want to hear that… I think he was referring to NYNY, which he actually did play later on.

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Wow. What a ride. Stay Weird.
Amazing night.

SETLIST
Gimme Something Good
Let It Ride
Stay With Me
Dirty Rain
Burn In The Night (first time ever played live?)
Dear Chicago
This House Is Not For Sale
Peaceful Valley (+ extended jam)
Kim
To Be Young (Is To Be Sad, Is To Be High)
When The Stars Go Blue
Shakedown On 9th Street
Feels Like Fire (first time ever played live)
Oh My Sweet Carolina
Blue Light
Nobody Girl
Come Pick Me Up
Magnolia Mountain (+ extended jam)
___________________________
New York, New York (solo acoustic)

tl;dnr
#StayWeird. #StayRyan. #GreatJobRyan. #GreatJobCharlie #BestGigOfTheYear

*all pictures used with kind permission of Babycakees_. Also check out their website Indie.Vidualist.