The resurrected Bloc Party are back in Brixton early next year.
Their show, on 11 February 2016, is part of the NME Awards Tour 2016 and comes just days after the band release ‘Hymns’, their first full-length album since 2014.
Tickets for the show, with support from Drenge, Ratboy, and Bugzy Malone, go on sale on 6 November.
‘Hymns’, the group’s fifth full-length album is being billed as a rebirth by remaining original members Kele Okereke and Russell Lissack.
“Bloc Party started with just Kele and I, and we used to write the songs together, and we found other people and grew from that. It feels like that’s happened again,” Lissack explained.
The guitarist and the frontman started writing together last year and were later joined by new members, bassist Justin Harris (formerly of Portland indie rock band Menomena) and 21-year-old drummer Louise Bartle, discovered on YouTube.
As its title suggests, ‘Hymns’ is about faith and devotion, inspired in part by author Hanif Kureishi’s views on how unfashionable evangelical art has become.
“And that point stuck with me because it seemed like for me music had originated in a religious place,” said Okereke. “The first music I ever heard was hymns at school. I started to think, if I was going to make music that had a spiritual dimension, that was sacred to me and to the things that I held important, how would I do it?”
As a result, Okereke and Lissack found themselves trying new sounds and approaches.
“It’s still a very live record,” elaborated Lissack. “Everything has been played, though it doesn’t necessarily sound like that. We take a lot of influence from electronic music, for example, and then try to bring that into a completely different environment.” Kele is astounded at the results. “What Russell is doing now is completely blowing my mind. He’s using the guitar as an instrument of white noise, as well as a melodic tool. I’m super-excited about getting this music in front of people.”
The band have already started doing that, performing several new songs, including ‘The Good News’ and ‘Exes’ at their BBC 6 Music Live session in early October. Their upcoming international tour, covering Europe, Japan, and Australia, includes an intimate London show at St John at Hackney Church on 4 December 2015.