Bloc Party boys back for Future Music Festival
LOC Party’s Kele Okereke says rioting on the streets of London ahead of the 2012 Olympics played less of a role than fans might think in the recent single Kettling.
The Londoner was living in New York City when he noticed the word had slipped back into modern lingo.
‘‘The word kettling was coined in the 1990s to explain a method used by police to contain protesters, how they would stop trouble by isolating people, surrounding them to stop them in their tracks,’’ Okereke says.
‘‘It’s a term I was hearing a lot of again in 2011, with so much civil unrest going on throughout the world, and it stuck with me.
‘‘At that stage I was living in the US and there it was all about the Occupy Wall Street Movement.
‘‘There wasn’t a day when there wasn’t a story in the papers.
‘‘People were protesting and putting their bodies on the line, for what they believed in.
‘‘And I thought there was something quite romantic about all that. It wasn’t so much about trying to espouse someone’s particular political message so much as recreating the fire that exists in human beings who decide they want to affect change.
‘‘There is something really beautiful, something romantic about people who believe in something so passionately they put themselves on the line.
‘‘Well, that was the idea anyway. I suppose what I’m trying to say, is ideas themselves, are mutable.
‘‘In every generation, you will find people protesting about some idea or other. Now it is one thing. One hundred years ago it was something different. In 100 years time it will be something else.
‘‘But the thing all these people across the ages have in common for a moment is the belief that their voices will be heard. I thought there was something quite beautiful about all that.’’
Kettling was the second single for the album Four, released by Bloc Party in August. It has been hailed as a return to basics for the band hailed for its highoctane guitar work with first critically acclaimed longplayer Silent Alarm.
Bloc Party land in Australia to play as part of Future Music Fest in Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide and a series of side shows at venues that include The Riverstage, Brisbane.
Okereke looks forward to putting together a mix that will draw from all four albums as well as new songs.
‘‘We’ve been on tour for months now so I suppose we’re at the point where we’re kind of getting restless,’’ says Okereke who calls ahead of shows in Japan. ‘‘On the upside, we started writing new material which we hope to have ready to showcase for you there.
‘‘There’s a song called Montreal, another called Rachet and a third called Children of the Future which I’m especially excited about,’’ he says.
Australia loves Bloc Party and the band loves Australia. The band has made regular visits including one for Splendour in the Grass last year.
‘‘It’s one of my favourite places in the world to play live,’’ says Okereke of Australia. ‘‘The first time we came, before we’d even released the first Bloc Party record, I was amazed at the reaction that we got.
‘‘I mean here we were, nobodies from all the way around the other side of the world and the crowd went crazy.
‘‘We’ve had plenty of visits to Australia since, many of them memorable, but nothing that stands out quite like the first.’’
Bloc Party play Future Music Festival, at Doomben Racecourse on Saturday and The Riverstage, Brisbane, on Tuesday. Kele also plays a DJ set at Future’s Jack Daniel’s Barrel House.
Back again: Bloc Party