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Friday, Oct. 27, 2006
Like Franz Ferdinand the year before, in 2005 Bloc Party were pegged by the British press to be the breakout act of the year. A solid prediction, the London quartet's first full length, "Silent Alarm," was met with worldwide acclaim, turning BP into bona fide stars at home and establishing sizeable fan bases internationally.
Formed in 2002, the band debuted their hip-shaking blend of post-punk and Britpop in Japan at Summer Sonic 2004 while touring behind their self-titled EP. They returned later that year for a Tokyo gig in support of their Japan-only EP, "Little Thoughts."
Their profile was given an extra push in early 2005 when frontman Kele Okereke appeared on The Chemical Brothers' "Push the Button" disc just before "Silent Alarm" was released. Anchored by four excellent singles, the catchy yet angular and slightly off-kilter rhythms of tracks such as "Banquet" quickly attracted both indie and mainstream music fans, pushing BP from half-full clubs into sold-out theaters packed with bouncing hipsters.
Though the group began penning their sophomore effort after completing "Silent Alarm," the heavy promotion schedule of its predecessor has obviously slowed their progress. They just finished recording sessions with producer Jacknife Lee (U2, Snow Patrol) this summer on the new 11-track album, "A Weekend in the City," which will surface in February. In recent interviews the band have stated that they want to expand their sound, citing Radiohead's experimental aesthetic as an influence on their writing process. During their upcoming one-off gig at Daikanyama Unit and their North American arena tour with Panic! At The Disco, it's likely audiences will get to hear BP previewing some of their new material.
Bloc Party play Nov. 2, 7 p.m., at Daikanyama Unit, Tokyo. Tickets 6,000 yen in advance. For more information, call (03) 5466-0777 or visit www.creativeman.co.jp