Bloc Party and Sex Pistols' John Lydon in 'racist attack'

Kaiser Chiefs and Foals step in after 'unprovoked' incident at festival

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Photo: Andy Willsher

Bloc Party's Kele Okereke was involved in a fight with The Sex Pistols' frontman John Lydon at the Summercase festival on Saturday (July 19).

Details of a disturbance at the Spanish event first emerged when Foals frontman Yannis Philippakis mentioned he had been involved in a fight with the veteran singer while onstage at the Latitude Festival.

However, speaking today (July 21), Okereke has explained that he was the target of the attack.

Branding the incident an "unprovoked racist attack", Okereke suffered severe facial bruising, cuts to his face and body and a split lip.

The incident began as Lydon socialised with a host of British acts backstage at the Spanish festival.

According to Bloc Party, their singer approached Lydon to ask if he would ever consider reforming one of Okereke's favourite bands, Public Image Ltd.

However, in a statement from the younger band they claimed that the Sex Pistols singer "became intimidating and aggressive while his entourage responded with a racist tirade including the statement, 'Your problem is your black attitude'."

Okereke was then involved in a fight with three of Lydon's associates, at which point Foals' Philippakis and Kaiser Chiefs' Ricky Wilson stepped in to help the Bloc Party man.

The incident was broken up by festival security and was later reported to Spanish police. It was reported to police in the UK after Okereke returned.

"It's not an issue of the physical assault, even though it was an unprovoked attack, it is the fact that race was brought into the matter so readily," Okereke explained today.

"Someone as respected and as intelligent as Lydon should know better than to bring race into the equation, or socialise with and encourage those who hold such narrow-minded attitudes.

"I am disappointed that someone I held with such high regard turns out to be such a bigot."

Lydon however has since responded claiming the "trouble was brought to us" and the incident was down to jealousy on the younger musician's part.

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