Bloc Party gave their last performance before their recently-announced hiatus last night (July 19), headlining the main stage on the first day of Latitude Festival.
Entering to old track ‘So Here We Are’, the London four-piece played a hugely well-received 90-minute set taking in songs from their four albums to date as well as tracks from forthcoming EP ‘The Nextwave Sessions’. Kicking off with a run of fan favourites including ‘Hunting For Witches’ and ‘Positive Tension’, the band then continued with a selection of tracks from recent album ‘Four’.
Following a brief interlude of singer Kele Okereke‘s solo track ‘Tenderoni’ leading into ‘Song For Clay (Disappear Here)’, Bloc Party then launched into a selection of singles including ‘Octopus’ and ‘Banquet’ before ending the main portion of the set with dance-friendly new single ‘Ratchet’.
The band then re-entered to large applause for a lengthy encore, beginning ‘Helicopter’ with a short portion of Rihanna’s hit ‘We Found Love’ and ending with an emotional crowd sing-a-long to old favourite ‘This Modern Love’.
Drummer Matt Tong was notably absent and was replaced by Sarah Jones of New Young Pony Club. However, speaking to NME after the band came off stage, bassist Gordon Moakes dismissed speculation that Bloc Party’s break could be permanent, saying: “There’s no end point with this band.”
Bloc Party played:
‘So Here We Are’
‘Hunting For Witches’
‘Waiting for The 7.18’
‘Song For Clay (Disappear Here)’
‘One More Chance’
‘This Modern Love’
Earlier in the day ex-Coral frontman James Skelley graced the BBC Radio 6 Music Stage with his band The Intenders, primarily drawing from his recent solo album ‘Love Undercover’. Playing to a small crowd Skelley also incorporated two tracks from his previous band, including a reggae version of ‘Shadows Fall’ and hit single ‘Dreaming Of You’ – which garnered the strongest reaction from the tent.
Continuing the frontman-gone-solo trend, Tim Burgess of The Charlatans also played an early slot on the first day of the Suffolk festival, taking to a sun-drenched main stage and predominantly playing tracks from last year’s solo LP ‘Oh No, I Love You’.
Singer Ellie Rowsell of Radar favourites Wolf Alice celebrated her 21st birthday on The Lake Stage, with radio DJ Huw Stephens bringing a cake on stage and encouraging the sizeable crowd to sing ‘Happy Birthday’. The band played a well-received set including a host of tracks from their forthcoming debut album. As well as singles ‘Bros’, ‘Leaving You’ and ‘Fluffy’, the London band also played a playful, almost Pixies-esque new track called ‘You’re A Germ’ which is set to feature on the record.
A host of new acts including Deptford Goth and Chvrches – who drew a heaving crowd to their mid-afternoon set – also performed throughout the afternoon, while Cat Power drew a disappointingly small gathering to her early evening set on the main stage. Finishing by throwing individual white flowers into the crowd, Chan Marshall appeared pleased with the reaction anyway and the crowd, though small in number, showed their enthusiasm by cheering throughout.
The Maccabees then played a second-from-headline slot before Bloc Party, bringing their most recent album ‘Given To The Wild’ to Latitude for the first time. Also playing a selection of tracks from previous records ‘Wall Of Arms’ and ‘Colour It In’, the quintet – fronted by Orlando Weeks – powered through the likes of ‘Feel To Follow’, ‘First Love’ and Ivor Novello-winning single ‘Pelican’ before rounding off with recent album closer ‘Grew Up At Midnight’.
Latitude will continue today with a headline set from Kraftwerk and eagerly-anticipated performances from the likes of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Hot Chip, Mark Lanegan and Jagwar Ma.