Bloc Party + Canyons DJs – Museum of Contemporary Art (28.07.09)


While their appearance at Splendour in the Grass, was touted as an “exclusive Australian appearance”, Bloc Party have managed to fit in a few “secret” shows along the route. On Friday night, they appeared at the Great Northern Hotel in Byron Bay for the pre-Splendour party – in which they, now famously, played their debut LP, Silent Alarm, in its entirety. Bollocks. On Monday, they appeared on behalf of Soothers at an intimate show in QLD – and here in Sydney they’ve brought this special run to an end with an appearance at the Museum of Contemporary Art and an audience of 300. Finally, an Intimacy tour worthy of its name… although as Kele admitted, “this is the strangest show we’ve ever played”.

Canyons played a DJ set worthy of an elevator as we entered the venue, which perhaps was suitable for the venue, but did little to get our dancing shoes on. But never fear: Kele, Matt, Russell and Gordon were here to fix this. As they came onto the stage, it was not only immediate how intimate the show was (that’s a given) but that without a crowd of 16 year olds pushing to the front, we were able to stand in the same spot, dance our faces off, and genuinely enjoy the show. This might be the fourth time I’ve seen them, but with the band constantly throwing me into a form of dancing mayhem, this is the first time I’ve had the pleasure of relative calm – and will most likely be the last.

Despite his vocal chords failing him, Kele put on a show full of just as much energy as usual – although admitted he planned on keeping the show “short and sweet” – much to the dismay of the crowd. But despite this, they got through a pretty standard set – 17 songs in an hour and a half – not much unlike last year’s Hordern appearances. Unlike the Byron secret show, there weren’t too many surprises on the list – although it was nice to see Blue Light and Uniform back in the mix. One more Chance, much like at Splendour, is an inarguable success live, once again proving that their latest music is made just as much for the live environment as it is for the personal or the nightclub.

Kele jumped into the crowd on several occasions, at one point pointing at a sign that said NO CROWD SURFING, after he had done just that. Meanwhile, the God of the drums, Matt Tong, played in his boxers as usual, setting the museum on fire with his beats. Indeed, they gave it their all when it would have been understandable on their part if they hadn’t. But for them, despite the self-confessed strange nature of the evening, it would be fair to say the whole run of club shows has been a fun run back into their pre-Silent Alarm memories. The only difference now being that everyone knows every word to every song – and there are a damn lot of them.

Ending the set unsurprisingly on crowd-pleaser Helicopter, I couldn’t help but leave the MCA with an intense feeling of satisfaction. Sure, deep down I was hoping for some surprises, but in the end I was given the show I’ve come to love in a unique and terribly intimate environment, making it an experience I’ll never forget. And what could be more fun than that?


During the set, we uploaded a few live reports and pics.
Check them out here!

Sydney // Live from Bloc Party at MCA! Canyons DJs supporting.
8:49 PM Jul 28th from TweetDeck

Intimacy indeed
9:00 PM Jul 28th from TweetDeck

Bloc Party perform Signs @ MCA
12:19 AM Jul 29th from TweetDeck

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Bloc Party + Van She – Hordern Pavillion (25.11.08)

Larry Heath

Founding Editor and Publisher of the AU review. Currently based in Toronto, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter @larry_heath or on Instagram @larryheath.