Kele, The Coronet, London. 12th Feb, 2011
Blue flashing lights announce the return of Kele Okereke. Gone is the shy, somewhat moody figure that we’re used to see fronting Bloc Party – New York appears to have transformed Kele. He has bulked up and now cuts a commanding figure onstage. Tonight is he cheerier, talkative and more confident than ever.
The Boxer is made to be heard live, not quite a dance album it veers more towards electronic pop with narrative lyrics and dirty drum machine beats. The Coronet quite suddenly comes alive, it's obvious this is why most people are here and Kele is clearly enjoying it, encouraging crowd participation between songs and initiating a shambolic Q&A before Everything You Needed.
Bloc Party is never far from Kele's new sound and the highlight, for me at least, was the medley of reworked songs This Modern Love, The Prayer, One More Chance.
A large complaint goes up when we're told the set will have to be cut short, everyone is having too much of a good time. We’ve missed you Kele. He said he’s got a plane to catch in the morning, I hope it’s not too long before he returns.