Gig review and pictures: Kele at Village Underground, London – 06/07/2010

After MGMTs fairy timid affair, I was counting this as my second ever Indie gig. After Brixton I now feel like a pro; trainers you fucked up at the last one. Check.  Stand near the back to avoid the scrum. Check. Umbrella to shield yourself from flying beer… Fail (come on its summer).

This gig I was excited for, Kele, lead singer of Bloc Party’s first stop off in London Town following the release of his debut solo album, The Boxer.  This had all the makings of a great home show, classic venue, large enough to create an atmosphere small enough to feel part of something.

When it all kicked off though I thought I was in a techno rave in Ibiza – relentless strobe lighting, and sound more hard house than indie rock – with no guitars in sight.  That is Kele away from his “day job” something completely different, edgy and a bit mote hardcore.

Despite the noise and constant strobe lighting (swear someone must have had an epileptic fit – shoot I was close to one) the set didn’t really take off until about 3 songs in when he played Tenderoni; the beer went flying, people lost their minds and he didn’t look back.

Kele’ s new sound was brought to life when he played a little Bloc Party medley complete with house version of Blue Light and hardcore version of Prayer, things were cooking, the strobe lights intensified, the tension grew and grew until what really should have been the nights highlight, a completely ridiculous rendition of Rise that pulsated and seemed suck in energy from the audience and spit it back out… I lost my mind.

That should have been it, but no… in the first if two encores he pulled out You’re Visits Are Getting Shorter (Bloc Party’s UKG/bassline influenced track)… and it was almost orgasmic (well as orgasmic as live music can be!).

This was by no means best gig ever but at times the energy was crazy, you could have plugged the place in and powered Canary Wharf.  If you can handle the strobe lights and your music loud then catching Kele is essential.  I would do it quick just in case album sales force him back to the “day job” sooner than expected.

Soulside Funk


Kele at Village Underground 01Kele at Village Underground

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