Thursday, 30 August 2012

The Bloc Party Gig: Part II

A week has passed since one of the greatest nights of my young life, and I think that I have only just recovered to tell the tale.

Last Wednesday I saw Bloc Party in a tiny little bar called Birthdays in Dalston, London which has a capacity of just 250 hearty souls.

They announced this free gig just the day before due to the fact that they found out their latest album, Four, had reached number one in the midweek album chart.

After seeing this announced on their Facebook page, I text two of my friends to ask them whether they wanted to join me for a day of queueing in the not-so-pleasant area of Dalston in the hope of getting a wristband to see the band that night.

They responded with mixed enthusiasm but the next morning we boarded the train ready to queue. Seeing as we are terribly British, queueing is almost second nature to us so the idea of seven hours sitting down didn't phase us.

I panicked that it would be sold out as I had suffered heart-ache at a previous experience like this. My friend, David, warned me that we would be one of the first people there, that there wouldn't be 250 people there by 10am.

I didn't quite agree and I ensured that we were there early to secure our place in the top 250.

By 10am we had reached the queue. There were just 20 hardcore Bloc Party fans there and it made me wonder how early they themselves had got there. My friends looked pretty annoyed at being dragged out of bed so early, but I simply exclaimed "It's better to be early than not!"

I will admit that the queue was boring, so boring that I managed to drain the battery on my phone from 100% to 5% in just a few hours. Even though I love my iPhone, I will say that its battery life is criminally awful.

David cured his boredom by drinking an entire 3 litre bottle of Frosty Jacks. If you don't know of this drink then I will warn you now to never drink it. It tastes vile and is around 7.5% alcohol.

After finishing his Frosty Jacks, we went to a very dodgy Irish pub. It wasn't an O'Neill's but it seemed like a poor imitation. I wouldn't be surprised if it was called O'Leary's or something clinically Irish like that.

We eventually headed back to the venue, made our way to the front and I was in awe at the miniature nature of this venue. I have seen Bloc Party play in venues like Alexandra Palace and Olympia, so this was something quite unique.

The band came on after a lengthy wait and I could literally touch them. That sounds really weird, doesn't it?

They started with 3x3, which has fast become my favourite song by them. It was at this point that I noticed there was no barrier. That really shows how small this venue was. It was literally as big as a matchbox. Well, not quite...

The crowd were moving and knocked Kele's microphone over. At this point, us hardy soldiers at the front of the crowd began having to push back to ensure the microphone stayed intact.

They raced through their set and I began to think I was dying. It was so bloody hot. The venue was a basement, it was small and 250 people going mental all conduced to a hot and humid environment.

By the time they reached their last song, I was dead on my feet. I made my way to the back to cool off and sung along wearing to Flux.

Bloc Party departed, I wallowed and went in the search of water and then we made our way home.

Despite the heat and the sheer pain, I wouldn't trade this experience for anything. It was priceless.

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