Live Review: Kele Okereke

Posted on July 6, 2010

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Venue: O2 Academy Oxford

Kele Okereke: press shot courtesy of Chuff Media

Date: 2nd July

For those of you who don’t know, Kele [Okereke] is the lead singer and guitarist from the East London Indie outfit Bloc Party. Tonight however, we see Kele going it alone (with the assistance of a new support band), performing in only his third outing as a solo artist under the new format of his re-generated dance act. As someone who has followed the progression of Bloc Party over recent years it comes as no surprise that this is essentially Dance music for Rock fans.

The set starts out with ‘Walk Talk’ and ‘On The Lam’, the two opening tracks from the recently released debut album ‘The Boxer’. Both are bold, loud and exciting synth-driven songs, which have the crowd at Kele’s mercy within five minutes of the set commencing. Come the third track however, Kele brings out his trademark Telecaster and the set begins to go down hill. The songs now proceed to veer in tempo, power and style, whilst all sounding a little too much like Bloc Party b-sides. In fact ‘Your Visits Are Getting Shorter’ is. The songs which predominantly feature guitar played by the protagonist are definitely the weakest here and almost fail to stand out, whereas the electro-based tracks grab the audience right from the start and won’t let go, much like the lead single ‘Tenderoni’, which really is so much better than the remaining collection of tracks.

Some of the new material heard tonight is promising and shows that Kele is undoubtedly a great song writer, but after a three part medley of bastardised material from his subsidiary band, finishing the set with a Bloc Party track, ‘Flux’, makes me think that no matter how much he puts into this new venture, he is still very much Kele from the Bloc.

Matt JP Chapman

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Posted in: Music, Reviews