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24 Hour Party People
Gordon Moakes and Matt Tong explain how Bloc Party's remarkable year has been put into perspective by the London bombings
Phil Udell, 11 Aug 2005
The world, as they say, can change in the blink of an eye. Give it a couple of weeks and you could be living in a different age. So it’s been over the last while. To put our conversation with Matt and Gordon in some sort of context, when we meet it is a matter of two days since the terrible bomb attacks on London.
Everyone is reeling yet no-one has any idea of what is to follow – another attempt on the Tube, an innocent man shot dead by police and, at the time of writing, who knows what else. Thus, while we should be talking about the music, it feels a little strange. Still, we wonder if the festival season that they’re currently embroiled in gives them a good idea of where they’re at as a band? Gordon shrugs. “That’s a tough one. You have bad days, especially if you’re doing four festivals in a row. You’re not always going to be amazing”.
If not them then, are these events a fair indication of who’s who in the current music scene?
“There’s always going to be a few bands that’ve reformed to do the circuit, like the Pixies. There’ll always be some kind of ‘legend’ at Glastonbury but generally they’re a really good snapshot”.
The conversation is short and stilted. There’s no avoiding it, it had been a weird week hadn’t it? Both nod.
“We were in Stockholm when the bombs went off”, says Gordon. “The news came through in dribs and drabs. It’s been a time of mixed emotions. We’re from London, we’ve all taken those journeys. My flat mate works in the city and goes through Liverpool Street. We’ve been away so much though, you feel kind of powerless not being there but if you had been there you couldn’t have done anything anyway. When you’re away news like that becomes a bit more removed. It’s strange. I’m sure a lot of bands would feel the same way, we’re constantly travelling. We’ve spent less than a week at home in the past three months”.
Matt agrees. “It seems almost hollow for us to talk about it, it’s like we were cheating because we weren’t there”.
Gordon is confident that, whatever the bombers throw at it, his hometown will pull through.
“I’d like to think that your average stoic Brit won’t change their behaviour. London’s a big city and it’ll be hard to break”.