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Bloc Party

Date of birth : -
Date of death : -
Birthplace : London, England
Nationality : English
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2012-03-21

Bloc Party are a British Indie rock band, composed of Kele Okereke (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Russell Lissack (lead guitar), Gordon Moakes (bass guitar, synths, backing vocals, glockenspiel), and Matt Tong (drums, backing vocals). Their brand of music is said to have been drawn from such bands as Mogwai, The Cure, Joy Division, Sonic Youth, and in their more recent work, Radiohead.

The band was formed at the 1999 Reading Festival by Okereke and Lissack. They went through a variety of names before settling on Bloc Party in 2003. Moakes joined the band after answering an advert in NME magazine, while Tong was picked via an audition. Bloc Party got their break by giving BBC Radio 1 DJ Steve Lamacq and Franz Ferdinand's lead singer, Alex Kapranos, a copy of their demo "She's Hearing Voices".

The band has said that the name was not intended to be an allusion to the Soviet Bloc or the Canadian political party Bloc Québécois. However, Moakes said on the group's official Internet forum that it was more a merging of the eastern "Blocs" and the western "parties", in the political sense. He also notes that the name was not explicitly driven by politics, but rather it "looked, sounded, seemed fine so we went with it."

In February 2005, the band released their debut album Silent Alarm. It was critically acclaimed and was named 'Indie Album of the Year' at the 2006 PLUG Awards and NME Album of the year which both honour indie music. That year, the record was also certified platinum in Britain. The band built on this success in 2007 with the release of their second studio album, A Weekend in the City, which reached a peak of number two in the UK Albums Chart and number twelve in the Billboard 200.

Bloc Party's second album, A Weekend in the City, was produced by Garret "Jacknife" Lee. It was released in February 2007,although it was leaked in November 2006. It became available for download on the UK iTunes store before the physical release, and reached the number 2 spot on the UK Albums Chart. The album also reached number 2 on the Australian and Belgian charts, and debuted at number 12 in the Billboard 200, with 48,000 copies sold.

The band's first gig following the release of A Weekend In The City was on 5 February 2007, in Reading, and was broadcast live on BBC 6 Music.On 20 May 2007, Bloc Party headlined on the In New Music We Trust stage at the BBC Radio 1 Big Weekend in Preston.

"Mercury" was released as the first single from Bloc Party's third album in August 2008,accompanied by a music video.Again produced by Jacknife Lee and Paul Epworth, Intimacy was rush-released later that month, with the album available to download 3 days after an announcement in August 2008. Later in the month the band played second on the bill at the Reading and Leeds Festivals before headling the Hydro Connect Music Festival in Argyll, Scotland.

Bloc Party started writing material for a fourth album in 2011, but decided not to play live. In the meantime Okereke finished an EP titled The Hunter. The group stated they intend to release a new album in 2012. On 3 January, Okereke appeared on Zane Lowe's radio breakfast show and stated that Bloc Party had already finished recording two full tracks and had demoed a further seventeen. On March 8th, Bloc Party began uploading short videos to Youtube showing various members practising possible tracks for an upcoming album.

Bloc Party have had several nominations from a number of different awarding bodies during their recording career. The band themselves were nominated for 'Best New Artist' at the 2005 NME Awards, and were also up for the 'Best Alternative Act' category at the 2005 MTV Europe Music Awards. In 2006, Bloc Party were nominated for another NME Award, this time in the 'Best British Band' category. They were also shortlisted for three PLUG Awards: 'New Artist of the Year' in 2005, and 'Artist of the Year' and 'Live Act of the Year' in 2006.At the 19th GLAAD Media Awards in 2008, they were nominated in the 'Music Artist' category for their work on second album A Weekend in the City.

Their debut album Silent Alarm was nominated for the 2005 Mercury Music Prize. It was also nominated as 'Album of the Year' at three different ceremonies: the New Pantheon Music Award (Shortlist Music Prize), the 2006 NME Awards, and the 2006 PLUG Awards, where "Helicopter" was also up for 'Best Music Video'.The record won the award for 'Best Indie Rock Album' at the 2006 PLUG Awards. At the 2008 NME Awards, "Flux" was nominated in three different categories: 'Best Track', 'Best Video' and 'Best Dancefloor Filler'.

Band members:
-Kele Okereke – lead vocals, rhythm guitar
-Russell Lissack – lead guitar
-Gordon Moakes – bass guitar, backing vocals, synthesiser, glockenspiel, electronic drums, sampler
-Matthew Tong - drums, backing vocals, drum machine

-Silent Alarm (2005)
-A Weekend in the City (2007)
-Intimacy (2008)

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