London based four piece Bloc Party are an exciting fusion of leftfield pop hooks and pure punk rock spirit. Radio 1/6 Music DJ and all round top music bloke Steve Lamacq reckons they are "Genius" while Drowned In Sound have hailed them as "The new kings of rhythm."
Naturally, Repeat was intrigued, so we went to dinner in a Northampton gastro-pub with dreadlocked frontman Kele Okereke and AFC Bournemouth-supporting drummer Matt Tong. Repeat ordered nachos with salsa and cheese, Kele got stuck into jacket potato with field mushrooms in a crushed peppercorn sauce with stilton, and Matt demolished some kind caramelised confit of duck with spicy risotto and apricot jus. Bon appetit!

How did Bloc Party get together?
Kele: "I've known Russell (Lissack, guitarist) for about five years, met Gordon (Moakes, bassist) at university, and met Matt (Tong, drummer) at the start of last year."
Matt: "We've been together for about one and a half years now."

You've recently toured with Graham Coxon. How did you get on with him?
Matt: "He was very nice & very enthusiastic about our music."
Kele: "We're all big fans of Blur so it was a real honour to be asked to tour with Graham. It was hard to speak to him at first because I've only known him from the posters in my bedroom!"

What influences Bloc Party - musically or otherwise?
Kele: "Everything!"

Do you find it difficult to create your own sound and your own identity?
Kele:"Every song we write sounds different from everything else. We're lucky because we pool all our ideas together and we all have an input in the songs."
Matt: "The best bands are the ones who are made up of individuals but work together really well, like, for example, Blur."

The best bands are the ones with a gang mentality led by a charismatic leader. Discuss.
Kele: "Possibly. I think we all have good ideas and try and put them into practice as much as possible. We all work well together. We don't have one figure controlling everything."
Matt: "Kele reigns in our excesses and stops us from show boating too much. He keeps us focused."

How would you describe the Bloc Party sound?
Kele: "We sound like a modern band. There's a lot of British guitar music around that sounds like it could have come from anywhere within the last 20 or 30 years. Yeah sure we have our influences but we've got a modern base as well."
Matt: "The band is progressing. We're in a good position now, we're on the rise and we're hopefully getting somewhere."

Your website is labelled up as 'work', 'agenda', 'comrades', and 'discourse'. You're a bunch of communists aren't you?!
Matt: "No! The website is Gordon's 'baby'. It's no bad thing that people think we're a bunch of commies, at least it gets people talking!"

So are you a political band at all then?
Kele: "I think mixing music and politics is a dangerous thing. I tend to walk away from people who use music to sound off about issues which they're not necessarily qualified to comment on."
Matt: "I don't think politics and music really mix do they? The Dixie Chicks spoke out against George Bush then had to apologise because their promoter, Clear Channel, threatened to cancel their shows. I think it only works if music inspires people to react against something they feel is wrong and encourages them to do something about it."

What makes you angry?
Kele: "London bus drivers."
Matt: "People who drive over zebra crossings when you're trying to cross the road."
Repeat: "People being noisy in pubs when you're trying to an interview a band."
Matt: "We're not an angry band but we don't suffer fools gladly."

What does the future hold for Bloc Party?
Matt: "More touring and we're working on our debut album soon."
Kele: "More food in gastro pubs with music journalists asking us lots of questions!"

Anthony Gibbons

Look out for 'Banquet', the new single from Bloc Party, coming soon.

Visit the Bloc Party website to download 'She's Hearing Voices' at

Repeat & Bloc Party had dinner in the Charles Bradlaugh, 1 Earl Street, Northampton.

Thanks to the nice people at Coalition PR for making this interview happen.