photograph of Kele Okereke performing live at The HMV Ritz, Manchester
A Tale of Two Performances

I was back in Manchester last Thursday, shooting another show for Counterfeit Mag. Kele Okereke was playing at The Ritz with support from up and coming laptop-twiddlers D/R/U/G/S, and I was struck by the difference in the two performances.

Don’t get me wrong, this is the second time I’ve seen D/R/U/G/S in a matter of months and I really like their warm spacey beats but as it stands I’m not sure that it works in the context of a live gig.  Obviously given that their music is produced electronically there isn’t a lot of scope for audience interaction and that’s what let’s it down.  With a gig people are coming to watch not just to listen and with D/R/U/G/S there just isn’t anything to see.  Fellow electronic artists Echaskech sidestep this problem neatly by having a visual aspect to their show provided by VJ Mach V and maybe this is what D/R/U/G/S could do with for their live performances.

BANDS: D/R/U/G/S – Images by mike gatiss

Kele Okereke had the opposite problem.  You can’t fault his performance, he puts everything into his shows and he constantly chats with the audience between songs making them feel involved but I’m not a big fan of his solo album with the exception of recent single Tenderoni.  I know there was tension between the dance/electronica direction that Kele wanted to go in and the Indie/Guitar roots of the rest of Bloc Party but that was what made it work.  I hope we haven’t seen the last of Bloc Party because the whole was definitely more than the sum of the parts.

BANDS: Kele – Images by mike gatiss