Live Review: Bloc Party, Kate Boy

6 January 2016 | 11:34 am | Michael Prebeg

"Still the Bloc Party we know and love, only slightly more evolved."

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Kate Boy play their first ever Australian show for us tonight and it's a real treat for any Scandi-synth-pop fan. The duo, made up of the Australian Kate Akhurst and Swedish Markus Dextegen, are a cross-continental force to be reckoned with as they fill the theatre with their vast soundscape of double-barreled drumming and electro hooks. With her trademark black baseball cap on tight, Akhurst delivers energetic choruses with penetrating vocals to hit the sweet spot.

Contagious dance patterns begin to spread through the crowd as Bloc Party strike up a reverberating drumbeat. With their fifth album on the way in less that a month, they give us a taste of their new stuff right away, starting with The Good News. It's a definitely not the sound we'd expect from them but we happily embrace the new bluesy rock'n'roll vibe they're trying out.

It's been a hot minute since they last played a show in our city back in 2012 but we can forgive them since they've been away making new music. Frontman Kele Okereke recognises Melbourne as the musical capital of Australia and just like the lyrics of a new song called Virtue, they continue to follow the path that keeps leading them back to us.

For a Tuesday night the energy levels skyrocket as they dip back into some old favourites Banquet, She's Hearing Voices and One More Chance, which provoke plenty of jumping with outward arm gestures. Okereke spots a fan with a Bloc Party tattoo on their arse and he's mighty impressed by the representation in the front row.

With some encouragement for the new band members Justin Harris on bass guitar and Lou Lou Bartle on drums, Okereke covers his eyes and playfully walks around them before making his way back to the microphone for The Love Within. Okereke shouts out, "Don't you want to get high?" and we respond by launching ourselves to an incredible elevation. We accept the sweaty hot mess we've become and make every bit count as we get rowdy for the absolute banger Ratchet.

Stomping our feet seems like the most appropriate way to demand an encore. Surprisingly we get more than what we bargained for with another new track, Into The Earth. It has a mellow pace to calm us down right before a throwback to This Modern Love that wraps us in a nostalgic blanket. Arm in arm, the band take a final bow before us. While there may be a few new faces and some different sounds, they're still the Bloc Party we know and love, only slightly more evolved.