"A reminder of just how fantastic and influential a band they are." Bloc Party's stunning Glastonbury set shows why they were always far too good for the 2000s indie landfill scene

Bloc Party put on a stellar showing on Saturday afternoon on Glastonbury's Other Stage

Bloc Party on stage
(Image: © Getty Images)

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For fans of mid-2000s indie, having Kasabian’s secret set at The Woodsies clash with Bloc Party on The Other Stage could be something of a Sophie’s Choice.

But, really, when considering the relative merits of the pair, it feels like an easy decision to make if you’re a fan of more creative, angular and art-rock over pure, lager-lobbing bangers. Bloc Party are celebrating 20 years of their career-high, debut album Silent Alarm, and, like many artists at Glastonbury this year, that nostalgia bump seems to have given their stock a significant boost; The Other Stage is heaving as they arrive.

Opening with a gorgeously woozy So Here We Are and the choppy, bouncing, tabloid-baiting Hunting For Witches, Kele Okereke’s crew still sound brilliantly idiosyncratic after two decades of service. Kele’s voice remains soulful, pained and distinct and his band's melding of disco beats, dubby bass and wiry post-punk riffs remind you why they never deserved to be dumped in alongside Razorlight, The Kooks and the rest of the aimless, artless indie landfill boom of the noughties. A song like Mercury has far more in common with Kid A-era Radiohead than it does The Pigeon Detectives, which is possibly why Bloc Party’s moment in the sun was so brief, a band who were too challenging and odd to be gurning away on The Friday Night Project back in 2007.

Instead Bloc Party have experimented, evolved and played the long game, and today, with younger fans discovering their music decades after its release, are treated with the reverence they deserve. “We’ve got a few more rockets in our pockets,” Okereke smiles with his tongue firmly in his cheek, before detonating an awesome version of Helicopter. It illicits the biggest response of the set, but Bloc Party, never keen to play to the gallery, close with the trinity of Flux, This Modern Love and Ratchet, all of which are every bit their big hits equal. A reminder of just how fantastic and influential a band they are and proof that Bloc Party can still compete with any cutting edge guitar music in the modern era.

Stephen Hill

Since blagging his way onto the Hammer team a decade ago, Stephen has written countless features and reviews for the magazine, usually specialising in punk, hardcore and 90s metal, and still holds out the faint hope of one day getting his beloved U2 into the pages of the mag. He also regularly spouts his opinions on the Metal Hammer Podcast.