Bloc Party are four boys from London. Kele sings and strums, Matt dums, Gordon plays bass and Russell plays guitar and inadvertently inspires haircuts.
Kele Okereke and guitarist Russell Lissack knew each other through mutual friends in Essex where Kele went to school and Russell lived. They met again at Reading 99 and vowed to form a band. They wrote together in bedrooms. For months. And months. Slowly, methodically, they got better. In early 2000 they posted an ad for a bass player in the NME, and through that they met Gordon Moakes. Three years and eight drummers later, the band finally came together when they met Matt Tong.
By 2004 Bloc Party were on the march. "She's Hearing Voices," a rumbling, vaguely sinister song, was recorded in their cheap, moldy but special rehearsal space in Acton, west London. Paul Epworth produced their second single, the amphetamined ska-pop of "Banquet"
Bloc Party soon signed with Wichita UK, the little East London label with big ideas. They had a dark, brooding, often ferocious sound to scare the parents and remind older siblings of the artier end of New Wave. Melody and energy to inspire the moshpit.
Meanwhile, in July, as the headlines raged, the reviews raved and their third single "Little Thoughts" dived into the UK's Top 40, Bloc Party nipped off to Copenhagen with Paul Epworth. Destination: Deltalab Studios, home of Junior Senior (oh yes), retro Sixties/Seventies décor, and racks of malfunctioning vintage equipment. Purpose: 22 days to record 15 tracks. Problems: bare mains cables and a kit that wouldn't play ball.
The result of those 22 days in a raw, dangerous setting was Silent Alarm.