OH MY DEAR GOD IN HEAVEN! YES! I've been pretty sure about him since falling for Bloc Party in 05, head over heels like most rock aficionados. Pioneers is my fav bloc party song, here's my fav bit:
Okereke determined to give A Weekend in the City more sign-of-the-times heft - 'to weave a tapestry of lots of different views and issues and perspectives to create an overall sense of what life in a metropolis is like in the 21st century'.
Harsh realities are also rammed home on other new songs. The words to 'Where is Home?' begin at the funeral of Christopher Alaneme, the black teenager stabbed in small-town Kent last April. Okereke describes him as a cousin, although they weren't related by blood; their mums, both Nigerian, were very good friends. Okereke says that ultimately the song is about the fostering, by right-wing newspapers, of a fear of 'The Other'. That is, black youth in hoodies. And how that then means opportunities denied.
'I just feel that every non-white teenager will know what I'm talking about when I say that certain avenues in this country are closed to you. Whenever I walk into a pub in London I feel frightened. There are certain activities that are still more predominantly white.' He and his flatmate, a white Austrian girl, have been abused by bigots who thought they were a mixed-race couple. The multicultural melting pot, Okereke concludes, is unworkable.
Does it please him, I ask, that he might be a role model for a 15-year-old Bloc Party fan in Essex who's unsure, insecure?
'I guess that's the only reason [to speak out], isn't it?' he says. 'To speak to young people in their impressionable formative years - and say something that could help them make sense of their lives. Lessen the sense of alienation and isolation that they might have. I think that's something that definitely ... I'd be proud of. That we could say that there are alternative ways of behaving, of living one's life.'
He goes on to cite a quote from groundbreaking lesbian novel The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall - it had a profound impact on him when he was writing 'I Still Remember'.
It takes a couple of hours - and my telling him that he's without peer, so no wonder he's a bit all over the place - for Okereke to offer further clarification. 'Well, there are some famous bisexuals. Brian Molko [from Placebo] I guess. David Bowie. Morrissey. It's not like that this is an impulse that's... Sorry, can I just get this?' His mobile has just rung, saving him more discomfort.
The next day Okereke emails Radclyffe Hall's words to me. 'You are neither unnatural nor abominable, nor mad,' it begins. 'You're as much a part of what people call nature as anyone else, only you are unexplained as yet - you've got your niche in creation.'
So here we are reinventing the wheel
I'm shaking hands with a hurricane
It's a colour that I can't describe,
It's a language I can't understand
Ambition, tearing out the heart of you
Carving lines into you
Dripping down the sides of you
We will not be the last.