It’s always a pleasure, right before the headliner goes on, to see a queue for a gig snaking round a venue like a big boozy millipede and Monday’s Converse hosted, semi-private Enter Shikari show was a fine example of this. Hoards of juiced up super-fans gathered right up to the last minute, desperate to get a glimpse of their favourite genre defying noise bandits, Enter Shikari, in a venue no bigger than my garden…and I don’t live in Surrey.
The 350 capacity 100 Club is one of London’s best established venues with a heritage spanning decades of generally shouty music. Here’s Adam Buxton’s dad with some words about Punk which are probably relevant to this or something.
Enter Shikari are the archetypal bloody hard working band. Having single handedly sold out the Astoria in 2006, despite being unsigned, (I’m on the gig DVD…) the band have since played all over the world, appeared at basically all the major festivals and landed their own imprint with Warners in order to release music the way they want to; a DIY ethic without compromise or corporate interference.
I’ve seen this band play huge main stage slots and at their own shows they normally play to 3000+ audiences. This was going to be intimate, sweaty and above all, probably quite violent.
After we were treated to a countdown mix by band-brother DJ PDex, the band took to the stage to a a raucous reception. With the venue bursting at the seems and brown sweat-infused ceiling juice dripping over everyone, they stormed into a blistering set drawing from all three of their albums, beginning with “System…..” and segue track “…Meltdown” from most recent album “A Flash Flood of Colour” which, I must add, was produced by Dan Miller, the guitarist from the best fucking band in the world!
About four songs in, during “Hello Tyrannosaurus..” singer Rou Reynolds darted about the crowd in a frenetic and borderline terrifying manner, climbing up the back wall and yelling the lyrics whilst surrounded by a bubble of adulation. It was cool as hell and almost channeled the spirit of Sid Vicious, although it’s probably worth mentioning that at the 100 Club, Mr. Vicious did blind a fan by throwing a glass at her. We’re not quite at that level thank goodness. Moving on.
The majority of the set was at a constant “up to 11″ level of extreme energy, this band really know how to carry an audience. The only time when things calmed down was for a festival-anthem-iPhones-in- the-air track which, in my poorly written Blackberry finger notes, “sounds a bit like Greenday’s time of your life but with drums”. Ever the professional.
The first song I ever heard of theirs and clearly a fan favourite, “Return to Energizer” sparked what could have been my favourite part of the whole evening, a good old fashioned mosh pit!
At last, finally, a mosh-pit at a show! Ok so I’ve mostly been hanging about at industry centric A&R circle-jerk buzz gigs where the audience would be much more at home in a lunchtime meeting at the Starbucks in High Street Ken than at any rock festival, but that’s beside the point. (I’m looking at you mr head nodding Blackberry toting dick-head at the Chvrches show, you know who you are!)
The fact is, it seems that London has rather lost her mojo when it comes to testosterone-fueled ass kicking. Thank you Enter Shikari!
This track, along with Mothership and encore/not really an encore track “Ok, Time For Plan B” absolutely proved that this band are seriously impressive, tight as a nun’s do dah, and even if you hate post-hardcore/rave-metal or whatever the hell music they are, you should go see them….if you don’t mind maybe dying.
Here’s the setlist…
‘Gandhi Mate, Gandhi’
‘Hello Tyrannosaurus, Meet Tyrannicide’
‘Return To Energiser’
‘Gap In The Fence’
‘Arguing With Thermometers’
‘OK, Time For Plan B’
Words : Charlie Allen