#1: That Enter Shikari are great...
Enter Shikari, The Wonder Years and The King Blues rocked up to London’s absolutely huge Alexandra Palace this past Saturday. We went, and here's what we learned.
ENTER SHIKARI ARE CONSTANTLY EVOLVING
At times, rock music can be guilty of standing still. Conversely, EDM is a genre so forward-thinking and fast-moving that it’s sometimes hard to keep track of. Shikari are clearly a band who know and understand the EDM genre, rather than a rock band whacking in a couple of synths for the sake of it.
Never is that more evident than tonight. This career-spanning set sees older songs getting a bit of a 2016 touch-up, as well as remixes and mash-ups helping make everything feel both familiar and fresh at the same time.
THAT INVENTIVE APPROACH APPLIES TO THE LIVE SHOW AS WELL
Enter Shikari pulling out all of the stops for a jaw-dropping production is nothing new, but this show is a whole different level of awesome.
Massive screens project captivating visuals, while the much-hyped quadraphonic sound feels devilishly innovative. Electronic passages travel around the room, while noises explode behind the audience when everyone least expects it. In short, this is unlike anything any other band is doing right now. Or any other band would be capable of replicating.
IT’S CLEVER AND FUN
Along with their unique sound, Shikari have become renowned for their fierce and fearless approach to tackling tough subjects. But that doesn’t mean this is all doom and gloom. During a mash-up of ‘Arguing With Thermometers’ and ‘Gandhi Mate, Gandhi’, the big screens see Rou reviving his news reader character from the ‘… Thermometers’ video, a message from ‘Gandhi’ himself and a surprising mid-song interval of the guys playing Robbie Williams’ ‘Angels’. It’s genuinely hilarious, and in a much more inventive way than making willy jokes.
THE WONDER YEARS ARE IN THE FORM OF THEIR LIVES
The Philly five-piece have always put on decent live show, but tonight is shirt clutching brilliance. Old favourites like ‘Passing Through A Screen Door’ and ‘Local Man Ruins Everything’ are belted out with a tangible, infectious passion. Furthermore, songs off last year’s ‘No Closer To Heaven’ sound even better live than they do on record. Let’s have a headline run soon, please!
IT’S GREAT TO HAVE THE KING BLUES BACK, BUT THIS ISN’T THE BEST VENUE FOR THEM
Hearing the likes of ‘I Got Love’ and ‘Save The World, Get The Girl’ being played live again is a healthy reminder of just how wonderful these songs are. The scenes of strangers wrapping arms around each other to belt them out in unison feels like a homecoming, but it can’t be denied that something gets lost between these cavernous walls. Perhaps their comeback would feel better suited to a more intimate setting.
ENTER SHIKARI PROBABLY SHOULDN’T BE PLAYING A VENUE THIS BIG… BUT WE’RE VERY GLAD THEY ARE
As the set draws to a close, Rou himself addresses the fact of how weird it is that his band are playing this massive room. As a band who have such a diverse sound, are politically outspoken and completely independent, on paper this probably shouldn’t have happened. It flies in the face of everything we’re led to believe makes a successful band.
But as you look around Alexandra Palace to see people dancing all the way at the back of the venue to ‘Anaesthetist’, it shows how they’ve been able to strike a chord with so many different people. This show feels like a crowning victory and only cements the fact that Enter Shikari are one of the most special bands we’ve got.
Words by Gav Lloyd. Photos by Ben Gibson. Check out our full gallery from the London show.