Enter Shikari hit London's Roundhouse last night for the first of a two-night run in the capital. We went down and had a watch, didn't we?
By far and away the easiest thing that Enter Shikari could’ve done for tonight’s show – the first of a two-day stint at London’s Roundhouse – is piece together a lazy Greatest Hits show. Nobody would have complained, that’s for sure, but that just wouldn’t be a very Enter Shikari way of going about things.
That means instead of trotting out well-loved classics like ‘Sorry, You’re Not A Winner’, they continue to push boundaries, push themselves and push the crowd as they belt out no less than nine cuts from sometimes brooding, often brilliant new album ‘The Mindsweep’ during this hour-and-a-half of baffling, bonkers power.
A dramatic, far-reaching run through album opener ‘The Appeal & The Mindsweep I’ sets the tone perfectly, and while Rou straps on a guitar in lieu of jumping all over the place for the likes of ‘Radiate’ and a fair chunk of the rest of the set, he sounds infinitely better as a result, and still manages to get down to the barrier to mix it with the crowd anyway.
Coupled with an amazing light show that resembles ‘The Mindsweep’ album artwork, a bash through ‘The Last Garrison’ that descends into a warped version of ‘Juggernauts’, it's all as brilliant as it is absurd.
The whole event feels like less of a rock show and more a total outpouring of dissatisfaction, hope and love in equal parts. “This is not entertainment. Entertainment is a one-way transaction,” says Rou during a lull. He’s right, and tonight, Enter Shikari gave as good as they got.
The crowning moment comes with an apocalyptic final run through ‘Sssnakepit’, during which Rou waves a fire extinguisher around in what’s fast becoming his finishing move.
Back in 2012, this band sold out two shows at this very venue. A couple of years later, they’ve done it again. On this evidence, the setting ought to be little bigger next time Shikari come around.
Words by Andy Biddulph, photos by Justine Trickett. To see a full gallery of photos from the show, head here.
Missed the whole Shikari tour?
1) Where have you been?
2) Don't fret, you can catch the band headline the second stage at Download Festival this summer.