Enter Shikari review: one of the finest British bands of a generation with an impressive arsenal of killer songs
- Credit: Paul Jones
One of the biggest names in British music played an incredible set in Norwich last night. The St Albans' rockers Enter Shikari entertained a near sold out crowd at the Nick Raynes LCR.
By their standards this was a small gig, as will all twenty seven UK legs of their European tour be, as they scale down their usual large arena stage theatrics in favour of 'closer, more intimate' gigs.
Even so I was blown away by the fantastic on stage lighting constructs bought in for the night, complementing the venue's usual rig nicely. It created the right atmosphere for the bands mix of post-hardcore rock and heavy electronic beats.
Now, as the photographer wearing earplugs in the pits during the first three songs, I can fairly confidently say they kicked off with the third song from 2017 album The Sparks called 'The Sights'. Rou Reynolds bursting onto the stage after the rest of the band, large gin glass in hand, before launching into his usual lunatic performance, obviously, making it almost impossible to get a good shot in the early set low lighting.
They quickly moved onto 'Step Up' from the Common Dread album, then 'Arguing With Thermometers'. All too soon the confetti canons went off giving my cue to leave the pits in the usual 'I didn't get enough chance to get a good photo' panic. Of course they then dropped the mighty 'Rabble Rouser' to get the mosh-pit nicely worked up, and cranked up the nice on stage lighting rig just when I'm no longer allowed to take photos. Always the way.
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After twenty years as a band they have built up an impressive arsenal of killer songs, with the highlight for most being their version of Faithless's 90's dance anthem 'Insomnia' which juxtaposed nicely with a beautiful piano rendition of 'Airfields'. The penultimate song was Juggernauts', before they finished triumphantly with the anthemic 'Live Outside', reiterating their position as one of the finest British bands of a generation.
Support was from the marmite of a band Black Peaks, who shouted and screamed through their opening support slot. A proto-moshpit had formed early on comprised of young lads who clearly were enjoying them, whilst others stood on the steps bemusedly.
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Second support was from Palaye Royale, another marmite of a band who have reportedly been getting occasional abuse from unappreciative sections of the crowd throughout the tour. We saw none of this in Norwich and I thought they were pretty decent with a top class lead man in Remington Leith.
Already 2019 has a lot to do to usurp this as my best gig of the year. Enter Shikari are a great band and brilliant entertainers. It was great to see them on this leg of their stripped down tour.