LIVE: Enter Shikari @ University, Keele (05/10/2008)

Date: October 5th, 2008
Venue: University, Keele
Support: Flood Of Red, P-Dex

Rating: 10/10


Enter Shikari profile

With a highly anticipated second album on the horizon, and a new single out in a few days time, Enter Shikari are once again a band that is hot on everyone’s lips at the moment, and tonight at Keele University they plan on engraving the reason why this is the case, playing the smaller venues on the current tour so they don’t miss out the little people out there.

Every few dates into the tour the band have a different band as their support act, and Keele are one of the few dates to have Scotland’s Flood Of Red (**) and their post-hardcore offerings. Maybe it’s the slightly more restrictive nature of the stage they’re on tonight, but compared to their usual efforts Flood Of Red are fairly tame – or maybe even so far to say as dull, and this is even shown in their choice of songs in their setlist. Sure, they played hard-hitting favourites like ‘Don’t Sleep, Swim!’ and ‘An Hour Away’, but for the most part their songs stayed on the mellower side of their material. They even shoved in a rather obscure drum orientated interlude in-between some of their songs, with every member equipped with sticks in their hand and smashing some form of drum or cymbal. None the less, despite their restrictive presence they put on a somewhat ‘entertaining’ performance.

An unexpected surprise is nice here and there, and for this one Enter Shikari have lined up a DJ set in the form of P-Dex (****). He’s simply warming the crowd up for tonight’s headliners, and boiling their energetic juices with a range of drum ‘n’ bass and dance/trance tunes to get them in the mood for the dance/rock hybrid band.

It’s not long before Enter Shikari (*****) come out with their guns blazing, playing tracks like ‘No Sssweat’, ‘Return To Energiser’, and ‘The Feast’, all the while the crowd is going absolutely ballistic and creating and frantic frenzy to this bands presence. The circle pits made are large and wide in size, and big with intensity and energy, sometimes occupying more than a few dozen people dancing the night away. At times this went out of control, and people were throwing themselves around like old rag dolls, but this didn’t downgrade the show put on by the band. Aswell as some oldies, Enter Shikari reveled some of the new album material on the way, including ‘Step Up’ and ‘Hectic’, which is already showing a whole new level above the previous work on Take To The Skies, and have obviously been worked on a lot to be played so well live already. Old favourites get the crowd pumping again, with words sung across the whole room to the likes of ‘Mothership’, aswell as the infamous clap moment featured in their hit-single, ‘Sorry, You’re Not A Winner’. The room literally is a total mess, and the floor is filled with tired and sweaty fans thirsty for more. For a very short while the band take off the stage, and return to begin an encore, yet bassist Chris Batten seemed to have damaged his amp speakers. However, after a short few moments of banter and jokes the band are ready to perform, bouncing straight into an electrifying shot of ‘Enter Shikari’ and the room just bellows the opening screams of “Shit! Shit!” from the top of their lungs, and everyone is dancing and flinging themselves around like fools again. The final song ‘We Can Breathe In Space, They Just Don’t Want Us To Escape’ is when everyone is making the most of the last few minutes they can, frontman Rou Reynolds even jumps from the stage to the barrier one final time to get involved and scream one final time at the crowd that gave Enter Shikari the reaction they so rightly deserve.

Written by Zach Redrup