Enter Shikari

Enter Shikari
Live (Chinese Fingertrap / Yourcodenameis:Milo)

Welcome to Glasgow, and what a typically beautiful day it is. The sun is hiding, the wind is blowing, and the rain is streaming. Of course, this is just good springtime weather for this part of the world. Why you ask am I bothering to bear this harsh cold? Let’s just say I wanted to see the hype for myself.

Your only excuse for not hearing about the sensation that is Enter Shikari would have to be death. Even June Brown who plays Dot in Eastenders has been credited as a fan. The foursome from Hertfordshire have recently become very popular nationwide with their combination of post-hardcore and trance sound being seen as an energetic new take on music. Indeed, Rou Reynolds, Rory Clewlow, Chris Batten and Rob Rolfe have been credited as pioneers combining these two separate genres to create their own unique brand of screams, synths and social destruction.

Finally, warmth as I enter the legendary Barrowlands which has had more than its fair share of big acts. I am slightly annoyed at the entrance security guards as my glowsticks are taken off of me due to ‘safety’ reasons. Little do they realise these sticks are essential for the rave I am about to witness.

The lights go down and on come Chinese Fingertrap. They are greeted with modest encouragement from the crowd in front of them, understandable them being fairly unknown in these parts. The reason for this became apparent. This band is not one without potential, their sound is quite appealing with certain parts even inspirational.

The only thing that let it down was their performance. This band is not a live band. When listening I was thinking ‘Yeah it’s alright’ but I knew it would take professional recording and mastering to make it anything more than mediocre-sounding music. The vocalist is in dire need of training with pitches and harmonies running all over the place, ruining the general consistency of what could be a good song. All in all, I feel this band do have prospects, but only in a studio.

Exit Chinese Fingertrap with average support. The ninja dancer received more encouragement.

Next on was Yourcodenameis:milo. This band, I feel, are greatly underestimated and I don’t understand why. Their debut in 2004 with the album ‘All Roads to Fault’ made their official mark on the industry. Since then they have gone on to make two more albums and one compilation in which they worked with The Futureheads, The Automatic and Get Cape, Wear Cape, Fly.

As I suspected, Yourcodename were immense. From the moment they came on the crowd was jumping as one wave to the jerking, jolting music being played before them. Paul Mullen in my opinion is a great frontman. He gives off a very charismatic, intellectual feel which are excellent qualities in creating an interesting centreman. This contributed to their overall performance as Mullen interacted and bantered with the crowd.

The Newcastle five-piece were very consistent throughout with many of their new songs going down a treat with the crowd leaving them wanting seconds. The highlight of their act was the end when they played ‘All Roads to Fault’ before leaving the crowd exasperated and in darkness. Exit Yourcodenameis:milo.

Enter Shikari. The time had come and the crowd were going ballistic. From the screams of pure pleasure to the wailing teenage girls in my ears I thought maybe I’d accidentally ended up at Westlife, but then I remembered this band was very popular with the ladies. Bastards.

Rou entered on first wearing some alien-like headgear with neon blue lights at either side of his head and headed straight for the synthesizer. A slow build-up of electronic sound grew and grew in sync with the lighting. Eventually, the beats started and the other three members leapt on stage with a vibrancy that entranced the whole room. The foursome sprung and bounded about the stage like maniacs, busting out all their best moves to the thumping music behind them. Eventually, they took their places and the real show began.

What followed was perhaps the most intense, most powerful, most awe-inspiring performance from a band I have ever seen. The amount of energy this band possess is just off the scale. Rous’ vocals can tear down the roof and take the sky with it as Chris’ shredding, Rorys’ leaps and Robs’ beating all combine to completely and totally impact the people viewing it.

Known songs like ‘Mothership’, ‘Anything can happen in the next half hour’, ‘Return to Energiser’ and of course ‘Sorry You’re Not a Winner’ were all taken in with a combination of crowd dives, human pyramids, ninja dancers and shape cutting. The amusing anecdote about Johnny Sniper, the condom-providing hero, was also absorbed very well.

However, I do believe that their drummer has mental health problems. His show onstage was utterly awesome. Whenever he wasn’t needed on the drums he was out front performing like a monkey or up on speakers swaying like an African tribal priest with a vision. The teasy, chit-chat attitude between the members and insane behaviour on-stage contributed to the show as a whole and added to the uniqueness of the performance.

What made this gig so special, so different, was that you weren’t just paying to see a band on stage, you actually felt part of something new and exciting. The vibrance from the onstage band was reflected in the onlooking fans who behaved just as powerfully and vigorously as they themselves. The atmosphere: with glowsticks (god knows how they snuck them in), human pyramids, skinny jeans, crowd-surfers and light shows, made you feel part of a rave as well as a traditional hardcore gig. This exclusive claim is well held by Enter Shikari who, with a brand new top-ten album, can only promise more.

Guest article from Nick M.

Written by Guest Writers on

Between 2003 and 2009, [the-mag] had regular contributors from music correspondents covering their local scene. You'll find them all in the guest writers section. The specific writer is mentioned at the bottom of each article.

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