Enter Shikari’s most recent album, The Mindsweep, released last month, sees the band refining their distinctive brand of experimental post-hardcore, incorporating a still-growing set of influences increasingly smoothly into it – and as their proficiency in the studio has grown, one gets the impression that their live delivery will have developed similarly. The band competently render their studio material to the live setting, and manage to incorporate theatrics and gimmicks without imposing on the energy transmitted through the music, yielding an incredibly fun show.
Despite having significantly less media attention since their debut album, the band’s fanbase has evidently not suffered too much since: tickets to this show sold out within minutes, and the crowd, filling up the venue, was as energetic and enthusiastic as would be expected from the performance given by the band, as well as the two support acts. Allusondrugs, up first, played a competent and lively set. The intensity of Feed the Rhino did more than warm up the crowd in preparation for Enter Shikari: their performance showed vivacity and quality to the point where one could easily have taken them for the headline act – which was reflected in the audience’s engagement in the set.
The set list, unsurprisingly, favoured material from the album which only dropped last month. However, as testimony to the band’s growth, it was uncompromising in reflecting where the band are currently: some will have been disappointed by the omission of old favourites; even ‘Sorry You’re Not a Winner’. Perhaps sometimes this has to be the price of a gig being as cohesive and focused as this was. “We draw upon your energy… this show is a two-way street, and without your feedback we’d be unable to perform”, Rou exclaims. “This is not entertainment; [mere] entertainment flows in One Direction”.