Enter Shikari

Gig Review: Enter Shikari, Barrowlands, Glasgow, 13th October 2011

About halfway through Enter Shikari’s set, just after No Sssweat, a part of me thinks “Damn, I am getting too old for this” as my neck screams with pain and my lungs whimper with exhaustion. I look to the right of me where I see, casually holding on to the barrier while screaming her lungs out,  a very normal looking 40-something year old woman. This both says something about my physical state at 20 years old, and the broad appeal of Enter Shikari.

Becuase of the Barrowlands’ ability to make Axl Rose look punctual when it comes to allowing people entrance into the venue, we unforuntately miss letlive.’s performance. It’s a shame, because these guys are getting real hype right now and are releasing some great stuff.

As if we’re not already a bit gutted about missing them, letlive.’s vocalist Jason Butler joins Your Demise (5) on stage to share vocal duties for a song and it is, without a doubt, the highlight of their set. For the most part, their songs seem to blur together – there are countless snare drum rolls which end up going nowhere, along with encouraging “clap with us!” demands during moments that don’t really call for crowd interaction. After a mish-mash of typical choreographed jumping around from the band, Jason Butler strides on looking ready to cause some real mayhem. The minute his words start flowing, he is a captivating frontman. It’s just a shame that his guest spot is the best part about Your Demise’s half hour.

“Now let’s cause some fucking havoc!” screams Rou Reynolds of Enter Shikari (9) not long into their headline set. As if he even need to tell us; from the moment “Destabilise” urgently kick-starts the show with pulsing strobes and thumping drums, the Barrowlands is a few nutters short of a riot.

There is little time for onstage banter, wisely choosing to rampage through as many songs as they can fit into one night, keeping the momentum flowing from “Destabilise” right into old-favourite “Mothership,” barraging into electronica-heavy “Zzzonked.” Anyone who has been to an Enter Shikari gig knows that they’re energetic affairs, and tonight is no exception.

What sets tonight apart from the last time they played this venue is the new songs they decide to air. Of these, “Sssnakepit” incites the most carnage, but it’s “Quelle Surprise” that stands out and defines who Enter Shikari are. With lyrics like “If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything” and “you are not gonna take away our dreams,” it is an anthem for the Occupy Wall Street/ConDem generation. Yes, Shikari gigs are, above all else, fun and hectic, but it’s this passion for what is happening in our lives right now that keeps the band relevant, with a fiercely devoted fanbase.

There are those who won’t like the continuing development of Enter Shikari. It’s their loss, because underneath the party elements of breakdowns and dubstep, there is a political and activist force that not many bands can claim to have at the moment. The maturity they show while still supplying an all-round good time is what sets Shikari above most other live bands.


About Scott Wilson

Having spent the last twenty years of his life telling his friends his opinion of the latest release by every band he has ever heard of, Scott is an enthusiastic journalist and keen writer. A fan of every genre of music, though his heart firmly belongs to rock, he has been spending far too much money on gigs and not enough on digs. Reachable by either email or Twitter where copious amounts of commentating and general excitement can also be found.

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