Enter Shikari welcome in their new era with an electrifying club show
ENTER SHIKARI celebrated the announcement of their new album with their tiniest london club Show in Years. how’s that for a SPARK?
“I WANT someone to make a sweet casserole out of this!” yells a sweaty, drained Rou Reynolds, launching an onion – grown out of his own garden – into the crowd and sloping offstage. It’s not your average gig ending. But then tonight’s offering from Enter Shikari – complete with trumpet-playing, crowd-clambering and an appearance from British grime titan Big Narstie – isn’t your standard show.and Shikari are far beyond the realms of your average rock band.
Even so, homegrown veg is not the tastiest item on the menu tonight. Just moments after plucking his garden clean, Rou and the rest of his St Albans mob unveiled Live Outside – the brilliant first single from their highly-anticipated new album,the Spark, via Annie Mac’s Hottest Record Intheworld.and right now they’re celebrating the fact with one of their smallest events in years: a (mostly) fan-only gig, full of new tunes, a first-time live guest appearance by the aforementioned Big Narstie, and songs far too huge to remain within the confines of The Borderline’s walls. With attendance coming from only those who picked up tickets to the foursome’s London Ally Pally megashow later in the year, this is special on So. Many. Levels.
“Greetings, carbon-based life forms!” grins Rou as the night begins and Enter Shikari launch into opening track Redshift, before the frontman talks of “manipulating our emotions”, and achieves the desired effect thanks to the colossal beats of The Last Garrison and old favourite Juggernauts.
But we’re not here for the oldies.we’re here to get a teaser of that new record.and Enter Shikari aren’t about to let us down.‘don’t wanna take my country back / I wanna take my country forward!’ spits Rou four songs into the set, before erupting into one of the biggest choruses Shikari have ever penned.“did you notice that was a new one?” asks a sheepish Chris Batten following the never-beforeheard Take My Country Back.yes, we could tell, Chris. Oh, and by the way, and it’s awesome.
Enter Shikari are on typically fine form tonight, and despite confessing that he’d rather be in bed stroking his cat, Freya, with a peppermint tea in hand, leading man Rou is relishing their return to UK stages since the trio of Take To The Skies anniversary shows at Slam Dunk in May.a pounding Radiate is on the verge of bursting the underground surroundings of the 300-capacity room, while a cover of The Human League’s Empire State Human dazzles and dazes. It’s a supercharged showing from a band who never give it anything less than their all… Speaking of which, enter: Big Narstie, brought out onstage especially to bring his collaboration with the band, Supercharge, to life for the first time live. It’s total chaos, and just another highlight in a night full of them.
The elephant in the room – Live Outside – is soon addressed as Enter Shikari give their new single an airing before the explosive encore.“we played it in soundcheck earlier and it was a fucking shambles,” laughs guitarist Rory Clewlow. It’s no such shambles tonight, though. In fact, coupled with a performance from one of the most consistently stunning live bands in the country, it’s a newsflash that The Spark (due out on September 22) is undoubtedly going to be one of the albums of year.and though one fan is exiting the venue with major onion breath tonight, 299 others are leaving with the knowledge that Enter Shikari’s new album – and subsequent tour – will be simply