Band: Enter Shikari
Venue: The 100 Club, London
Enter Shikari are not new to playing small venues as a special treat for competition winning fans – in fact, it was only back in June 2012 that the St Albans electro-rock fusionists took to the stage at the award winning 250 person capacity Tunbridge Wells Forum and brought it to its knees. As claustrophobic and sweat-fuelled as the show was back then, nothing can prepare the band and audience alike for the humidity facing tonight’s packed 100 Club situated on the world famous Oxford Street, London.
“There’s brown shit dropping from the ceiling”, remark the band as they reach the end of their pre-encore set, finishing off a performance that can only be described as turbulent. The highs are excellent – be it the brutality of ‘Ghandi Mate, Ghandi’ or the nostalgic ‘Return To Energizer’ (the latter perhaps inciting the biggest sing-along by the absurdly energetic crowd). Unfortunately, the lows are equally as prominent as the heat evidently effects both the motivation and craftsmanship on stage. Enter Shikari are looking exhausted after only a fraction of their set, as Rou exclaims regret (albeit tongue-in-cheek) for tonight’s aggressive setlist choices.
It appears the intimate venue brings with it both its pros and cons, yet Enter Shikari have rarely sounded so good. Despite the occasion mistimed drum beat and missed riff, The 100 Club is filled with a crisp and clear sound that successfully separates the thundering breakdowns from the melodious electronics and vocals. The mistakes, arguably excusable due to the uncomfortable conditions, help to support the notion of intimacy – as does the prominence of security front and centre-stage, stonewalling the ever-present wave of crowd surfers.
While it lasts, it is excellent. Enter Shikari have clearly retained the DIY attitude and small venue persona that saw them explode onto the scene approximately seven years back. Even for them though, enough is enough – a member of production calling an untimely end to proceedings following a misjudged stage invasion, ultimately prompting the call of, “you’re at a punk show; don’t ask to be in a fucking picture?!” from the stage. As the aforementioned brown shit settles, and ‘OK Time For Plan B’ rings in the audience’s ears, tonight may have been the best and worst performance of Enter Shikari’s career.
Reviewer: Ben Tipple