Since their last appearance in Oxford two years ago, Enter Shikari have burst onto the music scene with the release last March of debut album Take to the Skies. Now the St. Albans-based quartet’s chaotic blend of trance and hardcore has become more than just an underground fad.
Enter Shikari take this opportunity to showcase material from their newly recorded album, with five previously unreleased songs, even at the expense of first single ‘Anything Can Happen in the Next Half Hour’, and fan favourite ‘Jonny Sniper’.
The new songs reveal some interesting additions to the mix; ‘The Jester’ opens with a flute melody over a swinging jazz beat, before descending into a screaming, guitar heavy midsection, which seamlessly segues into a happy hardcore crescendo.
The band are slow to get into their stride – the frequency of new material early on in the set-list seems to slow down the night. Enter Shikari are at their best when they have the whole room singing, screaming or shouting the words back at them.
When they get going though, they really get going – ‘Labyrinth’ sees frontman Rou Reynolds careering across the stage, whipping the crowd into vicious circle pits. There are more melodic moments too: ‘Return to Energiser’ ends with a slow sing-a-long, the audience waving glow-sticks.
Their fusion of hardcore screams, trance sections and singable choruses may sound like a bad idea on paper, and like a bit of a mess to the untrained ear, but playing live is where Enter Shikari really shine – their live show is an exhilarating experience.