Enter Shikari at the LCR Review - 20/1/19
Not many rock bands can boast a timeline of 20 years whilst still managing to consecutively sell out big rooms around the country. However, St Albans rock giants, Enter Shikari, showed tonight that they are still very much at the top of their game.
The ‘Stop The Clock’ tour hit Norwich, LCR tonight as it ambles through the UK and Europe.
Opening the night were Brighton-based Black Peaks who burst the night into action with their amalgamation of progressive rock and sludgy dissonance. The jarring impact of Black Peaks went down well with the crowd as plenty of banging heads and the occasional circle pit emerged amongst the half full venue. This band has a lot of potential to make a dent in the metal world, however I do think they need to refine their sound away from the generic abyss that them and many other heavy metal bands embody. Overall, Black Peaks were a fun opener and got the night started with an onslaught of energy.
With the crowd thoroughly warmed up, next to take the stage were Canadian rock n rollers, Palaye Royale. This band has undergone a barrage of controversy so far on this tour, with the previous Southend date resulting in the drummer getting in a physical altercation with a fan. However, I was intrigued to see what Palaye Royale would offer.
The glam rockers emulated a classic rock n roll posture with dirty rock riffs and shredding solos. However, this band just weren’t for me unfortunately. The whole set felt extremely simplistic with the drummer playing straight-forward patterns and each song following a very similar structure. I couldn’t help but feel like I was watching a mediocre dad rock band down at the local pub. Vocalist, Remington Leith added a bit of diversity with a unique voice, however the lyrical substance wasn’t anything special with songs surrounding concepts such as cocaine and women. I think this is more a criticism with the classic rock genre grasping onto cringey clichés and out-of-date traits, but unfortunately Palaye Royale personified everything I hate about that style of music.
As the crowd quickly packed in size and shrunk in room to breathe, that could only meant Enter Shikari were about to blow the roof off the LCR. Opening with two new songs from their latest album, The Spark, the crowd responded in conventional fashion with bodies smashing together and sweat pouring from foreheads. Older songs such as Step Up, from their seminal album Common Dreads, took the LCR into overdrive. Everything went up a notch and the crowd swelled like a violent riptide sucking spectators into its grips. Arguing with Thermometers was met with roaring gang screams as crowd members relentlessly recited spoken word pieces back at lead singer, Rou Reynolds. Shikari did well to distribute their set between each of their albums, classics such as Mothership and Sorry You’re Not A Winner salvaged the last increments of energy within the crowd and got the place feeling like a war-zone. Closing the night, Live Outside left a hopeful and inspirational imprint on the crowd, with confetti canons and triangle finger motions, it was a breath-taking finale to a night of pandemonium.
Throughout all the chaos and destruction of an Enter Shikari show, there’s an underlying beauty and sense of community which makes them such a special band to so many people. Even after 20 years, Shikari never fail to put on a performance which leaves you in a state of confusion, but amongst this dismay you would repeat the whole process in a heartbeat.