Enter Shikari - 53 Degrees Preston - 20.1.07
It isn't very often that you see ravers, metal heads, indie kids and hardcore rock fans at the same gig but St Albarns four piece Enter Shikari's successful hybrid of balls to the wall rock and eclectic dance fused mayhem proved so popular that the band recently sold out the prestigious Astoria in London without releasing any material. The buzz about this band is so intense that it'll seem unlikely that they'll play a venue this intimate with a capacity of just 400 again.
Wearing a hoodie and twirling the mic flamboyantly, frontman and Mani lookalike Roughton Reynolds patrols the stage as his growling vocals dominate especially on the extremely danceable "Labyrinth" which has guitarists Liam "Rory" Chewlow laying down some lethal sinister riffs. The melody is infectious too with the electro beats and bass from a cherubic looking Chris Batten producing rhythmic bliss. Roug squeezes up to the barrier, leans forward and sings up close in the faces of the fans as hands clamber to touch him while a sea of mobiles behind us take photos frantically on their mobiles. He even persuades the occasionally subdued crowd to adopt an elaborate pose as the band themselves do the very same thing.
There are some surprisingly sweet harmonies on "Anything Can Happen In The Next 1/2 Hour" although the synth parts sound bizarrely like Erasure. Rou climbs the speakers, involving the crowd who respond by waving their glow sticks in the air Nu-rave style. B Side "The Feast" has a toy town techno vibe but is beefed up with crunching guitars. Drummer Rob Rolfe takes his top off, drenched in sweat, revealing a physique so impressive that Daniel Craig's six pack in Casino Royale looks weedy in comparison. Enter Shikari's most celebrated song "Sorry You're Not A Winner" with it's nod to Nirvana has the audience invited to form a human pyramid which has the first few rows complying to the bands demands.
With their album out in March 2007 Enter Shikari's time for success is now, but if they strive for global domination then the band need to perform a little longer than the bands 45 minute set that we witnessed tonight
Nicholas Paul Godkin
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