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30 March 2016

Enter Shikari review: A kaleidoscope of colour and a barrage of sound

Ronnie Job

Seeing alternative rock four-piece Enter Shikari in Cardiff turned out to be less a show and more an all-out assault on practically all our senses. And it was awesome!

You don't just hear the music, but feel it vibrating through your bones - even those of us sitting at a safe distance from the human pyramids, mosh pit and crowd surfing.

Your eyes are constantly drawn, by the inventive laser display, to a screen which mixes a fantastic light show with images of issues close to the band's heart.

Because Enter Shikari is a band with a message. Particularly about ending the destruction of the planet by capitalism's lust for profit, detailed in the song 'Myopia'.

They also address issues like privatisation of healthcare. In 'The Anaesthetist', they declare: "illness is not an indulgence we should pay for... You will not profit off my health." The clever 'Torn Apart' appeals for unity against racist division.

And that's just from their 2015 LP 'The Mindsweep'. Their entire catalogue is full of songs of grassroots resistance.

Impressive support act The King Blues appealed for people to return to Cardiff Motorpoint on 16 March to protest against a planned arms fair.

The reason these messages get heard by a mass audience is that the band are, above all, great fun to see and hear. The best part of two hours flew past in a kaleidoscope of colour and a barrage of sound.

Lead singer Rou Reynolds refused to be confined by the dimensions of a stage - appearing at the back of the auditorium at one point playing a piano, which appeared to be resting on mixing desks. He then climbed on top to sing, play guitar and blow a trumpet.


If you've not heard Enter Shikari and you're looking for me to categorise their music, I'm afraid I can't. You'll hear the thrashing guitar, drums and screaming of post-hardcore; dance and electronic influences; and harmonising over beautiful melodies.

They're not to everyone's taste. But they bring the same energy and enthusiasm to all these diverse sounds. They lose nothing in musicianship when heard live, but increase the power and energy to the maximum - it seems to be their natural medium.

Thank you, Enter Shikari, for rekindling my enthusiasm for live music.

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