LIVE: Enter Shikari – Bull and Gate, London

By Tom Aylott

We were lucky when we got to see ENTER SHIKARI destroy the Electric Ballroom last year. We were even luckier when we got to see them annihilate the tiny Borderline last month. So what does that make us now that we’re seeing a band whose album pestered the heights of the UK music chart a few weeks ago in the back room of a pub?

Before the night even gets underway, ENTER SHIKARI announce that there is no security tonight or barriers – in a bid to make this a fan plus band gig showing that things can run smoothly and be fun without the need for that sort of thing – whether this decision is a wise one or not would be decided in the next hour and a half! And as soon as the show kicks off, carnage ensues. Moshpits engulf the entire room, human pyramids spring up and fall faster than winners of talent shows and human bodies fly in every direction, but at no point is there any reason to suggest that security is needed.

Songs old and new get an eager reaction from the eager crowd, and the best bit is that all of this is done with no spectacle whatsoever – just four guys on stage, their instruments and a room packed with people raring for a good time. ENTER SHIKARI are one of the formidable live bands the world has to offer right now, and they feed off of the energy from the crowd and give it back tenfold. Chants of ‘Whitney Houston‘ (following her death) spark Rory Clewlow to give a quick rendition of ‘I Will Always Love You’ before the band explode into one of their best – ‘Sssnakepit’.

The next time Enter Shikari play London, the venue will have a foyer that is bigger than this room, which is ridiculous. A fantastic evening.