LIVE: Enter Shikari @ The Dome, London

By Adam Rosario

Tufnell Park Dome has a long history of hosting legendary bands, and this year was chosen as one of the venues to host a number of Brits Week performances. In conjunction with War Child, the charity week of shows gives fans a chance to see some of the biggest bands in very intimate surroundings. 

Fresh off a UK tour, Enter Shikari are in frightening form. The four piece from St Albans have been known to devastate any and every venue they’ve played. The chance to catch them playing for a smaller crowd is nothing short of an experience. 

The opening ‘The Spark’ rolls into the ‘The Sights’, and sets off the first of many singalongs tonight, with front man Rou Reynolds leading from the stage, and all manner of shapes being thrown. Shikari have always been known for their live shows, but Reynolds has quietly become one of the most magnetic front men in the country. It’s very hard to keep your eyes away from him, and considering how much of a spectacle a Shikari show is, that is impressive. 

Putting ‘Step Up’ back into their live sets gives the old school fans a firm favourite before sliding straight into ‘Labyrinth’, which really brings the nostalgia. The band don’t restrict themselves just to the stage either, as at various points, Reynolds, Rory C and Chris Batten all throw themselves in with their fans. ‘Rabble Rouser’ allows the band to show their eclectic rave side before ‘Destabilise’ shows the best of their electronic and heavy guitars together. 

The tender ‘Gap In The Fence’ moves into the swing influenced ‘Revolt Of The Atoms’ and is the epitome of how diverse Shikari are. The first quick fire round of ‘Gandhi, Mate Gandhi’, ‘Mothership’ and a cover of Faithless’ ‘Insomnia’ brings the bass out. Known for quadrophonic sound, Shikari prove they’re not just using a gimmick. Even with the limited space of the venue, the sound is crystal clear & every nuance can be heard as if the sound was swirling around. 

A rare run through of ‘The Paddington Frisk’ follows ‘Havoc B’ before the newest song in the set ‘Stop The Clocks’ – a Britpop influenced banger. The now famous ‘Quickfire Round’ elicits the biggest reaction of the evening, however –  playing four of their biggest hits, shortened and in succession, with no breaks is still very impressive and gives the impression that no other band can make the medley work as effectively as Shikari. 

The encore opens with Reynolds on a table in the crowd, leading an acoustic version of ‘Take My Country Back’ before ‘Juggernauts’ & ‘Live Outside’ bring the night to a close. For a band that call arenas home at this stage in their career, it’s mightily impressive how well they take to the smaller venue. With a headline set at Download and two sets at Reading & Leeds each, Shikari are about to hit festival season in a big way. Playing the best set of their careers, they’ve earned the big slots, but it’s always nice to see them be able to smash out smaller shows as if it’s nothing.