SINCE the age of 13-years-old I have been an avid follower and fan of the St Albans quartet Enter Shikari. Be it their fluid mixing of hardcore, drum and bass, arena rock and amazing live shows, I cannot find a fault with this band. When I discovered they were releasing a live album of what has to be (in my opinion anyway) their best live show to date, excited didn’t describe how I was feeling.
But first, a little bit of background into the show. My friend James and I travelled up to the bright lights of London town after we were lucky enough to score two tickets to Enter Shikari’s Alexandra Palace show. What made the night even better were the support acts in the form of The Wonder Years and The King Blues (another personal favourite of mine).
Shikari took the 10,000 strong crowd by storm, mashing up older songs with their latest tracks, throwing in a couple of remixes that had been produced by Hospital Records and just generally smashing the idea of a dull live band to pieces.
I opened up a square parcel on Christmas day to find a signed copy of the album (thanks to my wonderfully thoughtful girlfriend) and couldn’t wait an hour before putting it on. Opening with the incredible vocals of Rou Reynolds screaming at the crowd “And still we will be here, standing like statues”, from the opening track of their debut album ‘Take to the Skies‘, and then seamlessly blasting out ‘Solidarity‘, from their second album ‘Common Dreads‘. From then on out the album descends into a blissful chaos.
Performing songs that hadn’t seen the light of day for years such as ‘No Sleep Tonight‘ and ‘The Jester‘ as well as tracks off of their latest album ‘The Mindsweep‘ like ‘One True Colour‘ and the special ‘Slipshod‘, the album captures the thrill and the mayhem that was the Ally Pally hall. The album comes in a two-parter may I just add?
Part II of the Ally Pally show is even better. Songs such as ‘Dear Future Historians‘ that appears out of nowhere (just like the live performance, and you can tell), and other classics such as ‘Mothership‘ and ‘Arguing With Thermometers’ spring up out of nowhere. The whole time you can hear Rou making his heartfelt and political feelings heard, a music revolutionary if you will.
A live album I will cherish for years. This is a 5/5 if ever I’ve heard one.