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They came from the sun

Posted on 12th March 2007. No Comment

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Chris Jefferies witnesses the birth of a new musical genre, complete with Borat man-thong…
you gotta be seen to be scene | a psychadelic mish-mash of teen angst | outlive the genre
You Gotta Be Seen To Be Scene
Scenesters, they’re easy to spot. Wearing the uniform of their sub-culture with the punk attitude of nonchalance, to carry it off. Before even entering this venue, it was clear that this was going to be an unusual evening. The assembled fans had a distinctive dress sense, combining 90s rave with modern emo – think side partings meets glowsticks and you’re quite close. A new hybrid of alternative culture was unified by the names on their t-shirts: ‘Enter Shikari’. There was no doubt who the kids were here to see.
First up were support act Yourcodenameis:milo, who were greeted with warm applause upon the announcement that they were “from round these parts”. The Geordie quintet then proceeded to launch into a confident set full of new material from their upcoming album ‘They Came From The Sun’. Guided by bizarre time signatures and mind-bending tempo changes, their sound leapt from one extreme to another, stretching the ear of the audience and, somehow, it worked. The band attacked this opportunity with experimental vigour and left the sell-out crowd with plenty to think about.
A Psychedelic Mish-Mash of Teen Angst
As the evening progressed, the anticipation of headline act Enter Shikari was bordering on hysterical, and the St. Albans quartet milked every last drop. Their entrance to the stage was dramatically drawn out over a five-minute techno sample, climaxing in the arrival of drummer Rob Rolfe, clad solely in a Borat-style thong. Despite the eccentric attire, Enter Shikari are by no means a novelty act, and their visceral stage presence proved this. Tearing into their set with the self-assuredness of a band with several records behind them, it is hard to believe that they are still yet to release a full-length album. Shunning major-label record contracts, the band have stuck to their guns and are operating from their own label ‘Ambush Reality’. This may seem like a very ambitious move, but they have the momentum to keep them going, having become the second ever unsigned band to sell out the London Astoria last December (the first being The Darkness in 2003).
The band’s independence is reflected in their distinctive sound, which was rapturously received in equal measure by a frantic crowd. It is fair to say that the audience were just as entertaining as the band, throwing shapes and creating mosh-pits by turns, the action was never subdued. The frenzy of flashing rings and glowsticks created a psychedelic mish-mash of teen angst. This compelling momentum continued throughout, even a brief power-cut couldn’t phase the band, who took this major technical hitch comfortably in their stride.

Outlive The Genre
Towards the end, they showed their diversity, by bringing on acoustic guitars for a more relaxed number, which allowed the lead singer Rou Reynolds’ voice to soar. The intense climax of the night came with fan favourite ‘Sorry, Your Not A Winner’, which was delivered by a band full of bravado and a received by a completely committed fan base, screaming every last word back at them. So compelling is the sound of Enter Shikari, it is easy to forget how pioneering and inventive their style is – taking the raw passion of Heavy Metal and crossing it with the technical precision and ‘street-cred’ of Drum ‘n’ Bass. How long this initial fad will last is hard to tell, but on this evidence, this is a band with the variety and adaptability to outlive the genre that they are in the process of creating.

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