Photo Credit: Corinne Cumming
In February, Enter Shikari played their biggest headline show ever and blew the roof off London’s Alexandra Palace (not literally – they’re not that good…yet). After a lot of umm-ing and ahh-ing, teaser clips, videos and production delays, the Live at Alexandra Palace recording is finally here. Well, minus Juggernauts…
So, it’s not all good news. Having filmed the entire show, which was a huge, dynamic spectacle, the footage was somehow lost. The band still haven’t confirmed how, but here’s hoping a sound guy isn’t kicking himself for accidentally pressing the delete button.
Opening with a speech that needed a video alongside it to be understood, a voice takes over the arena. “There’s thousands of them, their movement is even bigger than we expected,” the creature says, introducing the audience who are treated as just as much a part of the show as the band. The audience shouts back the band’s tagline of sorts: “and still we will be here, standing like statues”, before erupting in to Solidarity, a synth-fuelled breakdown.
Old favourite Sorry You’re Not A Winner is packed full of the frantic energy that won fans over all those years ago, a great reminder of an album turning 10 next year. “How you doing, London?” Rou asks alongside a request for some human pyramids. The answer’s obvious, especially with tracks like The One True Colour on their way. A hundred times more impressive live than The Mindsweep’s album version, accompanied by further huge production and storytelling, it becomes a soaring, inspiring call to arms.
Introduced by an overwhelming explanation of how our existence came to be and how lucky we are to have it, The Last Garrison – still relatively new at the time of the show – deserves all the recognition it gets. Mixing in an alternative version of No Sleep Tonight, rarely played nowadays, it’s just one of many nuances that makes the Enter Shikari live show just that: a show, and a brilliant one at that.
Radiate rightly confirms itself as “the calm before the storm”. Only fans that went to that show will know how hilarious, ridiculous, and non-stop the spectacle of Slipshod / The Jester really was. For a band known for their political stance and good intentions, they impress even at their silliest. Who doesn’t love a song with a cartoon chicken in the video? “Hold… hold…” Reynolds roars before the latter track’s bounce kicks in and Ally Pally’s crowd are fully involved.
Dear Future Historians… provides a moment of respite and an eye-watering showcase of powerful vocals and skilled instrumentation. If only Reynolds’ impressive running (was it running?) between the stage and the centre of the crowd was caught on film. Normal service is resumed with the likes of Gandhi, Mate Gandhi – a track which has always divided opinion – and the throaty screams of Mothership.
Redshift may be softer than most of their songs but it is ideal for filling a room as vast as the Palace, particularly when backed by a gigantic space scape, with an existential introduction. The Appeal & The Mindsweep II closes proceedings with its raucous cacophony and, while it’s bloody devastating that video disappeared, reminds us of the cracking memories from one of the best shows ever.
Standout Track: The One True Colour
For Fans Of: Enter Shikari, of course!
Written by: Kathryn Black