In the wake of the ground-breaking popularity that is the series Stranger Things, Enter Shikari’s new record ‘The Spark’ couldn’t seem to have been released at a better time. Time warping synths, disorienting beams of light and frontman Rou Reynold’s knack for introducing different sections of the show as “phases”, and Enter Shikari seem perfectly in key with this popular flurry of newly discovered sci-fi fans. However, to notion this band as just a commodity within the current trend would be a largely under-cooked description. 

Homed for the night within the doors of Brighton’s Centre, Shikari’s dynamic of light and sound vibrates through each of the venue’s inner corners, creating a show which you can find yourself continually fully immersed within.

Shikari embrace lyrical territories not many other bands seem to venture into, lyrics which are far from belonging to that of fiction. Even just powerful on paper, Reynold delivers each lyric with obvious feeling, especially notable during the track ‘Airfield’, which he dedicates to any individual who have perhaps found themselves having the “worst year of their lives”. 

“It’s that very uncomfortable feeling which places this band in such a higher dimension…”

With their cyclical sound system orbiting the crowd joined with their basis of using “light to stimulate emotion”, Enter Shikari’s visual performance is just as eccentric as the music which accompanies it. During the track ‘Radiate’, a man is even seen on the stage screen frantically slapping a double bass, which later evolves into a sequence of melting clocks. Strange indeed.

Something which I actually found myself noting on was in fact the strobe lighting. Think of any gig you’ve been to which included a strobe or two, and times that by a somewhat copious amount, and you will have the lighting of a Shikari set. Disorienting yes, but it’s that very uncomfortable feeling which places this band in such a higher dimension than the rest. They challenge you, move you, and of course, still manage to make people dance (yeah, they played Zzzonked). 

Leaving the night thanking the audience for their “sweat and smiles”, Shikari finish their set on a ecstatic high with the dance-inducing new track ‘Live Outside’. 

Words by Lizzie Capewell                                                                                                  @s4diowitch

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