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Enter Shikari

With support from Black Peaks and Palaye Royale
Rock City Nottingham 11.01.2019

“Happy New Year everyone, Who else is looking forward to another eventful year in the music world!” This is our first gig of the year and we’ve noticed that straight after Christmas, there’s usually some great events on offer, just like tonight promises to be! Enter Shikari are a stadium capable band, with a massive following. The last time this band played Rock City was around 2012, so for them to play here again, must be a humbling experience and it’s no surprise to see that tonight’s show was a sell out!

On arrival, we managed to get into the queue and wait for doors amongst some very excited fans, eagerly waiting, in anticipation. This gave us an opportunity to soak up the atmosphere and truth be told, despite the many gigs we’ve attended over the 10 years of doing this, we too started to feel excited ourselves! Just goes to show that attending, photographing and watching bands is still as enthralling as ever, which is re-assuring!

Once inside, I was keen to see what the venues new floor looked liked, after their announcement this week made the mainstream news feeds! Must have been a slow news day? If this venue holds a special place in your heart, for what ever reason, you can purchase a piece of the old floor, covered in piss, sick and beer and just for a mere £30 English Pounds! No thanks, but the new floor looks good enough to play netball on without sticking to it, so that’s good!

As this was a Friday night show, there was a club night after so all the bands started relatively early. First up were Black Peaks from Brighton, who are a band on the up, with regular air play on the mainstream Radio 1 Rock Show, so it’s no surprise they’re getting noticed. It’s hard to pigeon hole these guys, so we’re going with modern metal, with it’s angsty, aggressive, progressive sound and a twang of djent thrown in for good measure! Having toured with many great bands, over the years, such as Mastodon, Architects, Deftones and System of a Down, they are no strangers to big events and thanks to the release of their second album, ‘All That Divides’ which was released in 2018, they’ve managed to sign to Rise Records.

Will Gardner, the bands lead vocalist, is a real character and thankfully, is a great showman aswell, as the rest of the band are simply boring to watch, live. Sure their musical talents are of exceptional quality but it’s a good thing Will’s off doing his thing and entertaining the crowd. We’ll be honest, we’d not heard much, if any of the bands music before but after what was heard tonight and what I’ve heard since, we can easily see why this band are turning heads! Loved them, but was a little disappointed with the length of their set! Hoping to see these, for a headline slot, ASAP!

A special mention has to go out to Noise Cartel for getting us in tonight, as they represent the next band on to the stage, the self described fashion-art rock band Palaye Royale. On first appearances, these guys would make Paul Weller, the mod-father, proud, with their post modern mod appearance. It’s evident to see and hear that these guys are a new wave of heart throbs, for hordes of young female fans “Soldiers of the Royal Council” who were in attendance tonight. Despite their screams, the band didn’t acknowledge their fans which was a little disappointing, a quick wave would have made all the difference and their day! Ah well, they’ll learn to appreciate their fans, as it’s these people who buy their music and attend their shows.

From LA, the band is made up of three core members, although there were 5 people in the band tonight. I was impressed with their energy on stage and their sound is very original, albeit an amalgamation of many genres, past and present. Yet another short set, which left their fans wanting more.

The bands latest album ‘Boom, Boom, Room-Side B’ follows on from Side A (Obviously) and was released in 2018 and three tracks off this album, ‘You’ll Be Fine’, ‘Teenage Heartbreak Queen’ and ‘Dying In A Hot Tub’ appear in their top 5 most played tracks on Spotify, which tells us, their fans are loving their latest album. It’s worth mentioning, the media world love this band too, as their music has featured on ad campaigns for Samsung and even featured in a teen horror movie, recently. Let’s just hope fame hasn’t gone to their head and they alienate themselves from other people they work with, which I hear, has been the case recently. Well that’s Rock and Roll, I guess!

We’ve always admired Enter Shikari for their originality and their willingness to experiment with the different sounds and genres that we’ve all grown up with, but maybe not all appreciated, all the while, staying true to their core sound. Having been the darlings of the air-waves for many years, anything these guys touch turns to gold. Sure they’re mainstream and not to everyone’s liking but you can’t take anything away from these four lads from St. Albans, they’ve succeeded in a very difficult industry and many would love to be touring the world and selling out arenas, with every new release! Their latest offering ‘The Spark’ was released in 2017, believe it or not and having listened to it, extensively, we love the track ‘Rabble Rouser’. As with all of ES’s songs, their lyrics are concocted and amalgamated with clerical precision, giving you a wondrous array of imaginary visuals, when listening to their music. The bass lines help, also!

Tonight’s performance was executed as well as their music, with their energy onstage, matched equally by the fans in attendance. The show was also a sell out and it’s easy to see why, these guys are true performers. Loved it! We Stand hear Like Statues….or not, as the case was tonight, far from it in fact!

Seriously, if the January blues are getting you down, get yourself to this tour as it passes through the UK, it’s certainly a mood changer! We feel refreshed and ready for whatever 2019 has to throw at us! Come at me bro! Peace!

To see more photographs from the night, be sure to check out Music224 over on Facebook.

Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)