Sorry, You Are Definitely Winners.
The last time Enter Shikari were reviewed on R13, in Brighton, towards the beginning of this tour, the opinion was that while the performance was thrilling, the visuals and clinical atmosphere detracted from what could have been a potentially memorable gig.
Now it's Belfast's turn to see what the St Albans boys are made of in one of the smallest venues of their UK Autumn/Winter tour.
Rou, Rory, Chris and Rob have undoubtedly had a fantastic and hugely successful year but tonight the four lads come out looking sheepish. Some thing's gone wrong with the intro tape. Nevertheless, Rou rouses the rabid masses to scream “Shit” as loud as they can when he gives the go-ahead. That can only mean one thing. “Enter Shikari” is here.
And the place goes... Bat. Shit. Crazy.
Bodies everywhere, band members and audience alike and the chaos continues for “The Feast” and right through to “Return to Energiser”
This is Enter Shikari at their absolute best, in an intimate venue with a lively and manic audience, bordering on the psychotic. The band deliver the music, the crowd deliver the anarchy.
A run through of “Anything Can Happen In The Next Half Hour” brings everyone in the venue together. There's no distracting visuals, there's no on stage-camera tom-foolery, just a raw, primal connection between band and fan, feeding off of each other's energy. It's almost symbiotic.
Every band and nearly every crowd member ends up diving off the stage at one point or another during the evening and things hit a particular meltdown with “Labyrinth” and sees hundreds of people in a tiny Belfast venue simultaneously climbing invisible ladders. Only when watching Enter Shikari does this sort of thing make sense.
Even the B-Side “Acid Nation” is well received by the throng of maniacs and “No Ssweat” gets the performance and reception that such an energetic track deserves. A certain “Johnny Sniper” gets a deserved salute from all four members of the band before being energetically being ripped to shreds.
The band ask the crowd if they want the “special treat” that they have been performing throughout this tour, and unsurprisingly they reply in the positive, and Enter Shikari pile through a well executed yet tragically short rendition of Faithless' super-hit “Insomnia.” Maybe it's Belfast's love for all things rave, or maybe its just because Enter Shikari do it so well, but this proves to be the highlight of the night.
The battle continues for “Mothership”, a staple of the band's live set which would've been cruel to miss out, before the encore of one of their biggest hits to date, “Sorry You're Not A Winner” and “OK Time For Plan B”, a track that has been with the band for a long time and its consistent inclusion in set-lists is a clear nod to the fans that have supported them on their way to success.
The only disappointment was the absence of “Kicking Back On The Surface Of Your Cheek,” a personal favourite, but other than that, well, it's got to be full marks.