It’s been a couple of years since I ran into Enter Shikari but there was no escaping their meteoric rise as they hit the heights we predicted they would. Today they are back on the third stage at Download for a not so secret performance. It might not have been officially announced until late on Thursday but word has definitely got around as the tent is pretty full (although not as packed as you might have expected).
Entering into the spirit of things bassist Chris Batten comes on wearing flippers (that last until he realises you can’t change foot pedals with them!) whilst drummer Rob Rolfe sports some rather erm… fetching red and white Y fronts. It’s all good fun and adds to the upbeat nature of the performance, which I’m glad to say has lost none of the energy they had as it seems the stage is heated with none of the band able to keep their feet on it for more than a split second!
Just two songs in and singer Rou is into the crowd and not that they needed it but it ensures the crowd are totally with them for the rest of the set. They might not have originality on their side any more but they really don’t need it as the crowd give as much back as they receive, which is no more evident than in new song ‘Step Up’. Other new songs such as ‘Hectic’ just confirm that Enter Shikari have grown up a little over the last couple of years and matured their sound. The dance beats seem to have taken something of a back seat to the harder, melodic post hardcore side of their sound and for me at least that‘s a step in the right direction.
There is of course plenty of older material including crowd pleaser ‘Juggernauts’ that has a chorus anyone would be proud of. With the second LP imminent they’re surely set to prove that they have more than one trick up their sleeve and as they finish with a tent rousing ‘Time for Plan B’ it’s good to know that Enter Shikari clearly have their own plan and their feet firmly on the ground (metaphorically speaking of course).