A Flash, Flood of Live Genius….
On January 16th the St Albans foursome released the follow-up to their top 20 sophomore album Common Dreads, a trailblazing collection of songs collectively titled ‘A Flash Flood of Colour’. They had set themselves a clear target with this release – to push themselves musically more than ever before. Never a band to feel pressure from others when it comes to the sounds they produce their target was to create a piece of work that they were intensely proud of, while reaching places previous efforts hadn’t before.
After a few weeks of pre- productions they set up fort at a recording in a studio in Old Street, having to travel amongst the the tussle of business automatons. They then had the fortunate opportunity to escape to London dreariness, traveling to the state of the art Karma Studios, a focus aiding space situated amongst a stunning Thai vista. With Dan Weller of Sikth on productions duties, a man whose own musical endeavours are greatly admired by the band (and who they have worked successfully with in the past), they managed to take the terms eclectic and experimental to the next level.
The band have always ensured their lyrics have something important to say, or at least comment on very relevant issues to our generation. With their third album the strong themes seem to be unity, the crushing fear and sustainability, subjects which could have lead to a hard and stodgy listen. Thankfully the vibrant, schizophrenic and hyperactive sounds combat any chance of this. The result is a record that stands out amongst it’s peers, featuring enough elements to tap in to current musical trends but with that very unique Enter Shikari twist. It’s of no surprise it reached the high echelons of the chart, even peaking at number 1 in the midweeks. The mighty heartbroken force that is Adele inevitably used her commercial weight to stop the boys from maintaining their premiere spot, but there final top 5 position still marks a very impressive stance for the independent/alternative music scene.
Whenever I think of Enter Shikari I recall the impressive scenes I have witnessed at Reading Festival. They seem to awaken vitriol and dormant energy in the most flagging of crowds and create the most kinetic of crowds. The music and force behind what they do always appears to be enough to create the aforementioned chaos, but for their recent UK and European tour they have decided to splurge a substantial amount of money on stage production. While indulging in boy’s love of gadgetry and technology they’ve used a blinding light display and laser choreography to enhance their already overwhelming live experience for anyone lucky enough to get a ticket.
If you are yet to witness the Shikari spectacle the boys have thankfully decided to concentrate on UK and European festivals after two wearying consecutive years on the Warped Tour. You’d be mad not to try and catch them at Reading/Leeds, BBC Radio 1 Hacnkney Weekend, Isle of Wight Festival or T in the Park where they will be showing the international bands how we can do it here in the UK!
Last Friday I headed to Hammersmith Apollo to speak to Drummer Rob Rolfe and Bassist Chris Batten about their time on the road with Young Guns (who were main support alongside Tek One and James Cleaver Quintet), how they feel a few hours ahead of a pretty high pressured London show and their amazing chart position.