Enter Shikari - Cambridge Junction

The St Albans rabble rousers brought their genre bending riot to Cambridge for the first time in four years, as well as their first club tour in just as many.

The last time I saw Enter Shikari was in a rather larger venue, Alexandra Palace, perhaps you’ve heard of it? This time around, however, was a totally different affair as they were in a venue more than 10 times smaller. In what many would say was an impossible feat, Enter Shikari successfully pulled off an arena sized show in a 900 capacity club.

As arguably one of the biggest British rock bands going right now, it’s no surprise that this show sold out just like many of the other shows on their current tour. I feel sorry for anyone who missed out on tickets because it was genuinely one of the best live performances you will ever see from any band of any size in any sized room.

Kicking off the show were British Post-Rock up and comers Black Peaks; as one of the few people in attendance that was a fan of theirs, they brought a heap of unfortunately unreciprocated energy and more riffs than you fit on CD. A fantastic start to the show, I highly recommend everyone checks out their new album ‘All That Divides’.

Next up were Palaye Royale, an avant-garde rock n roll band. They had all the charisma and the songs to back it up as well as being the main draw of the night for a handful of fans. If you’re a fan of Las Vegas style rock n roll, these guys might be for you.

Just like the last time I saw Enter Shikari, the show was kicked off with ‘The Sights’ from their most recent and more pop orientated album ‘The Spark’. What came next however was a blistering 25 song set of older songs that saw the crowd turn into non stop mosh pit. Deep cuts such as ‘Step Up’ and ‘Gap In The Fence’ were great surprises intended as a celebration of the 10th Anniversary of their album ‘Common Dreads’ as well as my personal favourite song ‘Slipshod’ which details a bad experience at a restaurant very explicitly. A drum n bass remix of ‘Anaesthetist’ brought another level of hysteria to the show as well as a cover of ‘Insomnia’ by Faithless. I wondered to myself if the staff at the junction were familiar with Enter Shikari because if they weren’t I imagine they were very confused by the multitude of genres on display during this set.

The stage production on this tour was second to none, very few bands would bring a production of this level to such small venues. Enter Shikari have never been a band to do half measures in their live shows and this show was no exception. There were confetti cannons, lasers and strobe lighting aplenty tonight, with so much going on this was a very tough show to photograph but then again I didn’t want to take my eyes away for one second for fear of missing yet another twist in the show.

With most bands, to see a show like this you’d be headed off to Wembley Arena on the train with a ticket costing £50 for the gig. With Enter Shikari you’re walking to your local venue and getting a show of the same, if not better, calibre for half the price.

Ryan Bird