Enter Shikari’s The Mindsweep is one of those rare albums which actually manages to capture the attention of an entire rock community.
Fans are one thing, the most important thing at that, but how the St Albans quartet have arrest the imagination of their peers is not to be overlooked.
Ahead of their two-night run at London’s Roundhouse, Enter Shikari were name-dropped in every interview I’d done this year. Ask any band which album they had on repeat, The Mindsweep was it.
Shikari aren’t ones to do things half-heartedly, so when they headline one of the biggest venues in North London, you expect a lot. Thankfully, last week they delivered with all the originality we’ve come to expect from them.
Warming up the floor for them was Kent’s Feed The Rhino, whose brash hardcore led to some of the biggest circle pits I’ve seen indoors for a long time. With a bare-chested Lee Tobin at the helm, the five-piece were the abrasive beginning to a night of beautiful torment.
With the lights low, Enter Shikari – Rou Reynolds, Rory Clewlow, Chris Batten and Rob Rolfe – built the drama with album opener The Appeal & The Mindsweep I. Instead of blasting through their biggest hits, which they sprinkle throughout the 90-minute set, Shikari plot a set-list which perfectly imitates the diverse brilliance of their new record.
The Last Garrison, Never Let Go of the Microscope and Torn Apart are soon to follow, standing to prove how quickly their fans have embraced The Mindsweep and made it their own.
As predicted, it’s Anaethetist and Slipshod that sound big enough to blow minds, slotted alongside Mothership, The Paddington Frisk and Sssnakepit.
Inside the Roundhouse, you’re reminded of the times these tracks have claimed festival crowds and intimate club shows alike.
Give this band a stage, and they will conquer it.
“This is not entertainment,” Rou says towards the encore. “Entertainment is a one-way transaction.”
Nor is this a speech for the sake of making one.
For a frontman with a crowd that hang on his every word, Rou isn’t the exaggerated showman he could be. And as he waves a fire extinguisher around at the end of Sssnakepit, he confirms that he doesn’t plan on changing his ways any time soon.
When Enter Shikari headline the second stage at Download Festival 2015, you’ll want to see just how big they can be.