Enter Shikari perform their The Mindsweep Tour at The Motorpoint Arena Nottingham on Saturday 20th February 2016

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

Following a successful tour last year to promote their fourth studio album, The Mindsweep, Enter Shikari are now back playing some bigger venues.

It is not easy to be a special guest of a band renowned for their reputation of delivering live shows which have high pace, high energy and plenty of sweat, but King Blues did a great job. Reforming in November 2015, they delivered an eight song set list which included opener, Let’s Hang The Landlord, and their latest single, Off With Their Heads. Showcasing their hip hop street poetry and hard core punk drum and guitar riffs, King Blues set the standard.

Up next was The Wonder Years who have rapidly risen through the ranks of pop-punk to cement themselves as one of the genre’s leading forces. Showcasing many tracks from their latest album, No Closer To Heaven, this six piece band were gritty, furious and thought provoking.

Enter Shikari are a rare breed of band. They are socially conscious, extremely intimate and up front with their audiences, which is why a venue like The Motorpoint Arena was too big. This is a band who likes to be up close and personal as lead singer Rou Reynolds enthusiastic crowd surfing showed.

Known for their refined lyrical contents and well thought out political statements, they entered the stage to a reprise of Enter Shikari followed by favourites Solidarity and Sorry You’re Not A Winner which immediately ignited the fans. There was the temper tantrum of Destabilise, whilst the blustering belligerent Arguments With Thermometers tackled the melting of the polar ice caps.

With him delivering each song in a state of incandescent rage, their music flowed from one song to the next as they created a spectacle with a mix of gravitas and exceptional lighting. New songs such as There’s A Price On Your Head and Dear Future Historians felt urgent, unpredictable and exciting, whilst a mash up of The Last Garrison and No Sleep Tonight was simply brilliant.

Finishing the main set with the rap rock Gandhi Mate Gandhi, and the very gentle Torn Apart, the crowd went wild when the unmistakable sound of Mothership rang out. For the encore it was The Appeal & The Mindsweep II which had every member of the crowd singing Rou’s lyrics right back at him.

Enter Shikari have an almost inherent ability to win over an entire crowd, whatever its size. They still do have a message to deliver, and they do it so well. An absolute must to see live.