Back in the mid noughties it would have been barely conceivable that Enter Shikari would now have five albums under their belt. This Hertfordshire band have grown from being a fresh, hotly tipped band to one that is comfortable playing huge arenas.

Within moments of their Brighton Centre set starting with the energetic The Sights it becomes apparent that Enter Shikari are a band that put as much focus and effort into entertaining the audience, as they do to replicating the songs live.

As lasers are beamed and lights flicker it becomes clear how Enter Shikari have planned to navigate around the problem of how to transport a rock performance into a cavernous venue. Singer Rou Reynolds is the bands bon viveur, a natural showman whose theatrical spirit and endearing charm helps elevate them above their contemporaries.

As a whole they have a knack of blending together the passion of punk with metal tinged riffs and wise pop nous.

The band’s metal edge is pushed to the forefront on Radiate where intricate guitar riffs bend themselves around tough, hard beaten rhythms. It also shows that the band are capable of changing gears; with a slow type writer beginning, it slides into Undercover Agents where there’s a clear contrast and the band are at their poppiest. 

Reynolds indulges himself in rock star poses during Arguing With Thermometers that sees him raise the microphone stand clearly above his head. Like the band, his performance is an explosion of exuberant energy that often sees him darting across stage or indulging in idiosyncratic dance moves. But for all of the rock star pomp on show, there is an equal number of moments where focus is concentrated solely on the song. The latter portion of the set sees him slip away to a piano positioned at the back of the room to give a stripped back rendition of Adieu.

Enter Shikari, like their rock brethren Biffy Clyro, have slowly built a large, dedicated fanbase through hard work, heavy touring and word of mouth rather than large scale media support. Shows as impactful as this will only see them etch their way into rock history further. 

At the start and end of each festival season it is common to see articles raising questions over where festivals will get their future headliners from. Enter Shikari may have just provided the answer.

Nathan Westley