16th December 2012 Roundhouse Camden
The St Albans four have certainly had and explosive year that included taking their trailblazing and unique blend of metal and dubstep on tour around the world and winning Kerrang Album of the year for their latest album A Flash Flood Of Colour.
Tonight at the Roundhouse,Canadian Hardcore Punk band, Cancer Batssupported Shikari, turning the lights down low and blasting London with their riffs and screaming vocals; they were a perfect choice to get the crowd warmed up and ready to rock!
A countdown clock heralded Shikari's pending arrival. When the quartet did take to the stage they were met by a sea on inverted triangles. As with most die hard metal fans their band is not a simply a band, it is a religion, a way of life and a way to unify the troubles in this crazy world “we are all connected here” the line from Pack Of Thieves reaffirms this.
Their songs are painfully relevant to today’s world and in many ways are as political as the protest songs of the 70s and tap into the mindset of their mainly young audience; which reference climate change, a generation in crisis and protests against the greed and horror of war as highlighted in Stalemate: “ Previous wars make billionaires out of millionaires, today’s wars make trillionairs out of billionaires, tomorrows wars will fuel generations of hate.” Inside their post hardcore, aggressive, pulsating music is a very deep message about human destruction and betrayal of those in power; In very modern terms lead singer Rou Reynolds says “We're sick of this Shit!”.Touché.
Enter Shikari are known for their powerhouse live shows and tonight at the Roundhouse was no exception. The venue was heaving with moshing, pit circling, crowd surfing fans, including Santa Clause himself; although not as many came over the barrier as in Birmingham the previous night apparently (for shame London, for shame!)
The adrenalin pumping set kicked off with the System...Meltdown... prologue from the album ploughing at headlong speed into Sssnakepit. Shikari are a incredibly visual band and each track is delivered with maximum precision and energy. Their pounding set slows down midway through the set for some “music” Reynolds jokes before a semi acoustic track, Gap In The Fence. This was followed by a fan favourite from the Common Dreads album, Juggernauts. This track soon had the audience back jumping and Rou Reynolds back leaping around the stage once more to their electro rock beats. The frantic set culminated in Rory and Chris leaping off their amps to the Motherstep intro of Mothership. The encore finished the night with the closest thing Shikari have to a ballad -Constellations, Pack Of Theives and Zzzonked.
This game changing band have been around for nearly a decade and still are breaking the boundaries of the music genre that they refused to be defined by. Another line from Pack Of Thieves says “Don't be fooled into thinking a small group of friends gonna change the world...” Be under no illusion, this group of friends are doing exactly that.