Despite mounting pressure to make their lives easy with all of the desirable lunches and dinners A&R expense accounts bought Enter Shikari, in November 2006 this band from St. Albans, England took it upon themselves to make the (possibly reckless) decision NOT to sign to a major label. Instead, they took a loan from their distributor, Vital/Integral, and announced they would be releasing their debut album on their own Ambush Reality label.
Enter Shikari’s debut album ‘Take To The Skies’ was released in the UK, Europe and Japan in March 2007 and quickly slammed into the Number 3 spot on the UK album charts – not to mention two singles hitting the number one spot.
Then, in true punk form, Enter Shikari rejected US label options and partnered with label imprint Tiny Evil Records (Jimmy Eat World, Brand New, AFI) for the October 30th, 2007 stateside release of ‘Take To The Skies.’ The main benefits of this route are that Enter Shikari has never had to listen to anyone else’s advice but their own. They have taken themselves from ‘one man and his dog’ to capacity crowds. All without ever having to wait for a ‘tastemaker’ deem them this afternoon’s ‘next big thing’. Not bad for a bunch of St. Albans lads.
Edges that were once rough (and would surely have been smoothed over and dulled by advice from those with an interest in shifting product) have instead been sharpened by the road, turning Enter Shikari into one of the most exciting, brutal and explosive live bands on Britain’s screamo / post-hardcore / whatthefu**ever ‘scene’ to this date.
After playing a packed to rafter tent at 2006’s Download Festival and then opening up for My Chemical Romance, the loyal “Army of Shikari” was steadily growing at a rapid pace. Validating all their hard work, perseverance and a no compromise attitude, the lads went on to sell out the London Astoria, being the second band ever in the world to achieve such a feat without a record deal or album out.
How do they feel about being asked to play [the Give it a Name Tour]?
“We’re very excited about playing. And it’s some massive venues, with like seventeen thousand people. It’s a crazy line-up. I mean, we’re above Senses Fail, which is just incredible because we love them…I’m looking forward to seeing bands like Thursday and Brand New…AFI…HIM” – Big Cheese
When the late and greatly missed Tony Wilson walked into the Manchester Lesser Free Trade Show town hall one evening back in June 1976, he stumbled across a little known band called Sex Pistols, playing to a half empty room consisting of a bunch unenthused northern union workers and overeager junior industry folk. At that very moment Wilson knew he’d just discovered a band so utterly groundbreaking, exciting and ultimately inspiring upon that stage. A band that had credible music critics baffled and scratching their heads, ranting what a joke they were. Yet soon became genre defining icons, symbolic of a subculture that still resonates in various forms to this very day.
Last summer Tony Wilson himself, was ranting away to many about another band he’d also found in the UK in the summer of 2006. In came Enter Shikari…
Two parts post-hardcore, the other half synth-rock trance. With obvious nods to the 90’s UK rave scene along with another to punk and hardcore, they’ve managed to rally up even the most stoic of fans to mosh like madmen and wave their hands in the air like the most dedicated of ravers!
Enter Shikari has been called everything from punk to trancecore, trance emo to flat out screamo. UK Press labeling aside, what we have here is another groundbreaking and genre defying band. They’re the only band who walked away with 2 prestigious Kerrang Magazine Music Awards this year for Best British Band, and The Spirit of Independence Awards.
In true Keith Moon fashion, Rolfe is quite possibly the wildest member in the band, he is blatantly unable to physically stay behind his drum kit through out the set, continually moving stage front during (the) synthesized parts of songs – he’s a key element into what gets the crowd excited and what makes this band so utterly unique in their performances.
“Rou Reynolds’s snarled verses give way to choruses that are literally choral-unison vocals whose sustained notes and purity of tone uplift the spirit like sunlight pouring through stained glass”. – Blender
“We want to do things differently”, says Reynolds, “we always have. We want to do things ourselves and we want to take responsibility for the things we do. We want to make something that’s personal, because otherwise how can people be expected to relate to it? How can they be expected to like us?”
Watch video – Enter Shikari “Mothership” Live at Reading Festival:
Finally bowing to pressure from the fans they’ve collected online, this past spring they embarked on their first ever US tour. This was without any label behind them, they managed to wow the crowds in North America all on their own, with a short run of dates in Anaheim, Pomona, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Vancouver, Toronto, Worcester and New Jersey to start.
When they recently played in NYC at an all ages Bowery Show, over 300 kids who moshed and raved, then broke out the windmills, oozing the angst so familiar to audiences who went to see the Pistols back in the late 70’s. The enthusiasm of the Bowery crowd is a testament to Enter Shikari’s loyal fan base and, importantly, their ability to put on a kick-ass live show. The live performance this band delivers is supreme – complete with glow sticks and a heart-felt rapport with the audience.
In December 2007 they embark on a West Coast tour from Portland to San Diego to celebrate the long-anticipated release of ‘Take To The Skies’. But if this tour is anything like their previous New York show, fans will be screaming every lyric back at the band, despite an official album release duration of only one month.
Enter Shikari formed while still in school in 2003. As soon as the summer came around, they climbed in the van and hit the road. They’ve pretty much never come home since. It seems nothing will stop them and they have no plans of doing such a thing. Catch the intensity and infamous notoriety that is, Enter Shikari.
Read what some people are saying about Enter Shikari:
“Genuine musical phenomena” – The Guardian (UK)
“Enter Shikari bring a fresh twist to the frequently botched dream of rocktronica. Where the Prodigy merged rave dynamics with cartoon punk tantrums, Shikari mesh hacking guitar riffs with serenely celestial synth-ripples…As fervent about dance culture’s hands-in-the-air rituals as punk and metai’s moshing and stage-diving…Shikari are all about the release of constructive aggression.” – Blender
“An immeasurably thrilling proposition, tonight Enter Shikari ruled – in front of their own crowd they’re going to slay” – NME
“Enter Shikari…have become the figureheads of a new anything-goes generation…Their marriage of both types of hardcore (techno and punk) and a flirtation with the trappings of rave culture have resulted in a unique combination that fuses the hard-hitting wide-eyed delivery of the Prodigy with the proto-screamo dynamics of Refused…” – Alternative Press
“One of the most inventive UK bands in years” – Uncut Magazine
“It’s as if the Prodigy got eaten by Muse’s crazy younger brother” – Observer Music Monthly
Winter 2007 North American Tour Dates:
Dates could change! Go to Enter Shikari’s Official Website for the latest tour dates and information.
November 30th – Portland, Oregon – Satyricon
December 1 – Vancouver, Canada – Plaza Club
December 2 – Seattle, Washington – Chop Suey
December 4 – San Francisco, California – Bottom Of The Hill
December 5 – Los Angeles – Troubadour
December 6 – Anaheim – Chain Reaction
December 7 – San Diego – Soma
“Britain’s hottest band” – Sunday Times Culture
“Sounds like Pantera getting off their nut at Manumission…Euphoric House forcibly buggered by teenage screamo tykes” – NME
Rou Reynolds – Vocals/Electronics
Chris Batten – Bass/Vocals
Rory Clewlow – Guitar/backing Vocals
Rob Rolfe – Drums