For any band that has spent the past 10 years going through triumphs and tribulations, playing a sold out show at London’s Alexandra Palace is certainly a career highlight. So it’s no surprise that Enter Shikari have documented the occasion with this live album. Having witnessed Shikari during their UK tour earlier this year, it’s clear they thrive on big stages and put themselves in a good spot going forward. Nevertheless, this release suffers from a lack of atmosphere that is a key ingredient for a live record. It simply doesn’t quite capture the thrill and excitement Enter Shikari displayed during their biggest headline shows to date.
With a sci-fi movie-like narration inserted throughout, the set list nicely flows together through electronic effects and synths. While Enter Shikari ultimately play the role of part rock band and part rave leaders (see ‘Sorry You’re Not A Winner’, ‘Destabilise’, and ‘Gandhi, Mate Gandhi’). Unquestionably it captures the quartet’s varied style to a tee.
It’s clear Shikari are a tight-knit band who play everything note-perfect, yet throughout ‘Live at Alexandra Palace’ you forget this is a show played in front of thousands of people. You need occasional imperfections to give a live recording an authentic feel. Nevertheless, there are glimpses of the scale of the show. ‘The Last Garrison’ and ‘No Sleep Tonight’ are seamlessly moulded together. ‘Slipshod/The Jester’ is a stomping, energetic buzzsaw. ‘Dear Future Historians’ is delivered with grandeur and ‘Mothership’ is an enthralling as it was ten years ago. While ‘Redshift’ radiates with its larger-than-life “woah oh oh”’s.
Despite having an abundance of songs to match the size of the venue on offer, the album is only one part of the full Shikari live experience. Unfortunately, a human error means there’s no accompanying visual release.
Overall, ‘Live at Alexandra Palace’ serves is purpose by capturing a band flourishing on a big stage. It’s also a good opportunity for those late to the Shikari party to get on board.
‘Live at Alexandra Palace’ by Enter Shikari is released on November 18th on Ambush Reality / Play It Again Sam.
Words by Sêan Reid (@SeanReid86)