Culture, Music

Enter Shikari @ New Century Hall review – Shikari bring A Kiss for the Whole World to Manchester

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Featured image and gallery by Georgina Hurdsfield

A sold-out show filled with 1,300 fans, you’d expect nothing less from the pioneers of electro-rock, Enter Shikari. Stopping off at Manchester’s New Century for their A Kiss for the Whole World Tour, the venue featured an eye-catching disco ceiling, incredible sound system, and sprung dance floor – making it perfect for a band revered for their live performance.

Previously playing host to musical greats such as Jimi Hendrix and The Kinks, it was clear Enter Shikari were in good company. It could be argued that both the venue and band have equally gone through a recent rebirth and renewal, with the latter quickly becoming the theme for a night.

After forming over 20 years ago, they’re a band that has managed to balance the fine line between staying true to themselves through the progression of their sound and keeping the essence that originally put them on the map. From what we’ve heard so far from their forthcoming seventh album, A Kiss for the Whole World, this still rings true. From before the moment they walked on stage, it was clear how focused the band are on their live performance.

Opening with their emotional rock track ‘It Hurts’, saw the crowd cheering and frontman Rou Reynolds lifting the mic stand in the air for emphasis and confetti exploding in the air.

Not a show for the faint-hearted, the crowd were all too pleased to play along with the intensity of their live show, chanting “Here we fucking go”. The band informed them that they’d be keeping note of the energy levels and check they were the same at the end – which they certainly were.

Reynolds matched them by going into the crowd for ‘{ The Dreamer’s Hotel }’ and people started crowd surfing, which is always a good indicator of how dedicated the fans are to the show. The audience kept the energy high for ‘Labrinth’, which saw the bouncing floor being put to good use.

Eight years on and still strong, ‘Radiate’ was almost tribal in the intensity of the drums and saw them dedicating the show to both fans old and new. Seeing Reynolds spinning around in ‘pls (set me on fire)’, their newer material was just as well received as their earlier releases. Written about yearning for transcendence, creativity, and being able to connect with people, it was a reminder of the significance of live shows. Topped off with more confetti, the pyro wasn’t necessary but only enhanced their live performance.

Signalling that something was about to happen, they welcomed support act Cody Frost back to the stage for their recent high-energy collaboration, ‘Bull’. Reynold’s and Frost’s vocals worked perfectly together and we can only hope that it’s the start of more collaborations together. Frost is certainly one to watch and a must-see live. 

Enter Shikari’s stage interaction was also on top form as usual. Reynolds shared that it was his first time wearing a leather jacket which the crowd whistled to in response. However, his wardrobe was not the only thing that had received an update. For the band’s final song before the encore, they performed their revered emo-core track, ‘Sorry, You’re Not a Winner’, with a klaxon for the Pendulum remix in the second verse and the 2023 remix outro added instead. 

The crowd was stomping in anticipation for the impending encore that was a four-song strong delight – from Reynolds giving ‘Stop the Clocks’, a more solo acoustic take, to ‘System…’, which was given an acapella twist, it was very special to witness live.

Ending their set with their fan favourite track, ‘Live Outside’, was a perfect choice. A track focused on discussing mental health and the desire to take a break from modern life, it was a lasting reminder to take a rest from the rat race and soak up unforgettable moments like this.

They’ve previously described their forthcoming album as “powered by the sun, the most powerful object in our solar system”. While this might be true, it is also clear from their live show that the band’s connection to their fans is what also drives them.

About the author / 

Camilla Whitfield

Fourth Year BA English with Overseas Study | Music Editor | Manchester & Leipzig | Music & Gig Enthusiast

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