Enter Shikari//Hacktivist//Tu Amore

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I have never been to a concert in my hometown before, except that well publicised one of The Wiggles circa 2001 or something, so Enter Shikari was always going to be huge for 2 reasons, a) they were playing in Dorking Halls and b) I bloody love Enter Shikari.

After entering the seemingly empty and massive hall, the last time I was there I was watching the local theatre company’s interpretation of West Side Story on a haphazard school trip, quite a contrast when they remove the chairs and orchestra – we could’ve got barrier if we’d tried, but you can’t be that stupid where shouty bands are concerned.

Tu Amore kicked off proceedings, they weren’t right for the crowd I can tell you that much – it was a very similar screamy style but much slower and melodic – I actually really, really liked them, but when you’re in a crowd of people ready to thump each other, nobody was moving because it just wasn’t quite there, If you like Sharks and Mallory Knox you might dig ’em so have a listen – they came on in Sharks tees actually, i love Sharks. Also their guitarist played the entire set with a broken leg, endless respect for that. They were great entirely but it was a strange start.


In between them and the next support, a circle pit was started despite the lack of music – I think that captures what went wrong with their setlist quite well. Anyway, Hacktivist came on next, only to be described as metal rap. They had two hype men of course, and then a metal guitarist with about fifty strings and the biggest 6 string bass known to man (despite the rather weedy looking bassist behind it) backed by some computer breakdowns – surprisingly brilliant and certainly something new. The rapping itself was just insanely faultless  and the highlight was when they dropped into Niggas In Paris, the closest I’ll get to ever hearing that live for real and still fucking massive.


Enter Shikari then, I was about 3 rows back and quite went for it. They played one hell of a strange set, AFFOC’s offerings, some very dusty offerings and new track The Paddington Frisk – we were all very stunned at quite how short it was, the unimpressiveness of it was no way related to the length of it though, i just dont like it much. The old un’s went down a storm though, even if they had to try Anything Can Happen In The Next Half Hour twice before just giving up – evidently blamed on Rory C, of course. Mothership soon followed, without Motherstep but a funky new intro, I was quite disappointed you havent experienced the loss of mind when Motherstep descends in a crowded sweaty nightclub in Kingston, but it was just as brilliant and shoves were flying from all areas – I lost my shoe and recovered it twice within the first few tracks. After which they ran offstage and it seemed ridiculously short, the problem is, when you are furiously “‘aving it” as one bloke next to me stated, time doesnt exist in quite the same way as it does normally.

They flew back on in no time for Sorry You’re Not A Winner – it’s been years since that and it’s still absolutely incredible, even if without fail i muck up the claps everytime and Return To Energizer, suitably followed by Zzzonked complete with Rory C crushing everyone to death and that was yer lot. Undoubtedly the quickest gig I’ve ever been to, you gotta hand it to them though, not many bands can pull off such a reception in the dead town we live in, their fans are brilliant – bar one guy of rugby build stood completely still all set pulling my hair because I was jumping, what a twit, i’ve never seen such concern for anyone that fell in the pit at any other gig like that in my life – and Rory’s the only bloke nice enough so far to stay at the barrier signing and photographing with fans after the shows finished.

Obviously, I was cynical and didn’t enjoy it half as much as Kingston back last year – it was always gonna be better, the setlist for one, but that’s Suede’s fault and nonetheless it was a great gig. Now, who’s gonna brave the chicken town next?