Girls with mullets and comb-overs, more fourteen year olds than every school
in the south put together, and a general sense of "oh good God I'm
It can only be the Portsmouth Pyramids Centre.
We got in reasonably early and took a place near the front, with little
people pestering us to buy pints for them, as they do. As the room was
filling, Chinese Finger Trap made their way to the stage. I'm quite sure
nobody in the room knew them, and so this was new for everyone. And to
be fair, after the first song started, I think everyone was happy with
not knowing them. Okay maybe that's a little harsh, I'm sure someone was
enjoying it. Somewhere. Maybe.
This Oxford group were just your average screaming band, but slightly
worse. The poser of a font-man, was doing the thing that posing screamers
do, you know, jerking at the hips, one hand behind back, and so on. (I'm
pretty sure that people do that just because it's seen as the thing to
do, and not because they actually want to...) Anyway, the songs all sounded
the same, and weren't at all memorable. I can just remember a certain
lack of enjoyment and dissatisfaction from myself, and most of the folks
around me. Sorry guys.
Yourcodenameis:milo were up next, for some reason. I don't mean that in
a bad way, I'm a massive fan, but it just seems odd putting an alternative/indie-ish
band, in between two that enjoy screaming. Still, they were good. But
the little people out in the crowd weren't happy. The band were genuinely
good, promoting a few songs off of the new album ("I'm Impressed,"
and "Pacific Theatre,") as well as the classics like "17"
and "All Roads To Fault", really showing their talent for innovative
song-writing. Three-guitarists playing at once, and songs that experimented
with time-signatures, a whole range of styles, and much more. Towards
the end of the set, one song started slowing down, and down, and down.
And as it did, the members of the band slowly started laying down on the
floor. And after a while, it sped up again, and up they got, escalating
into faced-paced mayhem, and that was the end of the set. This Newcastle
band have something special, and the only thing that was letting them
down was the lack of interest from the people who had paid to see them.
For Enter Shikari, we knew there was a chance this was going to get messy,
and so positioned ourselves at the back of the room. The lights went down,
and I don't think I've ever seen so many glow-sticks and flashing lights,
in my life. Everybody's hands shot in the air wearing flashing rings and
wielding fluorescent sticks, as handfuls were thrown into the crowd from
someone or other. Shivers down the spine or what! No Good (Start The Dance)
by Prodigy started, and one member of the crowd took to the stage and
ran around with a flashing helmet-type thing on. When the drumming into
ended and the synths began, the rest of the crowd came to the stage, amid
I'm sure you're aware of their musical style, mixing rock and screamo
and electro techno, and the whole album's songs are all pretty similar
to be fair. Obviously some are better than others, but it's all quite
the same. "Labyrinth," "Okay Time For Plan B," "Sorry
You're Not A Winner," and "Return to Energizer" got the
best responses, as they called for the crowd to make space for each other
to bust some moves. It clearly wasn't going to happen, unless Portsmouth
Council quickly built an extension on the centre; I'm not sure how you
can make more space in a sold-out venue... In between songs, the band
would talk about this and that, and almost break into Blink182 territory,
which is always a dangerous place to go and it makes you think "shut
the fuck up and play a song." They raised such sensitive issues and
dangerwanking within their speeches, for example.
The lead vocalist is also the keyboardist, and although he often sat at
the keys, it was clearly a backing track so I'm not sure what he was actually
doing. That's a shame to be honest, would have been far more impressive
if it was all pulled off live.
Among all the glowsticks, flashing lights, bisexual teenagers and screams,
everyone appeared to be having a good time, and so I guess that makes
at a good gig? I was quite bored if I'm honest, everything was sounding
the same, but maybe that's down to my lack of knowledge of the band, I
can't exactly class myself as an avid fan.
Before "Johnny Sniper," the crowd was informed of who he is.
Apparently, a cartoon character who taught sex-education, and when the
time was right, he would use a sniper rifle to shoot a condom onto the
appropriate body part. Now I don't know about you guys, but anything to
do with my penis and a sniper rifle would put me off of sex for life.
To sum up, I'd say that Enter Shikari have the ability to get a crowd
going. Maybe it's down to their musical style and the fact that synthesisers
can make everyone go nuts, or maybe it's something else. Live, a lot of
it sounded the same, but that could be due to the poor sound in the Portsmouth
Pyramids. They're just a bunch of lads basically, having as laugh and
enjoying what they do, and seem to have really taken off and found a massive
fan-base, hence their sold-out tour.
Review By Thom