Reading Festival: Enter Shikari

Rave rock's big stage potential hampered by poor sound

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Rave rock champions Enter Shikari have become Reading mainstays, with numerous appearances over the years. Initially they could have been considered a flash in the plan, but tireless efforts to expand their sound and push boundaries has led them to today, and the band's highest slot on the main stage to date.

If their upwards trajectory carries on at this pace it’s not hard to imagine them topping the bill one day, and today could very well prove to be the practice run for such an event. They’ve learnt how to handle themselves on a stage of this scale, and today is no exception.

One of the best things about Shikari is their ability to bring anarchic, punk rocks show out of sweaty clubs and onto big festival stages. They’re every bit the troublemakers today with frontman Rou Reynolds wasting little time climbing into the crowd before the band go on to trash equipment, jumping off whatever they can as Rou rides around the stage on a wheeled amp.

The arsenal of hits is unrelenting, with the likes of Radiate and Sssnakepit providing the sort of bangers that a boozed-up festival crowd will lap up in no time. However, ultimately today isn’t Enter Shikari’s day, and annoyingly it’s through no fault of their own. They are plagued throughout the entire set by awful sound, which means they really fail to connect, and the show being heard falls drastically short of the show the boys are putting on. There’s enough to suggest they do have headliner potential, let’s just hope next time they play the sound man has got his act together

UK residents can watch Enter Shikari’s set on the BBC iPlayer.