A thunder of distorted, discordant keyboards and police sirens announce Enter Shikari‘s entrance and it’s a wonder why Glastonbury doesn’t book anything as hellishly noisy as this more often.
In classic Glastonbury style Enter Shikari couldn’t be more any more different to Amanda Palmer, the former Dresden Dolls singer who precedes them. Whilst Palmer stuns the Other Stage with a punk rock cabaret of Brechtian vaudeville and fiery, stomping glampop; Enter Shikari are all rapid-fire drums, bleeding electro and guitars tuned to the seventh layer of hell – put simply, this is music for the apocalypse.
It’s an intriguing enigma at this festival, that while you can fill your cranium with a thousand different experiences and witness a multitude of different genres, the one thing it’s almost impossible to find on the line-up is a decent, credible metal band. Tool and Nine Inch Nails may have graced stages here, but they are rare examples. The Other Stage, specifically, is crying out for a mid afternoon performance from Mastodon or Bring Me the Horizon, and Enter Shikari‘s intense set fills a mighty, conspicuous hole in the weekend.
So it’s a welcome surprise to see a circle pit opening up during an incendiary ‘Radiate‘ and when they bring down tribal drums to the crowd barrier, battering the living hell out of them, it feels like Arcadia has opened up early for the day, and the war is about to begin.
“It’s very important that we play music that is unsettling and unpredictable” says singer Roughton Reynolds before launching into slippery, squelchy ‘Sssnakepit’ and that could also be a friendly demand to Michael and Emily Eavis – how about a headlining set from Rammstein next year??!
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