Enter Shikari’s new album, A Flash Flood of Colour, is excellent – great lyrics, massive production, and the energy of the band comes across like an out-of-control freight-train hurtling towards a nuclear facility in a Bond movie. So I’m pretty hyped about going to see them live – St. Albans’ finest metal/dub-step/hip-hop band – the perfect antidote to my recent long hours of book editing. I look forward to being pummelled by the riffs-of-Metallica-meets-British-Immortal-Technique in a small local venue on a Tuesday. Bring it on!

But the gig is crap.

I arrive at Kingston Hippodrome after a 90-minute schlep from work to find that the ticket I’d paid for last week is not there; I have to buy another, but am not granted a receipt. The gig is billed to finish at 11, so I am surprised to find as I enter the hall that the band is in full flow at only 9.15 – although if they really do plan on playing for 2 hours, all the better! The sound is a bit thin as I wander around trying to find a spot (I’m wearing my glasses, so don’t much fancy the mosh-pit, and anyway, the audience members all look about half my age and I would just feel ridiculous). I settle for a pitch behind the pit, out of harm’s way, nice and close to the sound desk, but the band still sounds dreadful. I can’t hear the snare drum, so everything is rootless and wishy-washy. A few songs in I realise it’s not the sound, but the band – they’re not playing well at all. Yes, they are shouting angrily in the faux, white, middle-class cross-with-the-world way I expected, and they engage the mosh-pit in some reciprocal chanting. But with all the between-songs, self-congratulatory school-boy banter about how well they’re doing these days, they grow increasingly irritating. And with each tune the drummer gets sloppier – all that great, powerful, butt-kicking riffery on the album now sounds limp and half-arsed. It’s like the band is playing a mate’s 16th birthday party and they’re too high on the sugar in their drinks to pay attention to the music. Pissed off, I head for the bar. But what the hell?! The bar is closed!! Unless I want lemonade – which I absolutely do not. If the band are going to be that mediocre, there’s no way I can stand there stone-cold sober, letting Enter Shikari’s apathy and arrogance ruin any more of my soiled Tuesday. I head for home, stopping en route for a consolatory pint in a quiet pub in Richmond. A rubbish night. Thanks, guys.

Enter Shikari: sort it out.

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