REVIEW: Enter Shikari at The Joiners

THEY play some of the biggest stages in the world, but rock stars Enter Shikari went back to how things used to be when they headlined a special intimate gig in Southampton.

12 years after they first played there, the Kerrang! award winners returned to The Joiners as part of the venue’s 50th anniversary celebrations and before their Boomtown appearance the next day.

Tickets had sold out within minutes of release in April meaning before the show social media was ablaze with fans searching for last minute returns.

The Hertfordshire band’s huge winter tour includes venues like Southampton Guildhall and Brixton Academy, but while thousands will be at those shows, just 200 lucky fans were at The Joiners to see a group that has had three top five albums and two more in the top 20.

Lead singer and keyboard player Rou Reynolds, lead guitarist Rory Clewlow, bassist Chris Batten and drummer Rob Rolfe raced through 15 of their often politically charged post-hardcore and electronic rock numbers.

Epic scenes followed as songs like The Sights, Anything Can Happen, Juggernauts and Mothership, including the band’s take on electro-classic Insomnia, thrilled the devoted crowd.

The Joiners have recently completed roof repairs, but they may need to survey the floor next after it endured more than an hour of fervent bouncing fans.

Songwriter Rou switched between singing, guitar, keyboards and even a trumpet for one tune. He had some early problems with his in-ear monitors, but this just allowed for more jokes between the band and fans.

While The Joiners’ anniversary year is not yet over, it is hard to believe that they will beat this celebratory evening.

The St Mary Street venue is famous for promoting artists on the cusp of fame, but this gig shows that they can also welcome back the music industry’s biggest stars at the top of their game.

Enter Shikari play Southampton Guildhall on Tuesday 29 January 2019. Their latest album, The Spark, is out now. More at

Richard Derbyshire