DIY heroes return to the scene of their first triumph and bring lots of fire. Astoria, London (February 24)
The Astoria is, of course, a special place for Rou Reynolds and band. Here, back on November 4, 2006, thanks to their human pyramid-inciting, laser-assisted, staunchly independent screamo-rave-metal, they became only the second unsigned band ever to sell out this not-small-at-all venue. The first being The Darkn… ahh, it don’t matter. Point is, the Astoria represents the day the wider world went, “Shit! What the hell is going on here?”
Tonight, on this return to the scene of the crime, the headliners are joined by the suitably screechy Lioness, whose all-too-brief opening set is to Sunday evenings what the blokes drilling outside your window are to Monday mornings (but in a good way). Stupidly young, Fugazi-worshipping punks Outl4w continue on this theme, another independently minded band forcing the world to take note, their every wince loud, abrasive and passionate. And while Shikari’s fellow St Albanians Saving Aimee may, in the likes of ‘High Fives All Round’, be more ‘pop’ than anyone else on the bill, they’re heavy enough to contribute to this being the Shockwaves NME Awards Show least likely to be attended by the faint of heart.
Chief contributors to this, however, are – like, duh! – Enter Shikari. Theirs is a set of histrionic intensity, where every moment is still spent trying to be more outrageous than the last. There are no human pyramids, but there is a shitload of pyro, plus plenty of people here who were present at that first triumph and who greet all the best bits of ‘Take To The Skies’ like victory anthems. It’s a special show. But given that ES can fill places five times the size of this these days, that shouldn’t be all that surprising.