Enter Shikari are no strangers to the independent life. They’ve blazed their own path through the often muddied and downright depressing wasteland that is the modern music industry, selling out arenas and becoming one of the most well known names in alternative music.
The St Albans outfit have spent an entire career flying in the face of the music industry’s biggest labels. Enter Shikari’s debut album Take to the Skies changed the face of the music industry in this country. In their early 20s, having sold out London’s Astoria, played download, and gathered a sizeable underground fanbase, major labels started taking a look at Shikari.
The allure of a six figure advance and the world at their feet in exchange for their creative freedom didn’t tempt them though, which at the time was an incredibly brave move – and one that managed to cause a seismic shift in the UK’s music industry. No longer was an exploitative label the only way in to an exclusive industry. Enter Shikari became heroes for the DIY rockstars.
And what better way to showcase this than with an intimate gig at one of the UK’s most iconic independent venues – The Joiners. The announcement of a band with the capability to sell out Alexndra Palace appearing at a venue with a capacity of around 200 people took everyone by surprise. Nevertheless thousands of people watched their computer screens anxiously, their finger twitching over the f5 key, and in less than 30 seconds, the show was sold out.
The importance of this can’t be understated. In an age where the music industry is continually and ruthlessly being monopolised and forced into the hands of conglomerates, certain bands and certain venues stand out as the antithesis of corporate art – Enter Shikari and the Joiners are two such examples.
The gig is in part a celebration of the Joiners’ half century, it’s hosted so many great gigs over the years, and remains one of the most iconic venues on the independent music scene.
Opened in 1968, the venue has always been associated with hosting up and coming bands, many of which go on to become global stars. Bands that have played there include: Arctic Monkeys, Foals, Franz Ferdinand, Coldplay Kasabian, Ed Sheeran, Oasis, and so many more.
This gig will be a monumental occasion in the venues’ history, and one that will be looked back on as one of the crowning glories of Southampton’s independent music scene.
As Shikari frontman Rou Reynolds has said: “it’s going to be hot, sweaty, and more than a little insane, we can’t wait.”
The capacity crowd that will be in attendence can’t wait either. A fitting band for a fitting venue. Anyone who managed to grab a ticket is in for one hell of a treat.