Enter Shikari // Meryl Streek // Cherym // A Kiss For The Whole World Tour: Live Review // The Limelight Belfast

This the Third night in a row for me in Belfast following Chris Shiflett’s, Belfast debut on Thursday, Bloodstocks Metal 2 The Masses last night, and tonight we have metal, emo, and electronica monsters Enter Shikari playing Belfast’s Limelight 1 on their A Kiss For The Whole World Tour.

Now unbelievably this is my first time catching Enter Shikari live in the flesh so I am looking forward to this one, after falling in love with the band many years ago after hearing “Sorry, You’re Not A Winner” I was sold, such a raw visceral sound that was just alien to my wee ears. That was roughly 20-odd years ago now since hearing Enter Shikari caught my eye and imagination, I know as a band they have been on a crazy sonic journey ever since, culminating in me popping my Shikari cherry right here in my hometown of Belfast!

In tow, Shikari has local indie rock band Cherym opening and the (trio) ladies hit the ground running at around 7:25 getting stuck into a set of highly addictive earworms, easy-on-the-ear indie-rock, indie-pop tracks that have the Belfast crowd heads bopping away, the ladies interchange vocals. All 3 harmonising when called for and frontwoman Cherym and bassist share vocal duties on various tracks, I have seen Cherym growing over the last few years and gaining momentum so it’s great to catch them once again on the LL stage doing their thing and with a headline gig coming up at The Oh Yeah Centre tonight’s performance will do them no harm at all and no doubt bring along an army of fans for the years ahead.  It took me a while to clock it but the whole way through their set Cherym had a Palestinian flag displayed behind them on the digital screen with the band’s logo, a bold statement but one that recently gained momentum with a lot of Irish and Northern Irish bands pulling out of SXSW due to the sponsorship by The American Military against the ongoing conflict in Gaza, it will always be a subject that divides but seemed to get a fair amount of support in the room this evening. The end of the set is met with rapturous applause, so the man from Delmonte indeed said yes to Cherym!



Up next Ireland’s own Meryl Streek, the angriest man in Ireland! The last time I caught Meryl was supporting Bob Vylan next door at the LL2 and it was crazy as fuck! My first time catching him live and let’s be honest, tonight’s no different, it’s a barrage on the senses, Meryl pacing the length and breadth of the stage with lights off waving a torch and screaming into a mic, live it’s a sight to see, for many in the crowd it’ll be like marmite, an overwhelming attack on the senses for some, for others like the air they breathe. He’s a unique fixture on the Irish scene for sure and one that’s greatly appreciated by many, watching the crowd take in his absorbing performance you can understand why he gets so many people talking, but Jaysus you need to lie down in a dark room after catching his set. He throws himself out into the Limelight Audience disappearing beneath the sea of people whilst completing his set, the Belfast audience dig it, and as he clambers back up out of the crowd onto the stage to finish off the last two songs of his set the Belfast massive have really got into it and appreciate the passion. Check him out if you can.



8:40 pm and the lights drop and Enter Shikari hits the stage, what happens next is anyone’s guess! A cacophony of noise, a wall of distortion, thunderous drum and bass, EDM explosions and hefty synth all come crashing down in the most magnificent way. An Enter Shikari show is like nothing I’ve ever seen before, a visual spectacle amidst a thunderous attack on the senses. With 7 albums under their belt, there is no shortage of material to keep this thirsty Belfast crowd entertained, the energy in the room is off the charts, a relentless pace taking the Belfast crowd on this sonic journey across a back catalogue fusing fan favourites with new songs of their latest release A Kiss For The Whole World.

As the night goes on, more bodies travel over the top of the crowd towards the pit, the bouncers on full alert shepherding them to safety. The lasers from the light show hitting the rear walls of the venue as the pulsating rhythms bellow into the foundations of the building itself, it’s not only the hardcore fans going over the top who will be feeling it in the morning, but I think the Limelight may need a structural reevaluation!

The beauty of the set is not just the crazy, manic cacophony coming from the stage, but the spaces left in between by the band to allow drums, vocals or synths to shine at any given moment creating the most amazing sonic landscape you can imagine. The Belfast audience in a fine voice trying to keep up as best they can, as I look around the room beaming smiles can be seen far and wide, a party of epic proportions is going on as the guys unleash unholy hell from the stage, living their best lives up there after a 7-year absence from Belfast.

The room is packed with hardcore, Enter Shikari fans all enveloping themselves in this madness, this 90-minute set of magnificence that will live long in the memories of all who have attended, for me, #mindblown what a crazy show, crazy energy and a unique band that really have thrown out the rule book to create a sub-genre all their own. From a bunch of crazy teenagers to fully grown men with a lifetime of stories to tell weaving this beautiful sonic tapestry unlike any other. Wow.

Photography: Mark McGrogan 

@rocknloadmag #flashartmark @flashartmark

Enter Shikari: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | TikTok