Enter Shikari @ Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham by Jake Haseldine

It was the third night on Enter Shikari’s arena tour but the Motorpoint Nottingham was the first chance for the band to use their whole lighting production, due to the vast size of this great arena. This was also the band’s first arena they ever played. 

Kicking off the night at the Motorpoint Arena were Cardiff punk-rock-grime stars, Astroid Boys. With about half the floor of the Motorpoint full Astroid Boys bounced onto stage to get the crowd going after a delay on the doors opening times. The mix of grime and punk rock is definitely something that isn’t shouted about a lot but Astroid Boys are definitely breaking down barriers as their energy and charisma gets the crowd going for sure. 

The second support on the whole tour are Watford boys Lower Than Atlantis. With their huge wall of amps behind them with their logo on and risers at the front, they were here to make a statement, that they could soon themselves do their own arena shows. From the energy that Lower Than Atlantis brought with them it radiated off onto the crowd with hands being launched into the air for ‘Emily’ and lyrics of ‘Here We Go’ being sang back to the band in their final song.

T-Minus 10 minutes. Through the quadrophonic sound bustled two voices, one from the back of the room and one from the front having a conversation and informing the crowd on how long it was till ShowTime. Enter Shikari have put a lot of effort into their production for this tour, especially lighting wise with a huge rig and a massive circular screen above the Rob Rolfe’s drum riser. The lights blackout and intro ‘The Spark’ playing in the back, the band wander onstage with Rou waiting back, as the intro finishes Enter Shikari burst straight into the first track off the new album ‘The Sights’ where Rou rushes on stage to a massive scream where the energy and dance moves kick off straight away.

With Enter Shikari winning the 2017 Heavy Music Awards: Best Live Band award we knew we were in for a show. In second song ‘Solidarity’ Rou covered most of the stage, even going down to his knees, leaning backwards and screaming into the mic pointed into the air. Proving he’s one of the best front man/showman in the music scene at the minute. Shikari smashed their way through their highly energetic set with only a little blunder with Rob breaking his drumstick with it flying off and hitting the tiniest button, which cut all the electrics on stage. But over than that their set was high speed and exhilarating. It got to the stage where Shikari slowed things down with Rou hopping off stage and jumping on a mini B-stage in the center of the crowd to play ‘Airfield’ and ‘Adieu’ on a grand piano draped with an Enter Shikari flag. Drummer Rob Rolfe joined Rou on the platform to play drums in ‘Adieu’ which they then finished the song with the Routron 5000 Remix

Shikari then took their incredible live set a step further, by playing four songs in eight minutes all at 147 BPM, which took the roof off the Motorpoint. Shikari headed off stage after their four songs in eight minutes then came back on to a massive cheer and applause for an encore. They kicked it off with ‘Redshift’ then finished on lead track off the new album ‘Live Outside’. 

Overall, Shikari took huge risks in their set and production but I would say they definitely pulled it off, proving they can headline arenas and put on a huge show.

2Q Festival Lincoln - Review. by Jake Haseldine

After a busy few days before 2Q Festival it was finally time to relax and focus on shooting the talented variety of bands that were up for offer, at a festival which I would say is sitting just below the major metropolitan festival radar. But if you knew about this festival you were definitely in for a treat, with the likes of Circa Waves, Peace and Tom Grennan headlining the various festival stages the amount of talent for a 2000 cap festival was amazing.

 My day started off with bumping into good friends Marsicans while figuring my way around The Engine Shed, they were also the first band on my list to shoot of the day. With their infectious enthusiasm and stage presence Marsicans bundled onto The Engine Shed stage and kicked off their early afternoon stellar set with their synth fuelled track Arms of Another. By the time the boys started to play their final song and lead track off their EP, Absence, The Engine Shed was filling up nicely to flow through the day.

While the Engine Shed was filling up I stayed there to catch vibey pop duo, Bad Sounds. With their two synths and band they brought their 70’s inspired grooves to Lincoln and as you would have thought, got people dancing.

Moving from the biggest venue at the festival to one of the smallest to catch Sheffield slayers, SHEAFS. Even though Red Five was one of the smaller venues at 2Q, They made it feel like home by bringing the stage to the crowd. Lead singer Lawrence Feenstra caused a ruckus in the crowd whirling up mosh pits and dishing out their snarly indie-rock.

After seeing Clean Cut Kid on many summer festival line-ups and never having time to catch them fully 2Q was the prime opportunity to have the full Clean Cut Kid experience. Being the first of many talented Liverpudlian bands on the insane line-up Clean Cut Kid had a lot to compete with, but boy did they deliver. Finishing in my opinion one of the stand out sets of the day on hit track Vitamin C which the crowd gave all their vocal help towards also.

I then swiftly headed from the Engine Shed to Home to catch The Xcerts with their distorted riffs and soaring pop combinations, but not before getting stuck at the train crossing for about the 6th time that day…anyway…back to the music, with a packed out Home main room awaiting a big set The Xcerts definitely delivered, playing old, new and unreleased songs with current hit single Feels Like Falling In Love being harmonised around the room.

Once the Xcerts had finished it was back to the Engine Shed and once again…getting stuck at the train crossing, for Dirty Hit Records representatives, Superfood. As you would expect for a band as exciting as Superfood at the minute the crowd were buzzing, with some very excitable super(food)fans in the front row heckling Dom (Lead Vocalist) every time it went quiet. After Superfood’s grand set there was a big buzz around the crowd, something that I felt hadn’t really been there all day. But I think the anticipation of people knowing that the evening headliners were approaching thoroughly picked up the energy around Lincoln.

After having a decent break to reflect on the music I had heard, edit some photos and add SHEAFSThis Is Not a Protest to my playlist because it’s a banger, I headed to Liquor to catch my second Liverpudlian band of the day WSTR. Compared to the majority of the 2Q line-up being more indie/alt orientated it was nice to have some Pop Punk to wake you up and punch you in the face and take you out of the mellow vibes. WSTR bounced onto the compact stage to a rammed Liquor bar full of young adults who wanted to have a good old finger point. Kicking off their fast-paced set with Featherweight which set the tone for the evening with each and every song bouncing off one another and keeping the energy up.

After WSTR it was time to walk to the Engine Shed for the final time, to catch headlining band Circa Waves. I arrived at the Engine Shed about 15 minutes before the set to be welcomed to a room filling up nicely and guy asleep on the venue floor with his mates placing pint cups around him (see below) the only thought I had was, those guys have enjoyed their day, I feel that everyone else did too and Circa Waves would be the pinnacle of a successful 2Q Festival.

As expected Circa Waves smoothly strolled on stage with the humming start of Wake Up slowly getting louder and as soon as the first guitar part dropped in the crowd were alive, crowd surfers up, pints in the air and voices aloud. Playing tracks from their new and old albums gave their set a dynamic which sets them apart from other bands, the first album Young Chasers being a summery crowd sing along album, then the new Different Creatures being a dark mosh pit album made for a set which I feel had everything a successful festival headliner should have. Kieran, Joe, Sam and Colin with two songs left bundled off stage to leave the crowd chanting for more…and more they got, with the strong guitar riffs of Fire That Burns ringing around the room and setting off mosh pits left, right and centre. It was then that time, for everybody’s favourite summer song, T-Shirt Weather. Kieran telling the crowd to shush then playing the first few chords the crowd produced a massive roar and followed with singing along. The perfect song to close such an undercover yet exciting festival that 2Q is.

Same time next year ? x

Otherkin @ Camden Assembly, London by Jake Haseldine

On the 14th June I headed down to London to shoot Otherkin's set at Camden Assembly supporting Glass Caves. 
This was my last show shooting the lads until their 3 dates over in the UK on the 25th (Leeds Fest) 26th (Victorious Fest) and 27th (Reading Fest). With a lot of the lads friends in the audience for this show and also Tim Wheeler, Ash front man. 

Here are some images from before and during the set...