Top local band Enter Shikari face drinks ban and curfew at St Albans gig
PUBLISHED: 15:36 18 September 2008 | UPDATED: 13:37 06 May 2010
HIGH-FLYING local band Enter Shikari is returning to the Alban Arena next month despite vowing to boycott the venue after their last gig. The hugely-successful four-piece band played their last homecoming show at the venue in July last year but claimed St
HIGH-FLYING local band Enter Shikari is returning to the Alban Arena next month despite vowing to boycott the venue after their last gig.
The hugely-successful four-piece band played their last homecoming show at the venue in July last year but claimed St Albans District Council (SADC) tried to cancel the gig because of security fears.
To resolve matters, Enter Shikari said extra security was enforced at a cost to them and a strict finishing time of 10pm was imposed.
Only one bar was allowed to open and plainclothes police officers were present in the audience of more than 1,000 mostly teenage fans, who enjoyed the gig without any trouble.
Following the event, Enter Shikari - made up of Rou Reynolds, Chris Batten, Rob Rolfe and Rory Clewlow from St Albans - vowed they would never return to the venue again.
But the band has since made a U-turn on that decision because of their determination to reach their local fans, many of whom have followed them since their early days playing at the Pioneer Youth Club.
However, they have once again hit out at the council for imposing similar restrictions including an outright ban on alcohol sales at their next gig at the Arena on Wednesday, October 8.
In a statement this week, Enter Shikari said: "Despite the best efforts of the local council to ruin the 2007 Alban Arena event, we still wanted to play a St Albans show on this tour.
"St Albans is our home town and we are proud of it. It should be a regular stop-off for touring bands but due to lack of venues and over-zealous council restrictions, that isn't the case right now."
They added: "Regardless of obstacles, we want to do everything we can to try and change that. We want to send a clear message that even though St Albans council has given up on the young people of the city, Enter Shikari haven't."
A spokesperson for SADC said the event would only be open to those over the age of 14 and confirmed that arrangements for security measures were similar to those at the last show but this time included an outright alcohol ban.
She emphasised that the restrictions were in place because a young crowd was anticipated and the council was trying to protect children from harm.
The spokesperson said that original concerns were raised ahead of last year's show because alcohol was on sale for those over 18.
She explained that the council had liaised with the police and the Arena in making the arrangements, which would include security staff on the door and in the foyer, and the situation might be reassessed if the gig sold out and the venue reached maximum capacity.
Enter Shikari formed in 2003 and have risen to fame by fusing together an eclectic range of music genres and influences to create their unique sound.
Last year they were awarded the John Peel Award for musical innovation at the NME awards and picked up two gongs at the Kerrang! Awards.
They have played at most of the major music festivals and have turned down big offers from record labels to go at it alone under their own label.