Night and Day Cafť, Manchester
Wednesday January 24th, 2007
Being able to count Kasabian, The Prodigy, Oasis and Zane Lowe among your celebrity fans isnít too bad for a trio of 18 year-olds from Coventry. Particularly a band that weren't even formed this time last year. Add into this being tipped for the big time by the NME and Jo Whiley, and The Enemy are probably quaking in their steel-capped Converse boots at all this hype.
Except theyíre not. Once on stage, they seem to show no signs of this pressure, revelling in a full house and strutting on stage with a self-assured air it takes many bands years to perfect. Obviously at ease in front of a crowd, frontman Tom dishes out banter with a laid-back air, no pretences and a healthy dose of arrogance. Meanwhile guitarist Andy enjoys the benefits of a compact Night and Day crowd and decides to engage in a spot of crowdsurfing. The crowd laps it up (perhaps due to the overwhelmingly pubescent nature of the ones at the front) and khaki-clan musos at the back nod their heads in appreciation. The nodding of heads is due to an extremely tight performance, which is surprising due to the minimal amount of time these lads have been playing together.
The Enemyís music is bold and ballsy, evoking Modsters like The Jam and also new indie talent like Kasabian and (dare I say it and make yet another comparison to them) Arctic Monkeys. New single Itís Not OK bursts with the pent up frustrations of living in a shithole, while other tracks such as 40 Days, 40 Nights and Pressure hint at the bandís dark, yet tender sense of humour.
In a sea of new indie bands, it will be hard for The Enemy to make a mark on weary music fans who are fed up with an avalanche of same-y bands in skinny jeans being thrust in their faces. However, the band arenít a collection of pretty faces singing insipid pop-rock. They seem genuine, and the songs have an impressive social conscience to them, touching on themes of unemployment, the decline of British industry, the drudgery of the working class and the frustrations and monotonies of British towns. Not exactly chirpy, disco pop.
With an already impressive catalogue of songs and fans, gutsy, energetic live performances, The Enemy are a young British band on the up. The music press seem to think big things beckon for them, and by the looks of the band, thatís the least they expect of themselves.
words: Catherine Bolsover
The Enemy return to Manchester on April 16th, when theyíll be playing at Academy 3.