The Enemy

RATS: The Social, London

“When Jake Bugg went to number one it made national news headlines. Why? Because he never went to stage school nor graduated from Brits academy. He didn’t enter Britain’s Got Talent nor summit himself to the humiliations of X-Factor. He made headlines because he is just an ordinary kid from a state school……I can’t believe there aren’t plenty of teenagers out there with an ear for a good tune and a chip on their shoulder who have something to say to us.”

Billy Bragg, The John Peel Lecture, 2015

Introducing to you, Liverpool’s Rats! They headlined Creation23’s night at The Social Tuesday night and displayed said fire and skill.

Their brand of working class indie-punk always gets lost in the mix when the majors and x-factor types dominant the industry. However, with singles like ‘Weekend’ and ‘Figure It Out’ in their arsenal, eventually the keepers of the gate will be forced to open.

The latter, was explosive and right in the slot that will carry them to big venues. Throughout the set, elements of all their songs threatened to reach this level. Despite not being as fully formed; Rats are very much a band in the ascendancy. The wit and angst in their delivery of upcoming single ‘Jack’ and the emotive hooks of ‘Dreams’, it’s easy to imagine them as Liverpool’s answer to The Courteeners.

Awash with tales of sex, drugs and violence, Rats, like Jake Bugg in 2015, shouldn’t be considered an anomaly. On this showing, it won’t be long before they are lauded in the same light as Bugg. Woe betide anyone who stands in their way.

Friday 2nd August marks our 8th birthday. Come down to the New Cross Inn for a night of great live music. Tickets available here:



Tom Clarke: 100 Club, London

Sometimes, when bands break up, it spells the end for everyone involved. However, when The Enemy said farewell in 2016, a chink of light shone through the sadness in the form of Tom Clarke. The diminutive front man has a colossal vocal and, if Tom gets creative with it, what’s to stop him doing what Paul Weller has done post-The Jam?

Last week at the 100 Club, Clarke, armed with a guitarist and keyboardist, came out fighting. The set largely consisted of the classic debut album ‘We’ll Live And These Towns’. The tightness of Andy Hopkins and Liam Watts’ playing was sorely missed on ‘Aggro’ and ‘Technodanceaphobic’.

However, the raw power of Clarke’s soulful punk rock vocal carries everything else to The Enemy’s standards. Furthermore, on ‘You’re Not Alone’ and ‘Happy Birthday Jane’, the earnest beauty of Clarke’s writing is illuminated more than ever. The dual acoustic guitars serves the gritty anthem ‘No Time For Tears’ better also, the reduction in rock swagger gives it a mortality that the Ken Loach-esque lyrics deserve.

So, what about the new songs? ‘Don’t Need Nobody Else’ is defiant and full of The Enemy’ you’re your face attitude. Meanwhile, ‘Back To The Start’ demonstrates how to funnel the angst of the struggle into a crowd uniting sing-along.

The man of the people has spoken and will return in 2019. You have been warned!

Farewell to The Enemy

Ten years have passed since Coventry three piece The Enemy rolled in town. They were a rare working class voice in British rock music and Friday witnessed their last ever London gig at The Forum. Although, from the riotous atmosphere, you’d think it was a band on the brink of the big time.

Nobody left Kentish Town without losing a stone in sweat and jaded vocal chords. It’s what all gigs aspire to be but few get there. For anyone who reads TT regularly, sentences such as “why are Radio X and BBC6 not playing this” feature regularly. A sentiment echoed by frontman Tom Clarke on stage as to why they are splitting up.

It’s a cast iron fact that their debut album is a classic. This should have given them the right for their singles to be a-listed when they returned for the second album. But the indie bubble of the time burst because major labels were raping it with Scouting For Girls and the fucking Hoosiers, so they deem The Enemy irrelevant. This should have made them more necessary, especially for XFM at the time, the allege station for outsiders. Instead, we are left with biannual headline slots from Kings of Leon and Coldplay. Thanks!

Already the UK is a poorer musical landscape without them. As much as we love Frank Turner and The Vaccines, their middle class and private school backgrounds can never write a song like ‘You’re Not Alone’ or ‘Be Somebody’.  Let’s hope Nicky Wire never gets bored of music!

The night itself was a joyous send off for the band and its fans alike. The crowd was bang up for it from the moment the DJ played ‘Parklife’ 30mnis before they came on. Any opportunity to sing “now this song is about you” in-between songs was gladly taken, especially in the tube station and, for some, all the way to Bank.

The chink of light for fans should be Paul Weller. His varying and consistently high career since The Jam split will hopefully provide the inspiration for Tom to carry on in some guise.

So. Farewell to Tom, Liam, Andy and everyone I’ve shared a sweat filled room with since 2006. You’re not alone!