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!