The Enemy at the Forum
On Friday night, the recently reformed The Enemy and support act Little Man Tate provide a glorious resurrection of the mainstream halcyon indie days of the 00s and generate an ecstatic catharsis from an adoring audience.
Little Man Tate exude the upbeat, scrappy indie sound of the era, and The Enemy revive the robust, stadium rock of their spectacular debut We’ll Live and Die in These Towns. The Coventry three-piece are no longer the leather-clad young pups of the 00s, but their performance is still as slickly ferocious, continuing to conjure the coruscating intensity of The Jam and The Clash that marked them out in their heyday and helped them gain an infamous support slot on Oasis’s last stadium tour in promotion of Dig Out Your Soul.
Indeed, the reference to stadiums is more than apt, given the boisterous reception the band receive when The Who’s Baba O-Reilly is played out as their walk-on track – more befitting the terraces than purpose-built concert venues for a few thousand patrons. And, just like Clarke’s canorous vocals, the reception rarely dampens throughout the 50-minute set. A polished setup between the three-piece and their backing guitarist means they’re so beautifully tight-knit that they can seamlessly segue from Pressure into Had Enough and You’re Not Alone to It’s Not OK so their high-octane energy never drops and the audience’s rapture never ceases. Not only that, but they can nimbly incorporate the audience’s unshakeable desire to chant “Now, this song is about, is about, is about you” into their performance of We Live and Die in These Towns and into the length of time they perform This Song and its equally adored reprise in the encore.
Though some are sated enough not to watch their brisk encore through four post-debut singles from Music for the People and Streets in the Sky, that is more testament to the incontrovertible strength of the debut than any slight against the band’s exhilarating performance. It was, and is, an album that is rightly as treasured in the hearts and lungs of tonight’s audience as it was in the beginning, as it has been on many of the sold-out dates leading up to this gig, and as it ever shall be. Amen. Bring on an arena-filled, 20th anniversary tour of the debut for 2027.
Photos: Virginie Viche
For further information about the tour visit the booking site here.
Watch the video for the single Had Enough here: