Gig review: The Enemy at Leeds 02

After the muted release of their sophomore album, Music for the People, a few critics in the land thought that The Enemy had indeed strung their last musical chord.

With the release of their new album, Streets in the Sky however, it seems that the Coventry band have something else in mind.

Finding their roots closer to their original, and perhaps more successful sound, the album has been warmly received throughout the kingdom, managing to peak at Number 4 in the album Charts; a rare and commendable feat in a music industry that is now lead by the electronic sphere.

After a summer of successful festival appearances the trio embarked on their first tour in three years, starting off in Western Super Mare and supported by Dexters and The Antics; both of which were enjoyed by the sometimes-unforgiving Leeds crowd.

It is notable to point out that The Antics received further applaud when they merrily ripped through The Farm’s ‘All Together Now’; lending a nod to the inclusion of The Enemy song, This is Real on the new FIFA 13 EP, which is to be released on the 22nd of October.

Support acts aside however, the real reason that people were there was to see The Enemy.

Arriving to the stage with the freshest of faces, the band flew straight into their first song, which was then gently woven into the next three.

It was also amusing at times to see the Kings of Leon curse alive and well at The Academy, with older songs treated with mild confusion by younger members of the audience. This of course is no bad thing, as when a band fails to find new fans with the release of a fresh album; it is time to start worrying.

Breezing through their songs with enthusiasm and energy, the band paused occasionally to chat with the audience and even dedicated a song to drummer, Liam Watt’s mum, who found herself in the stalls above the pit.

Breaks between songs also gave singer, Tom Clarke to discuss the struggles of the past, “we once played here after arriving in the back of a cold little van. We were supporting a band called Kasabian’’, he mused.

With anthemic fashion, the band played a crescendo of hits before ending their set and ordering the audience to continue the chorus of This Song is About You while they left.

To the credit of the audience (and to the band who had obviously wooed their fans well), they sang all the way through into the first song of the encore.

The crowning moment, that could surely find its way onto any live CD, was their take on old song, Happy Birthday Jane. With a slap of grungy feedback, (akin to Nirvana’s Something in the Way as part of the BBC Live Sessions), the band ground slowly and heavily their way through the song before leading into a happier version James’ Sit Down, ending therefore on You’re Not Alone.

Though the charts may be full of dropped bass and strange little South Korean men, it is without a doubt that guitar music is in the real world at least, alive and well.

The Enemy will release new single ‘This Is Real’ on 22nd October. Visit their official site for more information.

Words by Andrew Jessop

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