Cardiff University Students Union
Thursday 16 April 2009
If Britain is lurching through a period of discontent then surely The Enemy are the ones to write its soundtrack. Love them or hate them, they have tapped into a vein of indie pop/rock that harks back to a time when young men weren’t too self-conscious to be angry about pretty much anything they considered worth scraping together a couple of chords for.
The verdict from tonight’s Cardiff University Student Union crowd was a definite yes as they set about grabbing this Coventry trio’s ferocious guitar-laden pop anthems by the fistful. Mercifully, this meant that we could all enjoy a gig that wasn’t being played to a sea of mobile phone cameras. Apart from being pretty angry, The Enemy live are also pretty darn fast. There was barely any let-up during this hour long set – with the pace only lessening slightly for the acoustic strokes of the haunting We’ll Live and Die in These Towns with singer Tom Clarke’s mournful vocals carried along by a karaoke crowd. The Enemy punched their way through all the favourites tonight – ‘Away From Here’ ‘It’s not OK’ and ‘Aggro’ and despite the fact that their 2nd album, ‘Music for the People’ is only days away from being released – they showcased only a smattering of songs from it, including the new single: ‘No Time for Tears’.
The Enemy have been compared many times to The Jam, and it’s true, singer Tom Clarke, has an air of early Weller about him. But judging from this gig there is more of a punk-edge to this trio that smacks squarely of The Clash. After ‘Happy Birthday Jane’ they were back for a quick encore featuring ‘Your Song’ and ‘Your Not Alone’ – “This is your anthem,” said Clarke to the crowd before he disappeared. A stadium-type gesture maybe, but the thing is with this lot you know they really mean it.
Words: Claire Mahoney