2006 – A year when Myspace was cool and many bands found their calling through the social media site, posting demos and tracks online. One of those bands were Coventry trio The Enemy, who at the time, NME billed as part of the ‘Best Midlands scene’ due to a vast number of bands emerging from the area at that time. The Twang being another.
10 years later and The Enemy are now calling it a day. This is down to several reasons including Tom’s ill health and drummer Liam recently becoming a father. After 4 Top 20 albums (including a No.1 debut), the band are currently embarking on their ‘Farewell Last Orders Tour’.
After the initial run of dates sold out, including three in their hometown of Coventry, a further 7 dates were announced, meaning the tour now runs throughout the whole of September. Tonight, they play London’s Kentish Town Forum.
After a support set from London’s own ASYLUMS, and DJ Kate Frost, the familiar refrains of The Who’s ‘Baba O’Reilly’ echo around the Forum and you know it’s only a matter of time until The Enemy take the stage. And that they do, immediately breaking into ‘Had Enough, ‘Aggro’ and ‘Be Somebody’. After a short speech from Tom informing everyone this is their last chance to go crazy at an Enemy show, he then informs the hyped up crowd that they’ll be playing every song from their debut album ‘We’ll Live And Die In These Towns’ and they go straight into ‘Technodanceaphobic’ and ‘Pressure’. Then comes new song ‘Everybody Needs Someone’ off their 4th and final album, ‘It’s Automatic’ followed by fan favourite ‘Happy Birthday Jane’.
You could say this is a show of 2 halves, as next comes ‘This Song Is About You’ which involves The Enemy boys leaving the stage and the crowd continuing to sing the chorus. When they eventually return, there’s a ‘This Song’ reprise before the 2 remaining tracks from ‘WLADITT’, the title track and ’40 Days 40 Nights’ which Tom informs everyone they haven’t played live for 10 years before this tour. There’s also a nice breakdown in ’40 Days’ that involves The Enemy boys singing the chorus to ‘Ghost Town’ by another Coventry band The Specials, which goes down well with the crowd.
And just like that we’re down to the final two songs of the night. ‘Away From Here’ and ‘You’re Not Alone’ which Tom “hates playing on this tour as it means we’re closer to the end”. On this tour however, we get one more song. Just Tom and his guitar and ‘The Last Goodbye’. Despite being about suicide it seems quite fitting for this tour with its chorus line of ‘As I wave my last goodbye…’. With Tom, and several in the crowd, holding back tears, he gets through the song, gives a farewell wave and just like that, the night is over, however the crowd refuse to leave and a mass venue singalong of “This Song” starts up and continues for 10 minutes with security struggling to get everyone out.
They may not have been everyone’s cup of tea, but in a period of bland, same sounding indie music, The Enemy will be sorely missed.