Live Review: The Enemy, Rock City (01/12/2015)

With a back catalogue formed of four studio albums, The Enemy can almost be described as indie rock veterans. Almost a decade since their debut album We’ll Live And Die In These Towns hit number one in the UK chart, the band return to Nottingham in front of an ardent Rock City crowd.

Opening with ‘It’s Automatic’, ‘Had Enough’, and ‘Everybody Needs Someone’; lead singer and guitarist Tom Clarke promised an evening of both “new and old songs” which became apparent from the very start. From the outset the gathered crowd were well voiced, many were on shoulders and half empty cups of beer sped through the air as well known anthems such as ‘Be Somebody’ and ‘Saturday’ sparked a rapturous response.
This year saw the release of It’s Automatic, the band’s fourth and most divergent approach to their sound so far. It can be argued that the new release is a reinvention; the album appears to be far more gentle and meaningful than those which have come before it whilst also retaining a lyrical style which Clarke is most known for.
‘This Song’ provokes the first mass sing along of the night, fans old and new chant the lyrics to the chorus throughout the entirety the interval as the band leave the stage. Tom, drummer Liam Watts and bassist Andy Hopkins return as the chanting lyrics still linger through the room; tonight just so happens to be the final night of the tour and it is clear that each of the band members are savouring the moment.
“Many were on shoulders and half empty cups of beer sped through the air”
The encore was comprised entirely of songs from ‘We’ll Live And Die In These Towns.’ Released way back in 2007 it is clear that each song from the album still carries much sentiment and meaning to fans. A lot has changed since then though, at their height The Enemy played two huge homecoming shows at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry as well as supporting Oasis on a stadium two of the UK. Though expectations are lower and crowd sizes are far smaller a strong fan base still remains.
Tom Clarke thrives upon such adoration, his energy throughout the entire gig is admirable. Before ‘We’ll Live And Die In These Towns’, the title song from the first LP, is played, Clarke claims that playing before such a lively Nottingham crowd is “a pleasure, you lot never fail to impress.”
The gig closes with ‘You’re Not Alone and at this point the crowd are even more elevated than before, a final chance to let loose as the most dedicated rise up and crowd surf over the barrier to close the night. Though they have struggled to claim the success their first two albums bought in recent years, The Enemy are still clearly an admirable band. The final night of their tour at Rock City clearly demonstrated an effortless ability to generate an impressive live atmosphere through their huge array of much loved songs.
Charlie Barnes
Image: Rebecca Ware via Flickr 
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Co-Editor of the Music Section at University of Nottingham's IMPACT Magazine.

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