Review: The Enemy

O2 Academy, Leeds

THE rock trio from Coventry formed in 2006, bursting onto the scene with the anthemic We’ll Live and Die in These Towns. And from then on much of their material followed a blueprint of gritty stories chronicling working-class strain.

Six years since first appearing in Leeds some may find it hard to see how The Enemy can still credibly speak for a dispossessed youth.

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The band’s frontman Tom Clarke swaggered on stage with his trademark machismo poise, along with bass player Andy Hopkins and drummer Liam Watts. The testosterone levels escalated with the arrival of power-chord laden Gimme the Sign which comes from latest album, Streets in the Sky. It blended seamlessly into infectious head-bopper, Had Enough (Hey, hey, whatsa matter with your face) from their debut album.

After the first 20 minutes the audience was drenched in ‘beer grenades’ and their voices croaked from screaming the lyrics. But by the middle of the set the energy dipped slightly with softer tracks such as 2 Kids.

After the finale though, everybody chanted “this song is about you” from This Song, until the band returned to the stage for a fitting encore of the aforementioned We Live and Die in These Towns.

Flanked by his bandmates, Clarke still seems to boast the panache and energy to credibly retain his self-styled crown as a modern musical messiah for the masses. But it remains debatable.