The Enemy - Night & Day Manchester - 24.1.07

Back then we didn't know that the Enemy had signed to Stiff Records, the first band in over 20 years to join the likes of the Damned and Elvis Costello, and it was way before all this Best Midlands rubbish started in the national press, but it was clear to Designer Magazine at the Enemy's fifth ever gig that they were a very special band indeed. Looking back they'd already faced a mini-backlash of sorts as the rumour mill went into overdrive claiming they weren't a real band and that it was a sideproject featuring members of The Paddingtons, the Others and Boy kill Boy. How wrong they were?

With support slots with the Paddingtons, Graham Coxon and more recently Kasabian this tour is one of the hottest tickets in town with calls into the venue throughout checking if there's still any tickets left on the door. There were but within 5 minutes of the doors opening the gigs sold out and a cross section of audience members from the hardcore fans who were there at that early Star & Garter gig are there with people who are clearly old enough to be intrigued about Stiff Records starting up again. The biggest indicator that the Enemy are going to be absolutely massive however is the large number of Northern working class oiks who'd normally be drinking 24 hours before Oasis hit town and don't give a flying sh*t about what the music inkies have to say.

The bands new found swagger that was missing from the early days shows just how far they've come. While Tom sneers out the lyrics to the classics "40 Days & 40 Nights", "Dancing All Night" and "Had Enough", Andy has the cool as f**k swagger that only Liam Gallagher and Ian Brown before him possess. By the end of the gig he stands arms outstretched as if they're headlining Knebworth and falls forward into the crowd and is delivered back to the stage by adoring hands for the last refrain.

Newer songs such as single "It's Not Ok" and "Pressure" are the songs that are starting to set them apart from the contemporary music scene. Some band emerge in a bluster of hyper and will struggle following it up with that 2nd album (just wait for the Arctic Monkeys next album), but you know that The Enemy will be on our radar with the great's like Oasis.

Alex McCann
Photos: Kirsty Umback


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