The Paddingtons and The EnemyEdit this event
Having already had the privilege of seeing their mugshots emblazoned across The Daily Star’s blog music column and finding themselves praised to the hilt by the News Of The World – all before they’ve actually released a single record – the weight of expectation surrounding Coventry three-piece The Enemy is immense to say the least.
As with most of this year’s fly-by-night success stories, a combination of word of mouth, MySpace sabotage and incessant marketing could easily be put forward as ample reasoning behind the surge of interest that has taken them from playing West Midlands dives to big name support slots, such as this one with The Paddingtons, and sponsored club nights nationwide.
And of course maybe - just maybe - it might also have something to do with the tunes.
You see, for a three-piece, The Enemy don’t half make a whole lotta noise. By that we’re talking huge: like how you imagine The Who to have sounded at that gig, at Leeds University on Valentine’s Day, thirty-odd years ago. Indeed, the way sticksman Liam Watts mutilates the skins on his kit with fearless abandonment throughout brings back memories of watching your dad’s Keith Moon video collection while skipping double maths at school.
Bearing all that in mind, the likes of ‘Not OK To Be A Slave’ and ‘Let Me Know’ are steeped in classic rock - there’s an odd Zep riff here, and some of the astute punchiness of the early Jam thrown in for good measure.
Before you start thinking, “Here we go again… with another round of Britpop – the sequel’s sequel’s great aunt Edna”, singer Tom Clarke ups the ante even further, possessing a voice that could both shatter lightbulbs from a hundred yards and sweep the pigeons to a higher plain in one vociferous move.
Of course there are downsides, too, most notably the fact that current single and set closer ’40 Days And 40 Nights’ is by far the weakest song of the evening, and if anything the one that is most likely to see them tagged as mere LittleArcticMilburn copyists. Which is unfortunate, as the previous half-dozen or so numbers suggest that they’re anything but.
As with all hyped bands, only time will tell whether The Enemy have what it takes to ensure the foundations they’ve built for themselves aren’t crushed by those who’ve seen fit to elevate them before they’ve seen so much as a proper soundcheck. It’s going to be a rough, rocky ride without a doubt, but don’t bet against Coventry’s potentially most famous exports since The Specials. Twenty-five years since said act called it a day, the city has another band with the potential to come out on top. Time to hold your breath, starting now.
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