The Enemy to play the Ricoh
Fraternizing with The Enemy
By Blast reporter Kerry Gill
I caught up with Coventry’s latest music success story, Holbrooks based band The Enemy, for a frenzied night of music as they filmed their first music video for upcoming single 40 Days and 40 Nights at the Hope and Anchor pub.
In a dingy pub, hiding in the back streets of Coventry city centre on Tuesday, 12 September, there seemed to be a lot of commotion going on. A crowd of teenage music lovers loitered around the door and it was only when I got closer that I realized they were queuing to get in. The reason? Well if the small laminated notices stuck to every bit of available wall space were anything to go by then people were hoping to get on TV.
Coventry band The Enemy were performing in a familiar venue to them, The Hope and Anchor. Equipped with two cameramen, a photographer, various folk from MTV, and Bonehead of Oasis fame they were ready to shoot the video to new release 40 Days and 40 Nights. Since signing to STIFF records things have spiraled onwards and upwards for the three-piece, so much so that the single has been played by BBC Radio One’s Zane Lowe.
At a fold-away desk towards the end of the bar a girl admitted people into the tiny back area of the pub. The atmosphere was loud and raucous, not to mention sweaty. There was no designated stage area for the band, just a mass jumble of wires scattered across the carpet between various amps, speakers and microphones. This proved to be a problem when the band finally took to the allocated performance area and found people standing in the way of the equipment.
“Can everyone take a step back?” called front-man Tom; a small and unlikely figure, whose voice soon put everyone in their place. For a band named The Enemy there didn’t seem to be anything particularly menacing about them, not yet anyway.
A number of small scuffles broke out as people pushed and craned their necks to get the best view, some resorted to standing on the few chairs scattered around the edge of the room, the cameramen followed suit, climbing onto window-ledges and contorting themselves around the tops of speakers in order to get a decent shot.
The band were not immediately noticeable, in fact they looked just like everyone else. There were no flamboyant fashion statements, no attention-grabbing hairstyles - a refreshingly different feel to the nature of indie music these days which seems to be more focused on pointed shoes and silk scarves. Clutching drinks and wearing slightly apprehensive faces The Enemy pushed their way through the crowds and ran through a quick sound check, during which Bonehead attempted to rouse the crowd.
The gig started with an explosion of noise, the volume from the drums alone was enough to make the windows rattle. Drummer Liam was somewhat hidden by the kit in front of him but no-one could fail to notice him. The tight mass of people began to jump and shout and from the start there seemed to be a war between the band and the audience over who got the most floor space and attention from the camera.
The Enemy at the Coventry Godiva Festival in July
The set was relentless - the first song led straight into the second without a pause. The crowd, gradually became more fired up and sang all the words. The Enemy had a modern indie feel to them, producing a sound instantly recognizable to bands like the the Arctic Monkeys, but instrumentally they hit you in the face harder. The crowd seemed familiar with the set list and sang the lines before lead singer Tom opened his mouth. When they paused to take a drink the applause and shouts were deafening. No-one could move in the tight scrum of people and drinks were passed from the bar over the heads of the crowd to people who couldn’t move.
When the music started again the crowd were more manic than before and started a mini mosh-pit in the tiny room. The Enemy effortlessly whipped their audience into a dancing, frenzied mob and achieved everything that a good band should. This clearly wasn’t enough for them and Tom urged the crowd on, singing over and over again the line “Jump and shout, jump and shout…” The crowd responded by drowning out the music with their yells.
Bonehead, who remained unusually low-key did not disappoint onlookers by grabbing the microphone and adding his vocals to the already dizzying set. The hype surrounding the performance was not unjustified and the set flew by at an alarming pace. By this point the band were yet to play the single, but gradually the band wound down and attempted to talk to the now very sweaty and energetic audience, encouraging them to make as much noise as possible when they launched into the part of the show that everyone had been waiting for.
Jump and Shout
The crowd did not disappoint - they jumped as one many armed monster and sung themselves hoarse. The room exploded with noise and as the song drew to a close, amazingly, the band didn’t feel that they had been done justice.
“What was that? Where are we, on a playground? We’re gonna do that again and this time jump.” shouted Tom.
The Enemy launched into 40 Days and 40 Nights again and the audience found a second wind of hysteria. On the ground, a very much trampled cameraman attempted to keep his balance and get a good shot of bassist Andy who bounced around the space, swinging the neck of his bass guitar wildly and narrowly missed striking a group of teenage girls in the face. At this point the cameras were right in the band’s faces but they carried on, unfazed by it all.
The set was brought to an abrupt end and while the crowd were still screaming their approval, The Enemy had weaved their way through them and were calmly sipping drinks at the bar as if nothing had happened. It took a full five minutes for the noise to die down and people to vacate the pub, some still singing.
For a local band The Enemy have a huge fanbase, all of whom treat them like the big act they aim to be. Their fan’s are not all locally based either. 26 year-old Amy Langham regularly travels to Coventry to watch the band and on Tuesday was one of those dancing on a chair.
“I’m just a fan, I really like their music and I’ve seen them loads” she said. “Especially here at the Hope and Anchor.”
Other people, like 19 year-old Chris Pearce had never heard of the band before.
last updated: 08/04/2008 at 10:23