Finally we get to take advantage of the recent slew of gigs at the nearby Oasis; Fratellis, Kings Of Leon, Ting Tings, no thanks; Enemy, yes please! This is also notable for being the first gig since my recent knee op, and the last with Rachel before the birth of our second child! And ironically, it's the Enemy again, the last band Rach saw before Logan was born!
Wandered over the Oasis for 8 and made our way into an already-packed main hall just as Kid British were finishing off their popular, rabble-rousing ska-based set. We however weren't looking for a viewing spot, as we'd booked places on the disabled platform, thanks to my still-pronounced limp, and Rach's extreme pregnancy! So we took our seats and Soke popped over for a chat, before Twisted Wheel came on at 8.15. They endeared themselves to us with an intro reminiscent of American Hi-Fi ("we're Twisted Wheel, we're a rock'n'roll band from England") and played some down'n'dirty punky rock. A couple of their numbers recalled the old school punk of SLF, a couple were unnecessarily fast, and another slower number recalled the Hi-Fi's "Another Perfect Day". Overall, they left a noisy and favourable impression.
The lights stayed off until the Enemy came on at 9. Since our last encounter, back in March 2007, they've taken their rabble rousing punk/modish swagger out of the indie ghetto and into the big venues, their debut album hitting No. 1 in the process. Their stage set-up incorporated a high screen which flashed tour venues quickly, ending on "Swindon" to a huge roar from the very young crowd. Easy pop, but hey... The equally young band powered competently and confidently into their set of smalltown teen disaffection and youthful protest, set to their uninhibited power-rock. A little too near to lad-rock for my liking on this scale, but one can't deny the genuine connection between band and audience here. "Away From Here", anthemic and rousing, was an early highlight, as was new single "No Time For Tears", which despite featuring a totally incongruous female backing vocalist, seemed to be a departure, a more thoughtful song construction and possibly a newer direction. Best of the newies, however, was "Sing When You're In Love", a huge chorus and possible Summer anthem.
"It's Not OK", crunchily riff-tastic, and "We'll Live And Die In These Towns", an acoustic singalong reminiscent of the Jam's "That's Entertainment", were the other highlights of an exceedingly short but sweet set - 45 minutes, with a few encores still barely hitting the hour mark. Nevertheless, a fine gig, a promising new album, and we both liked the disabled platform!