Saturday, 28 November 2009

728 THE ENEMY, Cat The Dog, The Alones, Bristol Academy 2, Tuesday 17 April 2007

Rachel's last gig before baby Rose arrives in mid-June (scheduled!), so we hit the road just before 7 to check out the Enemy, a band of teenage Oasis fans from Coventry (sounds terrible, I know!) whose single "It's Not OK" blasted into our consciousness with an almost Damn Personals-like swagger. Do we have a band here, or just a good attitude with no tunes to back it up?

Got to the venue at 8ish - weird to go through the normal but deserted main hall to the balcony bar upstairs! Had a look into the already-crowded bar for first band the Alones. They impressed with a guitar-dominated set full of nervous claustrophobic tension, dark, gloomy and deliciously moody in an 80's Joy Division way. Very zeitgeisty, I know, but they did it well, a point I made to their guitarist afterwards as I scrounged the above set-list!

Popped out to the balcony outside the actual bar, and stayed there (avoiding flying bags from the table above!) for main support Cat The Dog. A gypsy-esque band, they started off with some glam stomp in a Rachel Stamp style, not that good really, then after what seemed like a lengthy jazz interlude, doors slammed and various band members hurtled past our vantage point screaming, "you're fuckin' fired!" at each other! So, Cat The Dog, fighting like cat and dog, and seemingly more entertaining offstage than on!

So, there was an impromptu 40 minute wait for the Enemy's scheduled 9.30 appearance. We popped back into the bar, crowded as hell now, and took a vantage point at the back, which thanks to the bar configuration and low stage meant we couldn't see a thing! D'oh!

The Enemy came on at 9.30, to the Specials' "Too Much Too Young", a nod to the last half-decent band from Cov, and possibly a metaphor? They took a minute to get their mics sorted, then apologised both for that and for, "those diabolical cunts who were on before us! Now the real music starts!" They opened with debut single "40 Days And 40 Nights", then followed it up with new single, the terrace chant punk of "Away From Here", underlining their confidence, and this was met in kind by a frenzied moshpit, the punters really up for it tonight.

Musically, the Enemy are very 1970's Jam/Clash pseudo punk/mod, with driving drums, push'n'shove rhythms and snappy guitar (sounding a little thin at times here). However their ear for catchy, singalong anthem choruses and brash, confident swagger (ego rather than po-faced arrogance) sets them apart, and made this an inclusive, upbeat and dynamic set. "It's Not OK", thrown carelessly in mid-set, was an amphetamine-fast highlight, but by no means the only string to their collective bow. 40 minutes and they were done - get in, say what you've got to say, and get out, leaving the crowd baying unrequitedly for more. Rach was well pleased that her gig hiatus was preceded by this genuinely exciting and potential-packed rabble. Ladies and gentlemen, we do have a band here!

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