Words: Jennifer Lynn
Image: Sarah Young
If there was one place I certainly didn’t expect to end up last night, it was in a mosh pit. However, thanks to The Enemy and their army of crazy Glaswegian fans, this was exactly where I spent the duration of my Friday evening.
In all honesty I wasn’t expecting much when I strolled into Glasgow’s O2 Academy with the intent to hover around the back of the crowd, which wasn’t particularly large, as the support acts gathered dust. Although I appreciate the odd song from The Enemy, including their most recent offering Like A Dancer, I would never have considered myself a fan- until now.
As the lights dimmed and the familiar vocals of lead singer Tom Clarke filled the venue, which had magically reached capacity while I queued for the bar, I found myself jumping along to anthemic single Gimme The Sign, from this year’s Streets In The Sky album. Neither the band nor the crowd appeared to stop for breath, effortlessly chanting their way through old favourites Aggro and Had Enough, by which point I had been transported to the front of the crowd… AKA mosh pit central.
Continuing with their older material, the band launched into debut single Away From Here, as I was launched into the barrier by umpteen sweaty, checked shirt-clad boys. As time went on, I discovered that the beauty of The Enemy lies not in perfect vocals or instrumental talent (although bassist Andy Hopkins is certainly talented), but in their ability to work a crowd of just 1500 into a festival-sized frenzy. Both Hopkins and Clarke know how to play to their strengths; Andy’s looks appealing to the ladies, Tom’s don’t-give-a-fuck attitude winning over the aforementioned checked shirt crew.
New songs Saturday and Like A Dancer kept the whole crowd singalong going, while oldie This Song provided something for fans to shout as we waited impatiently for an encore- and what an encore it was.
A cover of James’ Sit Down had the crazy crowd doing just that, much to the fury of the Academy’s security staff. Jumping to their feet for the chorus, the cover was as much appreciated by the fans as The Enemy’s own material, and it showcased Clarke’s vocal well. You could certainly critisize the band for playing it safe, by sticking to the same tried and tested festival anthems, with chanting choruses as standard. However, this is obviously where their strength lies and fans don’t appear to be complaining, though there are notably less of them now than there were in the band’s 2007 heyday.
Finishing the impressive set with You’re Not Alone, The Enemy left the stage with cheers ringing in their ears, whilst I left the building with questionable liquids in my hair… A great gig all round!