By 2007 the Indie Landfill was overflowing with THE’s. There were also clear leaders in Kaiser Chiefs, The Cribs, Franz Ferdinand and Arctic Monkeys and a second tier of The Fratellis, The Dykeenies, The Pigeon Detectives, The Twang, The Kooks, The Dead 60’s, etcetera etcetera (not to confuse things but there is a prog band from Denmark called Etcetera).
The Enemy put up a good fight for a while. They held their own with their album We’ll Live And Die In These Towns. It’s a slice of Jam inspired working class kitchen sinkery.
The title track carries a bit more emotional heft than the ‘worked all week lets get wrecked’ singles Had Enough and Away From Here. It’s as if the band knew this was going to be their statement piece. This track would define their 15 minutes and it would stir the hearts and moisten the eyes of the bartenders, brick layers and desk jockeys for years to come when they looked back at 2007 as their prime.
Setting the controls for the heart of the north the song is played in by Colliery Brass. Stirring acoustic guitars and chiming notes build up to a worlds best Weller impersonation:
“You spend your time in smokey rooms where haggard old women with cheap perfume say ‘it never happens for people like us you know’ well nothing ever happened on it’s own and well, the toilets smell of desperation the streets all echo of aggregation”
It’s truly a superior piece of stirring rabble rousing. The street wise sincerity set The Enemy apart and above the Snow Patrol’s and Keane’s. Mumford and Sons could not have sung:
“Don’t let it drag you down now. Dirty dishes from a TV meal that went cold from the wind through a smashed up window, you can’t go out if anybody calls ya ‘cos you can’t have a bath when there’s no hot water and your friends are out on the town again”
If you’ve ever been young and skint enough for that to resonate with you then you can’t blow it off as just poverty porn. The Enemy were our friends.