The Enemy, Boy Kill Boy

Paul Cook 29/03/2008

Needless to say, The Enemy have a reputation - an attitude and arrogance, arguably reminiscent of the Gallagher brothers. They also have certain ambitions, shown recently by their record-breaking string of six gigs at London's Astoria. Breaking Blur's five-night record, The Enemy announced at the gig that the Astoria (threatened by the building of Crossrail) is likely to remain a live music venue for 5 more years after the signing of a new lease. Whilst the theatre's future has been in contention for some time, The Enemy and the sold out crowd were ecstatic at the announcement and this bond of support that band and crowd shared lasted throughout.

We might as well get the only criticism of the night out of the way first. An hour and a half of music, stunningly energetic music though it was, in a night that lasted three and a half hours is tiresome for any music fan. Doors opened at 6.30pm, support act Boy Kill Boy came on stage at 7.30pm and The Enemy at 8.30pm, finishing their set at 9.45pm. The clocks going forward was quite frankly a pain in the arse as it meant the gig was pushed back by an hour to account for it. Nevertheless, Boy Kill Boy warmed the crowd up in typically vigorous fashion with hit singles 'On and On' and 'Suzie' from Civilian, the rest of the set-list consisting of tracks from new album Stars and the Sea including the singles 'Promises' and 'No Conversation'. Unfortunately the crowd were only treated to such a professional warm up for half an hour before the headline act.

The Enemy come on stage to Luton Town football chants, a surreal but comical experience for both band and audience. Opening with, 'Aggro' the madness began. The 20 or so persons that had been going crazy for crazy's sake turned into 100 and then nearer 150 when The Enemy got going. 'Away From Here' followed, and by the time 'You're not Alone' came around the gig was in full swing. What made the night, easily the best gig I've been to all year, so enjoyable was the collective enjoyment of every single person in the audience and the band's delight at our enjoyment. The whole of the Astoria was singing along with the band's addictively rugged lyrics and by the time all the tracks from We'll Live and Die in These Towns had been performed the band went for a 5 minute break and came back out to perform Sex Pistols' classic 'God Save The Queen' - not only perform it but almost embody Johnny Rotten and co. in voice and attitude. The night as a whole, except the strange timings, was everything a gig should be: an experience, a once in a lifetime experience and that's why anyone who likes this band should see them live at least once.