Die hard fans packed the o2 Ritz to witness what was possibly Manchester’s gig of the year so far…

It was always going to be an emotional farewell when The Enemy announced that this would be their final set of shows… and emotional it was!

The night was opened by none other than Manchester’s very own – The Tapestry. Now, any act out of this “band manufacturing city”, which is fronted by a guy called Liam, has a good to fair chance of success – then in true style you hear, and I quote “We’re The Tapestry, we’ve just come from work – because we’re c*nt’s…. like you!” well… it got my attention! It’s a pretty bold statement to make but if you have the tunes to back it up then it’s safe to say that you can pretty much get away with saying what you want… then low and behold the tunes most certainly came! Nicely judged young man!

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The bands facebook bio reads ‘They’re not about where they’re from (Manchester), or whether they’re working class or posh twats (but put it this way, none of them are called Orlando, Hugo, Felicity or Jemima), or their music industry contacts (they haven’t got any), or how long they’ve been together (“ages”)’  and in a nutshell – that sums the band up to a T.  A no nonsense 4 piece with quality tunes, and Liam’s moves which resemble those of Ian Curtis – what’s not to love? Katy on bass, Zara on drums and Dyna on guitar, these guys are one to go and see! Did anyone catch the stage dive?…. more on that later!

” …this polished five-piece can most certainly hold their own”

As the 02 Ritz fill’s up, the next band to grace the stage was Nuneaton’s ‘April‘. Big sounds and catchy melodies that wouldn’t sound a miss on any Britpop or indie anthem compilations. The band are very well put together and were a perfect choice to support headliners, The Enemy.

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With classic indie rock sounds, this polished five-piece can most certainly hold their own. Fairly new, the band formed in April 2015 and have made a decent sized splash in the murky music puddle; already playing some sizable festivals such as the Jack Rocks This Feeling Stage at Leeds/Reading with the likes of Cupids, and Cabbage. April are: George Cooke, Will Marshall, Ross Paton, Billy Collins and Will Macpherson. I had the pleasure of catching up with a few of the guys after their set and it was nice to see that they were down to earth sound lads – a bright future ahead…

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The Enemy

“A sad day for music and loss the industry could do without”

Milestones: Number 1  debut album with “We’ll Live and Die in These Towns,  second album “Music for the People  went in at number 2 and “Streets in the Sky was a top 10 in the UK album charts. Accompanying their album success, the band have received awards for Best New Act in 2007, Best British Debut Album of 2007 for We’ll Live and Die in These Towns and in 2008 Best New Band.  The Enemy headlined many of their own shows and festivals as well as joining forces with the likes of Oasis at London’s Wembley Stadium, Kasabian and Reverend And The Makers…. There aren’t many UK bands left that can claim that amount of success.

With the above milestones in mind, there’s no wonder the sold out Manchester crowd was up for what was set for a truly momentous night of quality tunes!  The warm up from The Tapestry and April was followed some indie anthems over the PA so the mosh-pits had already begun before the Coventry trio appeared on stage! Thankfully, on this occasion, I was lucky enough not to be hit on the back of the head by a flying, plastic pint glass filled with what can only be described as questionable liquid’s however,  there were plenty of people not quite as fortunate….

After a bout of classics from The Who, Oasis, Verve and Queen to keep the rowdy crowd warm (whilst the changing over of equipment took place) Tom, Andy and Liam walk on stage to quite outstanding noise levels which just didn’t calm down from that moment on.

Following a similar set to their previous Manchester gig, the week before, (7th Sept) they opened with Had Enough, Aggro, Be Somebody and No Time for Tears the crowd sung along to every word and took full advantage to the spring loaded floor. A wave of people jumping front to back was just spectacular to see.

Pressure, It’s Not OK, Everybody Needs Someone, Happy Birthday Jane, Some Things and This Song followed – Tom was pretty insistent on letting the Manchester crowd know that ‘This Song’ was dedicated to every attendee just before the band took a short interval.

Did someone say stage-dive invasion?

Opening back up the set with their #8 single away from here saw the first impromptu stage dive from Liam. Not Liam Watts but the one and only Liam of The Tapestry who was standing in the sidelines. Hilarious, well-done that man! See how it went down here (Video by The Tapestry)

With many crowd surfers being pulled to the front by security and the general crowd crush persisting it was only natural for Andy Hopkins to fall into the crowd next, for a short surf of his own before reemerging to the stage for the remaining tracks which consisted of We’ll Live and Die in These Towns, 40 Days & 40 Nights, Away From Here and You’re Not Alone.

By this point of the night, there wasn’t a dry surface in the house and it was the perfect gig sweat pit… which is what its all about right? Talking to strangers like you’ve known them all your life, arms around each other like school mates – all in the name and love of music.

Inevitably however, the night did have to come to an end and  it did so with an announcement from Tom, letting everyone know that ‘Last Goodbye’ was to be the final track the night and the very last song Manchester would hear from The Enemy – Sad times! It really didn’t help that it was an acoustic solo and emotions from all involved were evident.

Luckily, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing The Enemy more than once and they’ve never failed to put on a cracking show! This could have been, quite easily a Greatest Hits set with the set list being what it was and I’m pretty confident on speaking on the behalf of anyone who has been to any of their gigs that it will be a great loss to the gig calendar.