COVENTRY’S The Enemy released their fourth album ‘It’s Automatic’ in October. Describing the songs on the new record as ‘some of the best I’ve ever written’, lead vocalist Tom Clarke promised something new and exciting for the fans. Quays News entertainment reporter Natalie Rees went to the O2 Ritz in Manchester last night (November 17) to see if Clarke’s delivered his promise…

The band recently embarked on an 11 date tour across the UK, where they will visit venues in Leeds, London and Sheffield to name a few. Last night, the fourth night of the tour, the band ventured up north to Manchester, as it was The Ritz’s turn to party, supported by local band The Tapestry and rapper Franko Fraize.

At 7.30pm, Manchester band The Tapestry took to the stage to fans filling the venue. The four piece, made up of Liam (lead vocalist and guitar), Katy (bass), Zara (drums) and Dyna (guitar), also joined The Enemy’s tour last week in Yeovil. The band erupted into a chorus of heavy electric guitar and punchy vocals for ‘Look Out’, which instantly had the growing crowd dancing along.

Comparable to the likes of Kaiser Chiefs and The Fratellis, and having been recognised by Liam Gallagher, the indie pop band were welcomed by The Ritz. The applause got louder after each record including ‘Right as rain’ and ‘Catacombs’, before they encouraged those who were enjoying it to watch them at Islington Mill, Salford next month for their last show of the year. The band finished with their latest singles ‘Infatuation’ and ‘Rode your luck’, both of which proved to be crowd favourites.

Franko Fraize (Frankie Dean), who had performed at The Ritz with Reverend and The Makers four nights before, greeted the crowd with his signature saying “Oi, Oi!” before kicking off his set with the upbeat ‘Underdog’, which was championed by Zane Lowe when released last year. His first night as support for The Enemy saw the crowd firmly in the hands of the upcoming rapper from Thetford.

Before performing ‘Treasures’, Fraize confessed his growing love for the city ‘I love the people and the vibe up here’, which was acknowledged by the lively crowd with a loud “Oi! Oi!” Fraize introduced a trumpet into the mix for the next song intended to get everyone warmed up ‘before the boys come out’. The penultimate song of the set was ‘Running’, one of the tracks championed by BBC Music and BBC Introducing. Fraize finished his set with ‘Oi Oi’ which is now available on Itunes.

Franko Fraize supporting The EnemyThe Ritz was treated to a DJ set before The Enemy arrived, which included indie favourites such as The Courteeners, Joy Division and Catfish and The Bottlemen. This succeeded in getting everyone dancing and ready for the headliners, who took to the stage at 9.40pm. The band opened with the title track of their latest album released on Warner Records, ‘It’s Automatic’, enveloping the audience in The Enemy’s signature style, before welcoming the crowd to the party ‘Hello Manchester!’

The band’s infectious energy continued through to ‘Had Enough’, ‘Everybody Needs Someone’ and ‘No Time for Tears’, a single from their second album ‘Music for the People’, released the same year that Tom, Liam and Andy supported Oasis on the ‘Dig Out Your Soul’ tour. Tom addressed the crowd after a fight broke out during ‘Magic’, a stance which was received with cheers and a round of applause.

The band jumped straight into ‘Technodanceaphobic’ off their debut album ‘We’ll Live and Die in These Towns’, released in 2007. ‘Be Somebody’ was welcomed with a roar from the crowd who continued to jump with beers in hand and open up mosh pits. ‘Saturday’, ‘Some Things’ and new song ‘Superhero’, which already had everyone on the floor and balcony singing the lyrics back, were to follow. 

‘Away From Here’, the band’s debut single and first to break the top ten of the UK singles chart, came next, with Clarke shouting “sing it Manchester!” The crowd cheered as the band entered into the euphoric ‘This Song’, which saw people on other’s shoulders and crowd surfing to get closer to the band. The band left the stage halfway through the song as the audience proved louder than their microphones, a special moment which highlighted how much support they have and how far the band have come. They returned to the stage to finish the song, before playing ‘Aggro’, ‘Don’t Let Nothing Get in the Way’ – the first single from the new album – and ‘Happy Birthday Jane’ .

The three-piece finished with ‘You’re not alone’, where Tom encouraged the crowd to keep crowd surfing ‘in true Manchester style.’ The Enemy left the stage to a satisfied crowd chanting ‘Manchester la la la!’

By: Natalie Rees

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