AT FIRST glance this double-header line-up seemed like a nostalgic package tour for those ever-diminishing audiences who remember the mid-Noughties vogue for recreating the glory days of Britpop.
The Enemy & The Twang
It’s true that history hasn’t looked kindly upon this pair of Midlands-based crusaders – Coventry’s high volume, minimum wage bludgeoners the Enemy and Birmingham’s pioneers of the unlikely, not to say doomed, baggy revival The Twang – for they remain sustained mostly by the fond memories of their respective fanbases.
Yet here, away from the currents of fashion and changing sounds, they ruled over their second of two sold out nights at Glasgow’s ABC, and the atmosphere was as charged and thrilling as any gig you might care to mention since Noel and Liam Gallagher first stepped on to a stage.
When the Twang were up there a pretty good time was had by all. They’re a loose and lively band, the squalling, cavernous guitars and sneery vocals recalling prime late-80s Madchester territory even as they threw in a baffling cover of Bran Van 3000’s 1999 hit Drinking in LA and the Latin rhythms of their own Guapa.
The Enemy, however, are a force of nature, piledriving the audience with lacerating guitar riffs and Tom Clarke’s demanding-a-fight-outside-a-kebab-shop vocal tone.
Yet despite the seemingly confrontational stance of songs like Aggro, Had Enough and Away From Here, these are tracks about being at the bottom and holding your head up with as much confidence as you can muster, a sense which was more obvious on the relatively relaxed Happy Birthday Jane and a note-perfect cover of James’s Sit Down.
Seen on 15.12.14