Live Review: The Enemy at the O2 Ritz, Manchester

Skiddle were at the O2 Ritz in Manchester to see The Enemy play a special reunion show to celebrate 15 years of their debut album 'We'll Live And Die In These Towns.'

Skiddle Staff

Date published: 30th Sep 2022


“Crowds like you are what we do this for Manchester, we love you” were the words spoken by The Enemy frontman Tom Clarke last night, as 1500 people crammed into Manchesters O2 Ritz to see the band back together for the first time since 2016. 

The Coventry noughties indie icons are on tour celebrating 15 years of their debut album ‘We’ll Live and Die In These Towns,’ the record that rocketed them to success, and to number one in the UK charts in 2007.

The night was a sweat-soaked, nostalgia-driven riot, memorialising a record so close to many hearts, and, despite not playing together for six years, The Enemy were on scintillating form and gave the bouncy floors of the Ritz a lot of work to do.

Before they took the stage, the crowd were treated to two outstanding support acts, Wide Eyed Boy and Little Man Tate, with the latter especially dazzling the Pretty Green and Fred Perry-clad crowd. Their anthemic bangers transport you to the noughties with tracks like ‘Sexy in Latin’ and ‘House Party at Boothys’ particularly impressing.

But, once Tom Clarke and Co swaggered onto the stage in typical fashion, as though they'd never left, it was clear what everyone was there for.

The trio hit straight into album opener ‘Aggro’, and instantly shifted the mellow waters of the crowd into a choppy storm of bodies, all of whom were embodying the tracks title from the get-go. 

The storm continued through the sequential tracks ‘Away From Here’, ‘Pressure’ and ‘Had enough’, and all throughout waves of moshpits were materialising throughout the building, anyone who did have a beer is now wearing it, it was bedlam of the best kind and not a phone in sight. 

But once the iconic horns at the start of the title track kicked in, it launched, unsurprisingly, the biggest singalong of the night. It was goosebump stuff, and the energy in the room was felt by all.

During the quick breather after, murmurs of the chorus of ‘This Song Is About You’ crescendoed until the whole room is belting it out to those on stage. It was one of those spontaneous moments at a gig that are hard to describe, but just encapsulate the love around the room. 

By the looks on their faces, none more so was that love felt than by the trio on stage.

‘You’re Not Alone’ and ‘It’s Not Ok’ followed, then ‘Technodanceaphobic’ sent the crowd right back into chaos. At this point, there isnt a person in sight not drenched in sweat and who knows what else.

The one the crowd had been waiting for was up next, and when they hit into the chorus of ‘This Song IS About You’ the crowd's reaction sent shivers down the spine. The track culminated in a massive extended outro, mainly due to not being able to stop the crowd singing, but mostly because the vibes were immaculate.

The melodic Happy Birthday Jane rounded off proceedings and the entirety of ‘We’ll Live and Die In These Towns’ to big aplomb.

With what seemed like the shortest encore gap ever (probably down to not wanting to lose the energy that had built in the room), the band graced the stage for the last time, breezing effortlessly through hit off their other record with ‘Be Somebody’, ‘Gimme the Sign / Saturday’, and ‘No Time for Tears’. 

Proceedings were rounded off with a reprise of ‘This Song Is About You’ (because of course they were) granting the Manc faithful one last chance to scream the lyrics they'd been chanting all night.

But, they weren't stopping there, even after the lights went up, and the crowd emerged from the sweltering shelter of the Ritz, the streets of Manchester were filled with echoes of that same chorus, and we imagine there were a few tax drivers who had to put up with it too.

A perfect end to a special night, with a crowd that was more than up for it. Barely any phones, constant moshpits, sweat-drenched strangers embracing and screaming lyrics to each other; what a night and what a band. 



The Enemy’s UK tour continues until October 22. Plus, if you are going to the Glasgow gig, then get tickets to the Official Aftershow Party & DJ Set at Firewater below, or by clicking or tapping - Here



Check out our What's On Guide to discover even more rowdy raves and sweaty gigs taking place over the coming weeks and months. For festivals, lifestyle events and more, head on over to our Things To Do page or be inspired by the event selections on our Inspire Me page.








Header Image: The Enemy on Facebook


The Enemy Official Aftershow Party & DJ Set - Firewater, Glasgow

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