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Sent from Coventry
They may be Britrock’s hottest property, but The Enemy have a surprising amount in common with Boyzone.
Stuart Clark, 18 Sep 2007
Before A. Cynic of Cavan puts pen to paper, we should point out that The Enemy had a serious reason for being behind Pentonville’s maximum security walls.
“It was to highlight the rising male suicide rates, which are bad outside prison but at epidemic level inside them,” Clarke says with a genuine passion for the subject. “For every young person who dies from taking an E, there are 88 who’ll commit suicide. How fucked up is that?”
“The original hook for us wanting to play prison gigs was Billy Bragg making a speech at the NME Awards about how 80% of the inmates undergoing a musical rehabilitation programme in the UK never re-offend. That blew me away.”
It’s been something of a slowburner here, but The Enemy’s We’ll Live And Die In These Towns crashed straight into the UK album chart at number one. The cue, you imagine, for much snorting of Class A drugs off of supermodels’ bare midriffs.
“When we heard the news we were in a van, in the rain, en route to a gig in Scotland, so neither of those commodities were forthcoming. Andy was asleep, so I left him a note saying, ‘You’re number one, mate!’ There was a bit of celebrating after the fact, but nothing that’d get us arrested.”
It’s a sign of The Enemy’s own Class A status that they’re joining the likes of Kylie, The Killers and the Foo Fighters on the Radio 1. Established 1967 covers album, which is out in October to celebrate the BBC pop station’s 40th birthday.
“We did Cat Stevens’ ‘Father & Son’, which I make absolutely no apologies for ‘cause it’s brilliant. I remember playing it on the old grand piano they had in our school music department, and some bird in my year thinking I was a Boyzone fan.”
Which doubtless in her eyes made Tom a laughing stock.
“No, she thought Boyzone were great and I ended up pulling her!”
A penchant for early ‘70s soft rock classics isn’t the only thing Tom Clarke has in common with Messrs. Keating, Graham, Lynch, Gately and Duffy.