TOM CLARKE // O2 SHEPHERD'S BUSH EMPIRE, LONDON

A 10 year anniversary send off for the seminal We Live and Die in These Towns

TOM CLARKE PERFORMING AT LONDON'S O2 SHEPHERDS BUSH EMPIRE, LONDON - 01.12.2017
PICTURE BY: NICOLE S RUSHWORTH PHOTOGRAPHY

★★★★

After the success of Tom Clarke’s first solo tour this summer he and his fans return in full force for round two. The heart-breaking farewell of The Enemy in late 2016 left a hole in the hearts of many indie fans, however Tom Clarke has been touring the band’s debut album We Live and Die In These Towns in full with a stunning acoustic arrangement.

The Enemy’s debut album is a seminal work of art of the noughties indie movement. Ten years on from the album’s release, the impassioned indie tunes written by Clarke still ring as true today as they ever have before.

The supports of the night came from newcomer Joe Dolman, his excellent debut EP Learning to Fly has garnered media attention after an appearance at The Great Escape Festival in 2015 and BBC Radio 2’s Live in Hyde Park, and James Walsh of Starsailor fame. Topped off with a DJ set from Kate Frost, Shepherd’s Bush was in full party mode by 9pm. The choral chanting of ‘This Song’ started well before the night began and carried on into the street afterwards. Mob mentality for the indie masses.

Tom Clarke took to the stage and the crowd went wild, from the moment the lights went down it was like being transported back to 2007. Opening on ‘Aggro’ the acoustic arrangement never once held back the power of the original song. Sharp, loud, and angry. Beers (or at least what I hope was beer) went flying and crowd surfers a plenty, it was hard not to sing along to words that I have loved for the last 10 years. It might be ‘no time for tears’… but it’s hard not to be moved by the exquisite ‘Happy Birthday Jane’.

Blasting through the entire debut album it felt bittersweet that The Enemy we know and loved weren’t here today but it was amazing to hear a new take on old tracks. It wasn’t all debut album nostalgia, throwing in a new track it was brilliant to hear how the unmistakeable sound of Tom Clarke had flourished and grown since The Enemy’s final album. Fan favourites from Music For The People also appeared on the setlist, it wouldn’t be right not to hear ‘Be Somebody’ blaring out across the crowd. A tribute to the Verve’s ‘The Drugs Don’t Work’ rung out around the entire venue, heartfelt and unmistakable, it’s a true indie classic that never falls on deaf ears.

It was a night of nostalgia, but not the dreamy, rose-tinted glasses kind. It’s hard not to be enraptured by the sheer energy of Tom Clarke’s music, it’s passionate and timeless. I look forward to the years to come to see what one of the kings of indie has instore for us.

REVIEW + PHOTOS BY: NICOLE S RUSHWORTH PHOTOGRAPHY