Last night we were lucky enough to attend the production of “We’ll Live & Die in these Towns” at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry. Despite following the band & attending gigs, I would not describe myself as an avid Enemy fan. I have a personal connection & my appreciation of them has grown in more recent years. As we arrived at our seats, I noted that the stage was simplistic in its arrangement, with minimal props and a handful of actors. Although I was aware that the music would provide the backdrop to the storyline, I had no idea what to expect.
The music began, familiar and upbeat we tapped our feet and waited with anticipation for the story to unfold. Almost immediately we were immersed in the emotional turmoil of the lead character, hours before he is due to take the stage & perform to his home crowd. Crippled with anxiety, his internal conflict becomes the vehicle through which a number of issues are addressed.
This production is spell-binding. It speaks for anxiety, self-doubt, relationships, class, even religion, in a way that is totally relatable. I have never truly understood how The Enemy’s songs became the anthem for Coventry, until I saw it last night. “This Song is About You” and “You’re Not Alone” both speak directly to the listener. In a City that, at the time this album was released, felt forgotten & dismantled, these songs became their voice.
Aside from the brilliant actors and amazing vocals, this story & the song lyrics that inspired it, are a beautiful depiction of mental health. It is raw, brave and honest. Highlighting that mental health can affect anyone, despite how much they may appear to “have it all”. It is also a stark reminder that we are all vulnerable to the inner critic within ourselves.
With the impending “City of Culture” in the not too distant future, there is no doubt that this production must feature. Through a Tour to showcase what Coventry has to offer or as an ongoing performance throughout 2021, it must find a place. Either way, I would not hesitate to recommend going to see it, whether you’re a fan of the music, or of the City, you will not fail to be captivated.
Review written by friend of #covhour Kate Hunter from Bear Cleaning.