LIVE: The Subways @ University, Keele (04/10/2008)

Date: October 4th, 2008
Venue: University, Keele
Support: Twin Atlantic


They’ve not had the greatest deal of commercial success, but The Subways have by no means stayed out of the media spotlight completely, especially since the release of their latest album ‘All Or Nothing’. Tonight they’re playing at the Student’s Union venue at Keele University, and the room is far from empty to see this indie rock trio in action.

Support act Twin Atlantic (***) from Scotland are an exciting band to watch. Frontman Sam McTrusty is definitely the most energetic of the bunch (as should be expected from a frontman), and is often found flailing about during the set, and even ends up snapping his guitar strap during a song. The band’s most recent single release ‘What Is Light? Where Is Laughter?’ goes down well, with a large amount of the crowd bouncing around regardless as to whether they’re familiar with the band or not. Aswell as the regular instruments the members play, they even include other ones in the odd song here and there, including some keyboard input, and even some cello sections provided by guitarist Barry McKenna. Though things stay relatively calm through the band’s performance, ‘Audience And Audio’ steps things up another level from the moment Sam McTrusty sings the first line “Can anybody hear me?” right through until the final closing moment of “Is there anybody out there?”.

The audience patiently wait for the headlining act, but as soon as The Subways (*****) run onstage things explode. Fan favourites and sing-a-long anthems like ‘Kalifornia’, ‘Alright’, and ‘With You’ are given their justice from the audience and the band, making the joint effort experience somewhat magical through the connection. Billy Lunn and Charlotte Cooper are acting extremely boisterous and going completely nuts onstage, running from side-to-side on the stage and jumping off of Josh Morgan‘s drum kit – it’s almost like the pair of them had been injected with pure glucose energy before coming onstage. Despite their crazy nature, the band act almost normal between songs, and thank the audience for their positive feedback of their performance. The band play a few more well-known songs like ‘Oh Yeah’ and new single ‘Shake! Shake!’ before heading offstage. They soon come back for the encore, with Billy Lunn exclaiming “How could I not come back for you guys?”, before going into one of the quieter moments of the night with ‘Strawberry Blonde’, and shortly accompanied in the song again by his fellow band mates Charlotte and Josh. It’s not long before the final song of the night, ‘Rock & Roll Queen’, where The Subways make such a show of the song that it changes from a 3 minute long song to about 10 minutes. Billy Lunn puts down his guitar half-way through the quiet bridge and decides to climb on top of a set of side-stage speakers and dive into the crowd below him. When he’s finally brought back to the stage, he does the exact same thing from the speakers on the other side of the stage. From there he then returns onstage and gets the crowd to scream, pointing from side-to-side to command the screams, and the crowd follows and does as he says like putty in his hands before he returns back into the song and the fans sing-a-long one last time.

It’s shows like these that make you wonder how such a commercial band can have such a crazy performance. In the same light, it makes you think that due to such things, why they haven’t garnered more commercial success than they’ve received to date. There’s no reason to say that things can’t get much bigger for them within the foreseeable future.

Written by Zach Redrup