The Subways - Manchester Academy 1 - 2.11.05
They've come a long way since playing Nirvana covers below local Welwyn City Gardens bands such as The Otters, but coming on the final stretch of the "Young For Eternity" tour they could almost be called mature compared to young scamps we met last year.
Manchester gigs have ranged from the unpredictable and chaotic 20 minute set where Billy Lunn threw a Craig Nichols strop before storming off stage complaining off sound problems, to the recent Oasis support slots at the City Of Manchester Stadium. Although Billy is the natural linchpin with his brother on drums and his fiancé on bass and vocals, he remains static throughout much of tonight's set leading the others to feed of the visceral energy of the music. Charlotte bounds across the stage with wild abandon relishing the spotlight and pretty much living her perfect existence. Josh pounds away furiously and by midway through the set Billy feels like a piece of the action himself and stage dives into the predominantly teenage audience below.
Their time in the studio with Ian Broudie have songs like "With You" and "Holiday" a pop sheen not dissimilar to fellow youthful ambassadors Ash, but the live shows have taken some of the energy and atmosphere of those Oasis shows in the summer. They've bolstered up, beefed up and given some weight behind the songs. As well as the obvious highlights such as "1am" and "Rock N Roll Queen", a wider array of influences are starting to shine through. "A Plain Above" is introduced by Billy as "a song you might not know" but is a nigh on carbon copy of Gomez's "Whipping Piccadilly" before kicking and screaming against walls of distortion.
The Subways have produced one of the albums of the year and tours of victory don't come much sweeter than this. What's better is you know the follow up albums going to be even better.
Words: Alex McCann
Photos: Karen McBride www.karenmcbride.com
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