The Subways - 53 Degrees (Preston) - 12.4.05

I very much believe in the philosophy that "it's not where you're from, it's where you're at". Bear this in mind when I reveal that The Subways are natives of Welwyn Garden City, which i'm sure is a lovely place but hardly renowned for debauched rock'n'roll behaviour. The frustration of being entrapped in a small town has long been the inspiration for some of our best bands (Muse hail from Devon of all places and Lowestoft's proud sons are The Darkness). Signed to Infectious after last years In The City showcase in Manchester, The Subways have been recording their debut album with Ian Broudie and if it can emulate their electrifying live shows they'll no longer be playing relatively small venues like the ones on this headlining tour.

When they arrive on stage The Subways are greeted to testosterone fuelled chants of Charlotte, the bass player uber babe Miss Cooper whose boyfriend Billy Lunn just happens to be frontman of the band. It's a case of look, but don't touch for all concerned. His brother Josh is at the back on drums, all curly hair and impish charm. "Young For Eternity" is an indie rock, punky, thrashy song typical of the bands raw sound. Lunn's eyes are firmly shut as his voice wails with torment over the spiky guitars and pounding drums. The acoustics in this just opened venue are excellent. Charlotte's backing vocals, energetic moves and natural charisma give a feminine and feisty side to the bands dynamic. When she jams with Billy the sexual chemistry is there for all to see. "1 am" and their single "Oh Yeah" are even more electrifying with the band playing passionately like the saviours of rock they've slowly become. Like all good bands with a hard edged sound there's many rich melodies interwoven.

It may only be a one song encore, but it's a unforgettable one in the shape of "Somewhere" which may have faint echoes of early Oasis, but in the best possible way imaginable, displaying even greater skill in songwriting and depth shown in their performance. The Subways have shown tonight that they've got the talent to justify all the hype and if this is only the beginning, the future looks rosy.

Nicholas Paul Godkin

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