The Subways / Redwings / The 22s - 53 Degrees Preston - 18.10.05

It's all very well being inspired by the Mod movement, look at the Ordinary Boys (good songs, great band), but not all bands into this style of music fare as well. Redwings are mockney Weller wannabees with the lead singer fashioning his look and vocal on the modfather himself. They have the odd punchy song, but sound stale and the laddish image is pitiful with the guitarist aping both Gallagher brothers. "Organized Society" sounds like an amateur pub band warming up while "Lit" is Libertines lite.

Thank the lord for the 22s, an Elastica styled band (three chicks and a male drummer) from New York. All dressed in black they take new wave and add in pop sensibilities. Effortlessly cool with their own sense of style the cute keyboard player may have prog rock tendencies, but the songs haven't a whiff of pretension about them. The 22s look like they're making the most of their support slot with three part harmonies and memorable songs with crunchy guitars and the confidence to back it all up.

What a great year it's been for The Subways. They've been on tour with Razorlight, played headline dates back in April, appeared at most of the Summer festivals, released two cracking singles and a blinder of a debut album "Young For Eternity". And this trio of fresh faced juveniles have not only undertaken their largest tour to date this Autumn, but also end the year opening up for the Stereophonics on their arena tour.

Babyfaced singer Billy Lunn is becoming a lot more comfortable on stage. Like an excitable puppy let off the leash he climbs the amps on both sides of the stage, jumps off and then moves closer to his sweetheart Charlotte on bass, their gaze transfixed directly on each other. Josh shakes his head around more than a demented David Gray as he strikes the kit with brute force. The albums title track will never win an Ivor Novello award for songwriting (it's utter nonsense lyrically), but its such a dumb ass rock song that equal's Blur's "Song 2" for grunge flavoured metal. "Oh Yeah" and "Mary" borrow the best bits of Nirvana and the Vines with and British outlook to life and the fans take it like a fish to water managing an alarmingly impressive moshpit. New single "No Goodbye's" is the calm before the storm, as emotive and resonant as Oasis' "Wonderwall". The crowd surfing arrives just in time for the jewel in the crown of the Subways set, "Rock'n'Roll Queen", an obvious declaration of love from Billy in song song form to his fiancé, who moves around with grace and vigour.

A set lasting just under an hour flies by, but with their next album to be recorded in the New Year, the best is yet to come from the Subways

Nicholas Paul Godkin

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