On 28th October 2005 at 14:29 Anonymous 4705 wrote...
Sounds like a banging night. subways rock.
Live at Blank Canvas on Saturday, 15th October 2005
When I arrive at Blank Canvas the first band has already started. It's ˇForward, Russia!, a band that I have heard glowing reports about but never seen. Once in a position where they are visible I spot something I didn't expect. The singer of ˇForward, Russia! dancing around screaming down the microphone as if they were some sort of emo band. The actual vocals seemed out of tune, going up and down as if the guy never learnt how to sing. I couldn't believe it; he even wrapped the wires of the microphone round his arm and was screaming into it as if it was hanging from the roof, acting almost exactly like the singer of The Used. Now I know this has nothing to do with their music but it's like they were trying to give off that whole emo persona there and from what I have heard they didn't seem emo. Having said that the sound for ˇForward, Russia! had a particular echo which I don't think did them any favours.
Besides what image they were giving off and the vocals that weren't very impressive the music itself was very good. Very "experimental", lots of very obtuse melodies and the drum beats which I thought were particularly impressive. I know it's not a great report for ˇForward, Russia! but I felt they were a little disappointing in the grand scheme of things.
Next on tonight are The Kooks, a band that sounds like a cross between The Music and Hot Hot Heat but a hell of a lot younger. Nineteen-year-old singer Luke Pritchard steps up onto the stage wearing a flying jacket and says, "good evening everybody we are The Kooks" and blasts straight into one of their songs. I think at this point you realize these guys are going to be entertaining. After indulging us with a couple of their songs it's time for Luke to show us a bit of his guitar work. Unfortunately he couldn't get the microphone on the stand; I don't know if he was drunk or just moving so much it was a challenge but it was very entertaining indeed.
The Kooks gave a fantastic performance and from the reaction they got it seemed like the crowd loved every second of it (I know I certainly did). Luke's incredibly varied vocals accompanied by some excellent guitar work makes them the perfect band to introduce The Subways. Their energy on the stage mixed with their sheer talent makes The Kooks an excellent live band.
It's been about 30 minutes now and the crowd is getting a bit rowdy. I can hear the guys behind me getting a bit pissed off saying, "the stage has been empty for 15 minutes now where the fuck are they". The lights go down and a huge cheer comes up from the crowd... then the lights come back on again. Chants start to being "Subways! Subways! Subways" ... but still no sign of the band.
Then it all goes dark. Introductory music can be heard and swirling lights can be seen. All you hear now is a colossal roar rise up from the crowd as The Subways take the stage. Lead singer and guitarist Billy Lunn comes on wearing a red hoodie. At this point I just want to point out that is was so unbelievably hot in Blank Canvas that sweat was actually pouring off of the walls - he must have been roasting.
The Subways rocket straight into their epic "With You" which the crowd immediately go nuts for, as does bassist and singer Mary-Charlotte Cooper who moves around the stage as if she just had 30 cups of coffee, jumping up and down and swinging her head side to side, she had so much energy it was unbelievable. The crowd was obviously trying to match her energy levels as the whole place was going insane and this is just the first song.
Billy was also pouring every ounce of energy he had in him into the performance, jumping off the drums, crowd surfing whilst playing the guitar and at one point putting the guitar down and actually crowd swimming. I mentioned earlier how Billy came on wearing a hoodie. Well he obviously decided that at points in the set he would remove his clothes. So he went from a hoodie, to a golfers top, to a t-shirt and finally to bugger all.
I could hear the same guys behind me from before saying "this is AMAZING" and I couldn't have agreed more. The Subways didn't even need to sing the songs as the crowd must have been singing several decibels over the band and at point Billy just let us sing.
The sound was perfect, the lighting was incredible and Billy and Mary's partnership on stage was immaculate. They were running around each other, pushing up together and generally being like one person split into two. They played all of their best songs such as "I want to hear what you got to say", "Oh yeah" "Mary" and "Holiday" and this is all before their encore. After performing "Mary" The Subways left the stage. And we just knew that they had to come back on as there is no way they wouldn't play "Rock n Roll Queen". So the crowd begins to chant "We want more! We want more!" and you could tell that they didn't just want it. THEY DEMANDED IT.
A roar comes up from the crowd as The Subways return for another taste of that sweet success. Their next single "No goodbyes" is up next just to let us calm down. That is until the final song of course, and what else could be. The one, the only "Rock n Roll Queen" - any energy that we had left is just ejected from our bodies and theirs in this last song of the night in which the Canvas was just erupting with power from the band.
Overall this was one phenomenal gig and if The Subways continue to dominate at the rate they are doing at the moment they are going to be one of the biggest bands on the planet. If you managed to seem them at Leeds Festival, well they annihilated that gig and if you get that chance to go see them then do. I promise you will not be disappointed.
prog dance post punk