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THE SUBWAYS/THE COMPUTERS/THE DANCERS @ MANCHESTER ACADEMY 2 27/09/11 - REVIEW BY PHIL KING

 
The Subways released their newest CD ‘Money and Celebrity’ earlier this month and it’s rapidly becoming one of the hottest records of the moment. The twelve brilliant tracks that make up the band’s latest work are amongst the best they’ve recorded so far and tonight Billy Lunn, Charlotte Cooper and Josh Morgan have landed in Manchester on an unusually warm Autumn evening to show their faithful followers what these tracks sound like in a live arena. The show is completely sold out, as Manchester absolutely love this band. They didn't disappoint and even treated us to two fantastic support acts to rouse the audience into a hot sweaty mass.

However before the Subways storm the Academy 2 stage, it’s slinky trio, The Dancers, who’re given the task of entertaining the steadily growing crowd. French, fast and full of fun, The Dancers zip through a set of playful melodic pop that by the end, converts large portions of the crowd to their cause. www.welovethedancers.com

Somehow the boys in the next band have managed to learn the songs the Lord refused to teach the rest of us. Though they’re equal parts heavy handed and cold hearted, that doesn’t stop The Computers possessing one of the hardest drives of any band working the circuit today. A quintet clad in white, The Computers roar through their rock n roll spirituals at a frightening pace. It’s an awesome sound that’s been dredged up from somewhere down below, and doesn’t suffer from any restraint. What the band stand for is open to interpretation, because the singer screams in tongues, and by the end, has even left his band mates to continue his testimonial from somewhere in the beating heart of the crowd, hanging out within the front row. It’s an impressive performance by a band that’s in ascension and one that definitely warrants further investigation and their album 'This Is The Computers' is a knockout. www.facebook.com/thecomputers

 

By the time The Subways stroll onto the stage the place is packed and sweat is rolling down the walls of the Academy. This doesn’t stop the band raising the temperature even more by hammering out their first single ‘Oh Yeah’. From this moment on the crowd is firmly behind the band and bounce back every ounce of energy they receive to spur the Subways on to greater heights. Though the Subways only number three members, you’d think they’d struggle to fill this large space. But in the red-headed Billy Lunn and blonde bombshell Charlotte Cooper, they have two front people who refuse to keep still and between them cover every inch of the stage, especially bassist Charlotte who never stops headbanging from start to finish. Musically the Subways don’t deal in fly-by-night anthems, and to prove otherwise crowd favourites ‘Rock n Roll Queen’ and ‘I Want To Hear What You Have Got To Say’ are nothing less than great songs in anyone’s vocabulary.

 

The main set finishes with the fist-pumping ‘With You’ though the band soon returns to play another three gems that boast strong and infectious rhythms that gets the raucous throng bouncing all over the place. During the final song ‘It’s A Party’, which billy announces " this was written for each and everyone of you" a swirling circular mosh pit forms [after Billy demands one] that really explodes when Subways guitarist Billy Lunn puts down his instrument and flings himself into the welcoming arms of the Subways fans. It’s a fitting way to end a gig like this where the line that separates band and fans becomes ragged and blurred.

A great gig by a really good band, plus an extra special treat to have the highly energised band The Computers on this tour, making it the icing on the cake. So do yourself a favour and go see for yourself.  

Setlist:

Oh Yeah
Young For Eternity
Obsession
Alright
Mary
We Don’t Need The Money To Have Good Time
Popdeath
Shake Shake
I Want To Hear What You Have Got To Say
Rock & Roll Queen
Celebrity
Kiss Kiss Bang Band
Turnaround
With You

Encore:

Kalifornia
At 1 AM
It’s A Party

www.facebook.com/thesubways

Review by Phil King / Photos by Mel