You wouldn’t believe that Young for Eternity has been released for nearly ten years. The Subways reached considerable heights with that album – supporting AC/DC on their previous stadium tour and hitting up main stage at Reading & Leeds Festival – and while they landed a notorious producer, Butch Vig, for All or Nothing, it quickly dissolved. But does that mean it has ruined the band’s overall pleasure in their music career? Not a chance.
The groovy opening drum beat to ‘Oh Yeah’ sent the crowd into an immediate frenzy as the band ripped into a mixture of songs from their three albums and new album which is due to be released next February. The crowd’s energy was only mirrored by the band’s ecstatic performance. They looked like they had just stepped away from the youthful vitality of their incredible debut album. Frontman, Billy Lunn, eulogised the crowd repeatedly after every song, and was evidently delighted to be in Edinburgh.
While the band looked like they were genuinely having the time of their lives, the structure of their setlist did not make much sense for me. For most bands who have had a few hits in their time, they will most certainly place their most popular as the last song. Not for The Subways, who played every hit that you would most definitely want to hear by half way through the set.
Arguably the set died a little after ‘Rock and Roll Queen’, when people started leaving the venue – probably because they had heard it all. This gave The Subways a chance to promote their upcoming new album, with sounds very far from those in Young for Eternity. Nevertheless, some of the crowd at the front were digging it – crazily throwing themselves around to The Subways’ garage, pop-party punk fury.
The Subways will possibly never recreate the days of their debut album, but while seeing them play these small and intimate venues is a little disheartening for what was a viciously impressive rock outfit, it suits them best. Their music relates to sweaty, mad youngsters partying, and The Subways return with comparable charisma.