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Nine years on, there’s still no stopping The Subways

ByLydia Rylance Murdoch

Nov 5, 2014
Image: cnphotography.de

The Subways

Electric Circus, Edinburgh  25/10/14

First up on stage was two-piece band Man Of Moon. Despite having recently supported We Were Promised Jetpacks, with under 800 likes on Facebook, the local band is still relatively unknown.

However, if their set was any indication then this is due to change. Guitar and vocals were reminiscent of Muse in places but their overall feel was distinctly Mogwai-esque.

The duo demonstrated an excellent sense of rhythm and created an interesting contrast of wispy ethereal vocals and crashing beats. Mickey Reid on drums was something exceptional and potentially the highlight of the entire night.

The light and sound guy could be seen enthusiastically dancing along between transitions, which can never be a bad sign. The boys were endearingly awkward between songs, mumbling unintelligible remarks before continuing to dazzle the audience with haunting refrains. The songs didn’t seem to lead anywhere with endings that resembled intros. However, this merely made for a more interesting and unique sound.

Overall, they were charmingly awkward with fantastic drumming and riffs. Man Of Moon are definitely a band to watch.

Next up on the stage were Young Aviators, who can only be described as aggressively trendy. Where Man of Moon were subdued and thoughtful, Young Aviators were loud and enthusiastic. From the moment they swaggered on stage and barked out ‘check’ until they bounded off again, they exuded a puppyish energy. With an introduction of “how the f*ck is it going?!”, they proceeded to perform with looks of pure joy on their faces.

The spirited set was accompanied with heart, soul and hand gestures. However, despite their infectious enthusiasm, the light and sound guy appeared to prefer Man Of Moon and such wisdom is not to be overlooked.

While the lyrics of Man Of Moon seemed heartfelt, Young Aviators’ refrain of “sex, death and eternal happiness” made for quite a contrast.

The lyrics were in danger of becoming repetitive with “nobody cares” repeated on a loop. Additionally, “This one’s a bit racist” is always an ominous remark to precede a song. It was presumably a witty joke but unfortunately it was hard to tell with the feedback of the mic. Ultimately, their set could have been a fourth album by The Enemy. However, despite doing nothing new, they were good at doing it and the crowd was a pleased one.

The Subways themselves leapt onto the stage with even more enthusiasm than Young Aviators. This boundless energy didn’t let up for their entire set- a pretty remarkable achievement in itself. Billy Lunn in particular (guitar/vocals) bounced around the stage like a puppy with a giant grin on his face the entire night.

It is remarkable that after a whole decade they haven’t become stale or reserved by any margin. They kicked off their set with ‘Oh Yeah’ off of their first hit album Young For Eternity, which was met by gleeful yells from the entire audience.

Next was ‘Shake Shake’ where a mosh pit could be seen to form. The Subways débuted some new material during the night but it was the old favourites that really got the crowd moving (in particular ‘Oh Yeah’ and ‘Boys and Girls’). That said, their new release ‘My Heart is Pumping to a Brand New Beat’ was eagerly received by the audience.

By the end of the night the entire floor was transformed into one big clump of twenty-somethings in leather jackets rediscovering their teenage love of moshing. Lunn’s excitable chatter explaining the meaning behind various songs (‘Mary’ was written for his Mum and ‘We Don’t Need Money to Have a Good Time’ was written when his friend was made redundant) was an endearing touch.

The gig was unexpectedly packed given that The Subways were regarded as in their prime over nine years ago.

However, it was perhaps this that made the gig such a pleasure: the band knew they were lucky to still being able to do what they loved and weren’t taking any of it for granted.

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