Last night I went to see The Subways at Brixton Academy with Josh and his sister, Schwea.
We arrived halfway through the first act. I can’t tell you what they were called because they weren’t on the bill anywhere online and I don’t think they told us their own band name. Anyway, they weren’t terrible but they certainly weren’t good either. I got the feeling that the band hadn’t been playing together long because each of them seemed to be playing their own song. There was no indication that any of them even knew that the others were onstage. Musically they were sound, I suppose, but zero chemistry and their singer was doing a very, very poor Matt Bellamy impersonation. For shame!
Next up were my little Glaswegian favourites, Twin Atlantic. Poor Sam is looking more and more dishevelled every time I see them. He is borderline Bert McCracken at the moment. I did like his purple jeans though. Definitely bringing sandwiches and soap to the next gig. They were initially very clearly nervous but their intense energy and powerful connection with each other was very welcome after the first act. I am totally in love with their new stuff, particularly Crash Land (which you can see below) and apparently they will record their first full-length album in January. Once they got into their stride, they were as wonderful as ever and A Guidance From Colour was, as always, mesmerising.
While we waited for The Subways, I popped to the loo. On the way back I had to wrangle my way through quite a tightly packed crowd and at one point I was right up against this guy who leaned forward and whispered, “you’re a sexual predator” into my ear. Riiiiight. I just stared at him so he said, “it’s gotten weird hasn’t it?” So I said well that is the weirdest thing anyone has ever said to me in a crowd. His response was to growl at me. The retreat was beaten hastily.
If anyone is an inherent natural rock star, it is Billy Lunn. He strode out shirtless and with barely a wave of his hand lifted the entire audience into his palm and kept them there for the full set. He demanded serious crowd participation and we gave it adoringly, freely. It was only fair since he, Charlotte and Josh gave up everything in their performance. There was a lot of “cocky” posturing and strutting that would normally be very irritating but when you are as cool as Billy is, you can do pretty much whatever the hell you like and still make everyone wish they were onstage with you. Their hyperactive set felt pitifully too short and when they stopped pre-encore everyone was a bit stunned. The encore was awesome. Barry from Twin Atlantic came on to lend his cello stylings to Strawberry Blonde to chants of “Barry! Barry!” from the audience. Of course they closed with a riotous rendition of Rock ‘n Roll Queen and everyone left feeling like they had rocked out with their cock out. I have a little video of Oh Yeah for all of you and the photos are here.
With that I bid you adieu. I am off to South Africa this evening and I won’t be back until the 27th. Don’t miss me too much.