Old Fire Station, Bournemouth

The Subways

It’s 19:30 and due to an unfeasibly early start to tonight’s gig, (7pm) I’ve missed almost all of Turbowolf’s half hour set. What I do see is great applause given to these hairy Rockers as they exit the stage. Not long after Sweden’s Royal Republic take to the stage. Instantly we are met by the almost 7ft frame of singer Adam Grahn and his equally impressive “tache” to boot! These guys can be summed up in one word-cliche! They are a 4 piece big in confidence and big in riffs. Its hard to pin down all the influences but Royal Republic are consummate entertainers. Mid-song banter and gurning are the order of the day/night but these guys can play. Vocally they remind me of Scandinavian under-achievers Span but musically its the hair-metal posing and shape shifting that keeps us entertained. Set highlight ‘Underwear’ gets a great big cheer but Adam is more concerned with getting ‘arms in the air’ on this,their first trip to Bournemouth. They also receive great applause from this largely young student audience.

Its been a couple of years since The Subways last toured and with a new LP to promote they are greeted by a near capacity crowd, in good voice and high on energy. These 3 take to the stage and set the bar high,opening with live favourite ‘Oh Yeah’ The response is immediate,a massive pit starts! Billy (vox) is grinning like a Cheshire cat while Charlotte (bass),is throwing herself around the stage. The ferocity of Josh’s drumming tonight is the heaviest I’ve heard in quite a while-quite simply folks,the Subways are on it! Billy makes it his business to regularly interact with this crowd,applauding the mayhem he is encouraging. The moshpit at times is bordering on aggression,but its mostly good natured. It hasn’t been this wild since Stiff Little Fingers came to this venue a few years back! Billy reminds us how much The Subways enjoy playing live. The crowd seem to respond to his every word. Tonight’s set is a Subways fans dream-all the big tunes,a smattering of acoustic numbers and material from the new LP. Billy dedicates “Mary” to his Mother-the girls cheer! “Kalifornia” gets us warmed up for set highlight “Rock ‘n Roll Queen”. Billy recites a tale of how John Peel had the song in his list of all time great songs.He then tells of a twitter response to the story which I’m afraid is too graphic for even this website! I guess you just had to be here in person. Nevertheless, it goes down a storm.

The Old FireStation: The Subways
The Subways 0102030405

Billy once again leads the singalong-we don’t disappoint him. Newer material ‘We Don’t Need Money…..,Pop Death and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang also go down well but with this set list its hard to be disappointed. Punktastic “With You” and “Turnaround” end the set before they return for a 3 song encore. Billy returns with his acoustic guitar for the personal “Lost Boy” before Charlotte and Josh join him for the last 2 songs. Billy decides its time for a his trademark ‘venture’ into the pit. He returns to the stage to orchestrate the cheering,splitting the room as he begs us to scream! Both sides trade screams. They exit for the last time,promising to return in future. When a band returns to the live circuit after 2 or 3 years away one feels there’s much to prove. Relentless touring schedules have only made The Subways tighter as a band,and if this show is anything to go by theres plenty more to look forward to. “Money and Celebrity” is a return to form for the band and we can only hope for more of the same in future.

The Subways Set List
Oh Yeah
Like I Love You
All or Nothing
No Goodbyes
We Don’t Need Money…..
Rock & Roll Queen
Pop Death
Shake! Shake!
I Want To Hear…..
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
At 1am
With You

Lost Boy
It’s A Party


Review By Ross A Ferrone (He’s Hardcore!!)
Pictures By Damien Godley.

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