The Subways

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The Subways
The Subways in Birmingham Ballroom.JPG
Background information
Origin Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, England
Genres Alternative rock
Post-grunge
Indie rock
Britpop
Punk
Years active 2000–present
Labels Cooking Vinyl (UK), Warner Bros. Records (U.S.), Infectious Records (UK)
Website thesubways.net
Members Billy Lunn
Charlotte Cooper
Josh Morgan

The Subways are an English rock band. Their debut album, Young for Eternity, was released on 4 July 2005 in the UK and 14 February 2006 in the U.S. Their second album, All or Nothing, was released on 30 June 2008 and their third album Money and Celebrity debuted on the 19 September 2011.

Members[edit]

Charlotte Cooper at the Southside Festival 2014

History[edit]

Beginnings, 2002-2004[edit]

The Subways, whose name comes from the time Lunn, Morgan and Cooper used to hang around the local subway underpass which ran underneath a Welwyn Garden City roundabout (A UK subway is an underground walkway to cross roads NOT as commonly mistaken a train line...), began playing at an early age, in Lunn and Morgan's homes (who are brothers—Lunn's birthname is William Morgan) in Welwyn Garden City. They first played Nirvana, Green Day and other punk songs, under the name of Mustardseed. They later changed their name to Platypus, and began to tour small, local venues, such as The Square in Harlow, Essex. An early CD of the band playing live was recorded at The Square which they sold at gigs.

The band released many demos and EPs in their early days when playing the London circuit in the UK. With every batch of new songs that The Subways would compose, Lunn would insist that the band record them. However, at such a young age the group had no money with which to go into a studio to record consistently, so they came upon the idea of buying their own cheap recording system at home. Eventually, the band had their own website, http://www.thesubways.net, which Lunn himself constructed and maintained, where they put all their new songs. Through the use of their own home recording system they now had roughly eight demos worth of songs both on the internet and being sent out to local and London promoters at various venues. The Subways then began touring in the local and London area playing regularly at the Buffalo Bar in Highbury and Islington.

Having the home recording system also proved useful for production. The band felt that it would not only benefit themselves, but other local bands who could not afford the studio prices, even in the Welwyn Garden City area. It was here that Billy and Charlotte both stumbled upon the opportunity that would eventually prove significant for the band. "I was producing a local Welwyn Garden City band in my front lounge one day and I noticed that it was quite good so I asked if they were going to send it to any London venues, because I knew a few that would like it. They said that they were going to send it off to Michael Eavis who runs Glastonbury Festival, and I asked why..." Michael Eavis that year was running an unsigned bands competition to play on the Other Stage, and The Subways decided that would be a great idea. "It was really just another address to send one of our CDs off to. All we wanted was to play shows and this was another great opportunity. The CD we sent off to Michael Eavis was literally one among a bunch of 30 that were being sent out to London promoters for a load of gigs we wanted to book. "We never expected the phone call saying that we'd won and were to play Glastonbury," said Cooper on radio. The Subways remain friends with Eavis today, and have suggested that other upcoming bands should send demos to Eavis.[1]

Young For Eternity, 2004-2007[edit]

Main article: Young for Eternity

After Glastonbury, The Subways went on to play The Carling Weekend 2004 in both Reading and Leeds, and then proceeded to play their very first (self funded) tour of the UK consisting of 35 dates.

John Peel was the first DJ to play single "1am" on National radio.

The band signed to City Pavement & Infectious Records in late 2004. Their first album, Young for Eternity, which was released on the 4 July 2005, was produced by Lightning Seeds frontman Ian Broudie; with their debut single "Oh Yeah" reaching number 25 in the UK Singles Chart on its release week 21 March 2005.

The Subways appeared during the seventh episode of the third season of The O.C., "The Anger Management", performing two songs at the music venue 'the Bait Shop', "Rock & Roll Queen" and "Oh Yeah". The episode came to a close with "I Want to Hear What You Have Got to Say" playing.

The band postponed touring in April 2006 because Lunn had nodules on his vocal cords. They played a "secret" gig in The Green Room in their home town of Welwyn Garden City on 16 June, and also as support for the Foo Fighters in Manchester at the Lancashire County Cricket Ground on 18 June (along with Eagles of Death Metal, Angels & Airwaves and The Strokes), and have recently returned to touring.

In the summer of 2006 the band traveled to North America where they made numerous appearances. These included opening for the co-headlining tour of Taking Back Sunday & Angels & Airwaves and performing on the talk shows, Late Show with David Letterman and Late Night with Conan O'Brien. On 4 August they performed at the Lollapalooza music festival, and the next day they performed at Street Scene in San Diego. On 7 August they appeared on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. On 25 August they returned to Reading and Leeds Festivals, this time on the main stage.

All or Nothing, 2007-2010[edit]

On 15 May 2007, the band announced they would begin recording their second album on 4 June, and the band began recording then in Los Angeles, California with producer Butch Vig at Conway Studios. The band had written around twenty-five tracks which were recorded over a period of several months. In August 2007 the band came back to the UK and played a series of small warm up shows showcasing their new material, before playing at the Reading and Leeds Festivals. On 3 September 2007, the band returned to Los Angeles to complete work on their second album. On 17 October 2007 the band finished recording, All or Nothing.

On 18 February 2008, the band recorded their live video at The Stoke Sugarmill for their first single, "Girls & Boys", which was released as a free download from their website on 25 March 2008. On 24 February 2008 in an exclusive interview found on www.sundaymail.co.uk, Lunn revealed he and Cooper split up in June during studio sessions for The Subways' second album, All or Nothing. He went on to say that the break-up will not affect the band. They are both happy with their new partners. By 25 March 2008, The Subways had started their first UK tour of the year and played at the Glastonbury Festival, T in the Park, Download Festival, Oxegen Festival and Reading and Leeds Festival.

On 26 May 2008, The track "This is the Club" was released on the internet as part of a competition for fans to produce its video using 4 video clips. On 30 June 2008, All or Nothing was released, achieved with the help of producer Butch Vig. The band's song "Girls and Boys" was featured as the backing song for the television show The Riches on Virgin1. The band appeared as themselves in Guy Ritchie's film RocknRolla, performing "Rock & Roll Queen". The Song "I Won't Let You Down" is featured on the racing-game Colin McRae: DiRT 2.

The Subways perform three songs in episode 10 of Series 2 (2008) of Live From Abbey Road: "Oh Yeah" from Young for Eternity, and "Strawberry Blonde" and "I Won't Let You Down" from All or Nothing. On 18 March 2009, The Subways featured as themselves in the episode "Golden Lady" of the TV series FM.

The Subways played Australia's Soundwave festival tour in February and March, followed by Poland in April 2009. The song "Kalifornia" is featured on the video game, Midnight Club: Los Angeles. On 26 June 2009, The Subways supported AC/DC at Wembley Stadium and Hampden Park on the 30 June.

In 2009, the band played at the biggest open-air festival in Europe (400.000 - 500.000 rock fans every year) - Przystanek Woodstock[2] in Poland. On 17 July they headlined and closed the fifth 2000 Trees Festival in the UK. On 31 July, The Subways headlined at the Y - Not Festival, near Matlock, Derbyshire. On 8 August 2010, they appeared at the Hevy Music Festival near Folkestone. In the same month, the Subways played in Lithuania's rock/metal music festival, Rocknights,[3] in Zarasai.

Money and Celebrity, 2010 - 2012[edit]

Main article: Money and Celebrity

On 29 November, the band headed back into the studio to record their third studio album. By 21 December the band announced they are back in the studio recording with Stephen Street. The band have partnered with the direct-to-fan platform Pledge Music, and are offering fans the chance to be part of the release of the new album, which was released on the 19 September 2011. This album is entitled "Money and Celebrity".

The band announced in June that the first single from the album will be "It's a Party", which was released as a free download through the band's website. They also released dates for an additional tour which supports the album. This is tour will be across Europe, playing in such venues as Manchester Academy 2, London KOKO and Madrid Sala Caracol. At the end of October 2011 they released news that they are playing in the KERRANG! Xmas Party in Birmingham Ballroom on the 16 December 2011. Another tour has been schedules in Spring 2012, this includes the Manchester Ritz, Shepherd's Bush Theatre and a tour of Germany and many other European countries.

  • The single "We Don't Need Money To Have A Good Time" was released on the 11 September 2011.
  • The single "It's A Party" was released on the 2 January 2012
  • The single "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" was released on 21 April 2012

On 13 August 2012, the band announced that they would be headlining the Propaganda Indie Club tour which would see them tour a total of twelve clubs throughout the United Kingdom between Saturday 22 September and Saturday 27 October.[4]

Fourth studio album, 2013 - present[edit]

On 17 February 2013, the band announced that they had started rehearsing for their fourth album.[5]

During spring 2014, the song "My Heart Is Pumping to a Brand New Beat" was released, and tour dates for later that year were announced.

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Year Album details Peak chart positions
UK[6] GER SWI
2005 Young for Eternity 32 65
2008 All or Nothing 17 18 40
2011 Money and Celebrity 43 16 58
"—" denotes a title that did not chart.

EPs[edit]

  • "The Platypus EP"
  • "I Lost You To The City EP"
  • "Summertime EP"
  • "Rock & Roll Queen EP"
  • "No Heart No Soul EP"
  • "Young For Eternity EP"
  • "At 1am EP"
  • "Milk EP"
  • "Mary EP"
  • "Live at Birmingham Academy EP"
  • "The Live Videos EP" (iTunes only)
  • "Live and Acoustic In Magdeburg EP" (iTunes only)
  • "We Don't Need Money To Have A Good Time EP" (iTunes only)
  • "It's A Party EP" (iTunes only)
  • "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang EP" (iTunes only)

Singles[edit]

All singles released in CD and 7" format on the Infectious/City Pavement record labels unless otherwise stated.

Year Single Peak chart positions Notes
UK[6] ITA GER
2004
"At 1am" Transgressive Records - Limited 7" release of 500 copies
2005 "Oh Yeah" 25
"Rock & Roll Queen" 22 37 92
"With You" 29
"No Goodbyes" 27
2008 "Girls & Boys" Did not chart (free online release)
"Alright" 44
"I Won't Let You Down" 137 I Won't Let You Down" also went to No 3 on XFM's top 7 at 7 and has also peaked at 16 on the HMV singles chart.
2011 "It's a Party!" Did not chart (free online release)
"We Don't Need Money To Have A Good Time" Download Only
2012 "It's A Party!" Download only
"Kiss Kiss Bang Bang"
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.

Music videos[edit]

Year Video
2004 "At 1 am"
2005 "Oh Yeah"
"No Goodbyes"
"With You"
"Rock & Roll Queen"
2008 "Girls & Boys"
"Alright"
"I Won't Let You Down"
"This is the Club For People Who Hate People"
"Shake! Shake!"
2009 "Rock & Roll Summer" (live)
2011 "It's a Party!"
"We Don't Need Money To Have A Good Time"
2012 "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang"

Compilation appearances[edit]

Year Album Title Label
2004 Glastonbury Unsigned 2004 Concrete Recordings
2005 Music from the OC: Mix 5 Warner Bros./Wea
2006 Transgressive Singles Collection Vol.1 Wea
Rescue Me (soundtrack) Nettwerk Records
2007 Charlie Bartlett (soundtrack) Lakeshore records
2008 RocknRolla (soundtrack) Universal Music
Die Welle (soundtrack) EMI - Germany

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Interview with Billy Lunn of the Subways | popwreckoning". Popwreckoning.wordpress.com. 2008-10-13. Retrieved 2014-08-11. 
  2. ^ [1][dead link]
  3. ^ "Muzikos ir pramogų festivalis Roko naktys 2014". Rocknights.lt. 2014-08-01. Retrieved 2014-08-11. 
  4. ^ "BREAKING NEWS! Confirmed @thesubways 'Propaganda Live To... on Twitpic". Twitpic.com. Retrieved 2014-08-11. 
  5. ^ "The Subways - Hey guys! Just thought I'd update you on...". Facebook. Retrieved 2014-08-11. 
  6. ^ a b "SUBWAYS | Artist". Official Charts. Retrieved 2014-08-11. 

External links[edit]