Meet the Band: The Subways

MEET THE BAND: Billy Lunn (vocals, gutiars), Charlotte Cooper (bass, vocals), Josh Morgan (drums)

CLUB KIDS: Initially, the three members of the British group the Subways used to hang out in London. They originally christened themselves Mustardseed, one of many bad band names that singer-bassist Charlotte Cooper says they tried before settling upon Subways. The three used to hang out in London and started playing punk songs as Mustardseed. "We were just teenage kids hanging out and playing Nirvana covers," she says during a recent transatlantic phone call. "We were really young. We were like 14 or 15 years old. We met at swimming club, which is not very rock 'n' roll. We were so young. We would play the Glastonbury Festival and then go back to school on Monday. You don't think about it at the time. You just go on with it."

BRITPOP WITH A TWIST: Appropriately titled Young for Eternity, the band's 2005 debut featured snotty punk songs with a twist of Oasis- and Blur-inspired Brit-pop. "I think [the album's popularity] has grown over time," says Cooper. "There wasn't an initial big explosion with is when it was first released. Some of the songs have been discovered later. 'Rock N Roll Queen' is our best known song but a couple of years after the album's release, other songs started getting used in films and TV shows. It's how people were introduced to our band.

WHY YOU SHOULD HEAR THEM: Released last year, The Subways shows an emphasis on songwriting. "The songs just come as they do," says Cooper. "Billy writes on acoustic guitar and then sends it to me and Josh. If Josh comes up with a heavy drum beat, they'll become rather heavy. If Billy keeps it acoustic, it might become poppy. Sometimes, it's obvious. Other times, it's fun to see where it will go." Songs such as "I'm In Love and It's Burning in My Soul" retain the loud-to-quiet dynamics that recall American grunge acts such as Mudhoney and Nirvana and Cooper and Lund capably trade vocals in songs such as "Dirty Muddy Paws" and "Good Times."

WHERE YOU CAN HEAR THEM: thesubways.net

WHERE YOU CAN SEE THEM: The Subways perform with Pins and the Scuzzballs at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 21, at the Grog Shop.

About The Author

Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected]
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