Spotlight: The Subways
They've been called "England's Newest Hitmakers" and "the sexiest thing to sweep rock & roll off its feet in years," by tastemaker NME. Meet the Subways, a London trio that has its fingers crossed that audiences here won't be turned off by impossible-to-live-up-to hype.
"The British press is bizarre," says bassist Charlotte Cooper. "One week, a band you've never heard of is the most amazing thing ever, then next week, there's a new band that's the most amazing thing ever. Maybe they could calm down a bit?"
Presently, looks like the Subways will have to wait awhile before anything resembling calm returns to their lives. After being plucked from obscurity to play Glastonbury in 2004, Cooper, frontman Billy Lunn, and drummer Josh Morgan quickly became last European festival season's hottest young must-see. Their Sire/Reprise debut, Young for Eternity, fuses straightforward punk with Oasis-style pomp, plus there's the OC factor: Their U.S. debut featured them banging out their ludicrously catchy "Rock & Roll Queen" on television at the Bait Shop, the show's fictional rock club.
"It was an amazingly big break," Cooper says. "I still can't get my head around why an amazing Los Angeles show with stunning and talented people on it would want three skinny kids from Essex hanging around. It's a little weird, isn't it?"
Weird or not, Cooper says the Subways aren't about to rest on the laurels of their TV appearance and a growing stack of raving press. She says she knows their first SXSW appearance is an important gig, if for no other reason than to try and live up to the hype.
"People can write what they want," Cooper says, "but at the end of the day, you're only as good as the last song you wrote or the last gig you played. With any luck this will be a great one."