Live Review: The Subways with the Dancers and the Computers at London Koko – 4th October 2011

By on Friday, 14th October 2011 at 2:00 pm

Koko is crammed. Tickets tonight sold out almost as soon as tonight’s headliners released their latest album. The bill has two rising acts on it worth checking out and on a Tuesday evening, what could possibly be better than going to a show such as this one? Yes, tonight, the Subways are in town touring their third offering, ‘Money and Celebrity’, and they’ve brought the Computers and the Dancers along with them for good measure.

The evening starts off with a pop offering from new French act the Dancers. With a sound not too dissimilar from Alphabeat, it’s undeniable that they’re catchy, but it’s hard to tell whether that’s a good thing or not. Their Subways-style lineup with indie pop never really lights up the place but they’re endearing to the point of smiles even if the music lacks genuine character.

Thankfully, bringing a whole different sound to Camden tonight are the Computers. Self professed as the Hives meet Black Flag is a big ask, but within seconds of their more than electric set beginning, you can tell why. If Pulled Apart By Horses have opened up a gap in the industry, the Computers have definitely come along at the right time to fill it as screaming with catchy tracks is what they do best. Choosing to spend more time off stage than on, their front-man is certainly enigmatic and the tunes aren’t half bad either. Hopefully you’ll be hearing a lot more from the men in white in the future.

Tonight’s main event is the Subways. With their Pledge Music project gaining them fan recognition as well as involving a whole lot of planning, this tour is the big one in which we find out if it was worth it. Opening with debut single proper ‘Oh Yeah’ and racing through five well known old tracks from ‘Young for Eternity’ and ‘All Or Nothing’, ‘We Don’t Need Money To Have A Good Time’ is greeted with plenty of enthusiasm as the packed crowd really seem to have taken in the new record with open arms. The new single nestles in well with old material as do the likes of ‘I Wanna Dance With You’ and ‘Celebrity’. It’s of course the older hits that give tonight such a special feel as first album opener ‘I Wanna Hear What You Have Got To Say’ brings a respite for jumping and instead gives a room filling sing-along to Koko’s glorious layout. ‘Rock and Roll Queen’ is getting old these days and the trio don’t drag it out like they used to, now content on playing it mid-set and letting it live amongst the back catalogue. Closing their main set with ‘With You’ feels fitting, with “my best days are with you. They are so easy” being the last words of the main event.

In true rock and roll style of course, there’s an encore. Not content with the earlier circle pit for ‘Turnaround’, which engulfed most of the main standing area, frontman Billy Lunn chooses ‘Money and Celebrity’’s lead single ‘It’s a Party’ to do some of his trademark stage jumping and plays around in the crowd for a while before setting his sights on higher things. Making an ambitious 15-foot dive from a balcony, the willing crowd takes him with outstretched arms and sends him back to the stage. Even security look mildly impressed as they’re thanked for their good work.

‘Money and Celebrity’ may be the Subways’ most pop album to date, after all, they’ve gone from being in the studio with Butch Vig (Nirvana, Foo Fighters) to Stephen Street (Blur, the Smiths), but it’s still a rock party when the Subways roll into town. Add a bit of gloss, and you’ve got a killer Koko show.

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[…] of the band’s size (The Subways played here last year not long before their show at London Koko [reviewed here] and Dry the River [album review here] are scheduled to make a stop here soon.) Maybe it’s the […]

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