The Subways
The Subways.jpg
Background Information
Origin Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, England
Genre Alternative Rock
Indie Rock
Garage Rock Revival
Post-Punk Revival
Years active 2003-present
Label(s) Infectious
Sire/Warner Bros.
Billy Lunn
Charlotte Cooper
Josh Morgan

The Subways are an English alternative rock band. Their debut album, Young For Eternity, was released on 4 July 2005 in the UK and February 14, 2006 in the U.S. Their second album, All Or Nothing, was released on June 30, 2008. Although the band have not experienced a great deal of commercial success, they have gained a very loyal cult following amongst attendees of the annual Reading and Leeds festivals, in which on each occasion they attracted a crowd big enough to fill the second stage tent beyond capacity, resulting in the band becoming main stage regulars. Their debut album was certified gold in January 2007 for 100,000 units shipped.

History[edit | edit source]

Beginnings 2003-2004[edit | edit source]

The Subways began playing at an early age, in Lunn and Morgan's homes in Welwyn Garden City. They first played Nirvana and 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,, 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, 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 are still friends to this day with the band that suggested sending demos to Eavis.[1]

Young For Eternity and progression 2004-2007[edit | edit source]

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 Music Chart in its release week March 21, 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.

Some of their tracks, such as "She Sun" and "Rock & Roll Queen", are now being used on television adverts for Rimmel cosmetics featuring British supermodel Kate Moss. The Sun newspaper adverts are currently playing the song "Oh Yeah" in the background. "Rock & Roll Queen" appears in Live Free or Die Hard as well as Guy Ritchie's Rocknrolla and "Oh Yeah" is featured in the 2008 comedy Charlie Bartlett.

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 June 16, and also as support for the Foo Fighters in Manchester at the Lancashire County Cricket Ground on June 18 (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 August 4, they performed at the Lollapalooza music festival, and the next day they performed at Street Scene in San Diego. On August 7, they appeared on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. On August 25, they returned to Reading and Leeds Festivals, this time on the main stage.

2007-present[edit | edit source]

On May 15, 2007 the band announced the date on which they would begin recording their second album, June 4. On this date the band began recording in Los Angeles, California with producer Butch Vig. 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 September 3, 2007 the band returned to Los Angeles to complete work on their second album. On October 17, 2007 the band finished the recording of their second album, All or Nothing.

On February 18, 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 February 24, 2008 in an exclusive interview found on, Billy revealed he and Charlotte split 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 new partners. By March 25, 2008, The Subways started their first UK tour of this year and are confirmed for Glastonbury, T in the Park, Download Festival, Oxegen Festival and Reading and Leeds Festival this year.

On May 26, 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. The winner was Seb Ronjon from Paris. On June 30, 2008, All Or Nothing was released. The Subways second album has a harder sound compared with their debut Young For Eternity, achieved with the help of producer Butch Vig. The band's song "Girls & 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.

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 Saturday July 17th they Headlined and closed the 5th 2000 trees Festival in the UK. On Saturday 31st July The Subways headlined at Y - Not festival, near Matlock, Derbyshire. On August 8th 2010 they will play at the Hevy Music Festival near Folkestone, UK.

On August 6-7th 2010 the subways took a gig in Lithuania's rock/metal music festival Rocknights[3] in Zarasai.

On November 29, the band headed back into the studio to record their third studio album, which will most likely include a song entitled, "It's A Party".

On December 21st the band announced they are back in the studio recording with Stephen Street (Blur, The Smiths, Kaiser Chiefs). The band have partnered with direct-to-fan platform Pledge Music, and are offering fans the chance to be part of the release of the new album (scheduled for release in Spring 2011), alongside a range of amazing offers including signed instruments, a ltd edition photo album, and the chance to sing backing vocals on the album!

Members[edit | edit source]

  • Billy Lunn - guitar and vocals
  • Charlotte Cooper - bass and vocals
  • Josh Morgan - drums

Discography[edit | edit source]

Studio albums[edit | edit source]

EPs[edit | edit source]

  • "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)

Singles[edit | edit source]

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

  • "No Heart, No Soul EP" - Bus Stop Records - First official release; was available from the Bus Stop Records website before The Subways were signed. Release of 75 copies [1]
  • "1am" - Transgressive Records - Limited 7" release of 500 copies
  • "Oh Yeah" - released March 21 2005 - UK #25
  • "Rock & Roll Queen" - released June 20 2005 - UK #22 - ITA #37
  • "With You" - released September 12 2005 - UK #29
  • "No Goodbyes" - released December 12, 2005 - UK #27
  • "Girls & Boys" - March 25, 2008 - UK Did not chart (Free online release)
  • "Alright" - June 16, 2008 - UK #44
  • "I Won't Let You Down" - August 25, 2008 - UK #137
  • "Shake! Shake!" - TBA 2009

Compilation appearances[edit | edit source]

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

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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