Countdown to Camden Rocks: The Subways

The TeamRock-sponsored Camden Rocks festival is taking over the North London borough on May 31. In the run-up to the festival we'll be chatting to some of the headline bands and most exciting new acts. Today, we welcome back The Subways...

The Subways are set to headline the TeamRock stage at the Electric Ballroom on May 31, with support from the likes of Dinosaur Pile-Up and Eureka Machines. We spoke to bassist/vocalist Charlotte Cooper about what to expect…

Q. Your headline show on the TeamRock stage at Camden Rocks will be your first UK show of 2014: what have The Subways been up to since we last saw you onstage?

Charlotte Cooper: “We’ve been in our studio working on songs for a new release, which has been really exciting, but we’re definitely ready to get back on stage now! We did a few shows last year in places we’ve never been to, like South Africa, which was very inspirational.”

Q. Anticipation is growing for the release of the new Subways album: what can we expect?

“The new album is a real personal effort for us, with Billy (Lunn) producing and us recording in our home studio and even doing some vocals in Billy’s house! Billy produced the demos for our last two albums and he really absorbed a lot from the amazing producers we’ve been privileged to work with for our first 3 albums. Playing live is what we’re all about as a band, and with this record we really wanted to capture that energy, so rocking out in our rehearsal space definitely helped that.”

Q. Your Facebook page mentions that you used to see bands at the Electric Ballroom, but have never actually played the venue. What memories do you have of attending shows there?

“Billy and I went to see The D4 supported by The Caesars there, which was an awesome show! We had just started the band and were very influenced by all the gigs we saw around that time. We were enthralled with the stage presence of the band members and just wanted to be like that ourselves.”

Q. What’s was The Subways most memorable Camden gig?

“We’ve had so many! When we first started we used to play in Camden and Islington all the time - it’s where we learnt how to be a band! I remember several crazy shows at the Barfly - arms and legs everywhere, sweat dripping from the ceiling and us being amazed looking out on people singing our songs back to us for the first time.”

Q. Industry pundits claim that guitar bands will make a comeback in 2014: what’s your personal take on the state of rock music in the UK right now?

“There’s loads of great bands out there! We’ve been a band for over 10 years now - our first single came out in 2004 - can you believe it?! - and in that time we’ve seen things change quite dramatically in the music industry and many trends have come and gone. The thing about guitar bands is that we’ll always be here, no matter what form of music the cool kids are currently listening to.”

Q. What bands on the Camden Rocks bill will you try to catch at the festival? “We’ve toured with quite a few bands on the bill and will definitely be watching them play and hooking up with them for a beer: Turbowolf, Straight Lines, Young Aviators. Bleech are a great band from near where we grew up - definitely check them out! I love Nine Black Alps and I’m very excited they’re playing together again. My husband is the drummer in Reverend and the Makers and I’m a genuine fan of the band - I went to 4 gigs on the last tour. They’re so much fun live, you can’t help but dance watching them - I’ll be dashing over to see them play after our set.”

Q. Using just 5 words, describe The Subways current mind-set.

Really friggin’ excited to tour!

Q. Any final message?

“We kind of feel a bit like caged animals at the moment…. this will be one of our first shows of the year so expect a lot of energy and we’ll be rocking hard! We can’t think of a better way to start touring again - Camden has brought us so many awesome memories and we’re sure Camden Rocks will give us even more! Thank you to our UK fans for waiting for us - we’ve missed you!”

**Tickets for Camden Rocks, priced at £25 for over 200 bands, are out now. Purchase tickets and check out the rest of the line-up, which includes Ginger Wildheart, The Blackout, Orange Goblin, Hacktivisit, Baby Godzilla, Sonic Boom Six and more, at the official website. **

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.