The Subways w/Living Things | 11.28.05

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All of 19 years old and consisting of two brothers and one sexy bass-playing diva named Charlotte Cooper, the Subways took the stage with the confidence of a veteran band.



Spaceland, Los Angeles

You wouldn’t have thought it was a Monday night considering the mass of people that gathered inside of Spaceland, a modest-sized music venue just outside of downtown L.A. But on this particular night the club had something special to offer: U.K.’s hottest new rock trio, the Subways.

All of 19 years old and consisting of two brothers and one sexy bass-playing diva named Charlotte Cooper, the Subways took the stage with the confidence of a veteran band. Frontman/guitarist Billy Lunn wasted no time, strapping on his Gibson SG and breaking into one of their high-energy, riff-rock-pop sing-alongs. The band plowed through a set of songs from Young for Eternity, their Sire debut. Songs like “Oh Yeah” and “City Pavement” recalled early Nirvana with a hint of Oasis. Cooper’s high-pitched vocals seemed to mix well with her real-life boyfriend and frontman Lunn’s powerful voice. The two shared more than just the occasional grin onstage, while drummer Josh Morgan pounded his way through a barrage of under-three-minute rock anthems. The band seemed to get the best reaction from the crowd after playing their latest single “Rock and Roll Queen,” a song that landed them on The O.C. and will be featured as the lead track on an upcoming compilation from the TV show.

Much to my surprise was a midnight appearance by St. Louis boys gone big, Living Things. By this time, a lot of the crowd had dissipated, but those that did stick around were left standing in awe—and also a bit confused when the band left the stage after only four songs. Not to mention a first-song incident in which lead singer Lillian Berlin intentionally and angrily swung his microphone to dislodge—and subsequently break—a stage light, then grabbed guitarist Cory Becker’s microphone to continue to sing. I wanted to see more; the bit I was privy to was pure rock ’n’ roll. Living Things consists of three brothers—Lillian, Eve, and Bosh Berlin. No, their names aren’t real, but who cares? They play raw rock ’n’ roll and look cool doing it. Lillian parades around stage like Iggy Pop or an early Mick Jagger, only with a much lower voice, while his brothers and Becker pump out gritty rock tunes. They didn’t leave the stage until after playing their latest single “Bom Bom Bom” which is currently all over Indie 103.1FM in L.A., with a video airing on MTV and MTV2.

I went to Spaceland to see the Subways, but left the venue with only three words ringing in my head: bom, bom, bom. Living Things make St. Louis proud.

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