The Subways Godiva in the Square Coventry


Features - Reviews

For Coventry’s Godiva Festival in the summer, the weather proved to be its death knell cancelling the three-day extravaganza. As a consolation, Coventry City Council decided to organise a one-day concert in Union Square under the Godiva banner.

However, the ‘Great’ British weather once again proved to be an achilles heel, although the event still went ahead, climaxing in performances by two rock bands at different stages in their career trajectories.

All day the rain had been a consistent presence, meaning the expected 5,000 visitors never materialised, and even when Twisted Wheel the support act to the headliner came on, there were still plenty of pavements unoccupied. A number of people chose to watch from the designated indoor bar tent.

The weather and small crowd made it a difficult gig for Twisted Wheel, a band who were a late replacement for The Twang, who pulled out at the last minute.

Their derivative Oasis-influenced rock sounds like the arse-end of Britpop, making you think that Shed Seven were actually decent.

The dull, militant playing failed to inspire a sparse crowd, though the inclement weather didn’t aid their cause, but it was a set containing plenty of perspiration, not inspiration.

Numbers had increased a little for The Subways, the headline act, but the torrential rain hadn’t dissipated meaning the usual moshpit carnage that accompanies Subways gigs was absent.

The lack of crowd participation did nothing to quell the ever excitable Subways frontman Billy Lunn, who still plays with a youthful vigour and abandon that you can’t help but admire, even if sometimes it feels a little clunky.

As ever, the interplay between Lunn and bassist, Charlotte Cooper provides a significant part of the stage patter. Her responses seemed a little forced, and suggested potential tensions at Lunn’s behaviour.

In the end, the soaked and downtrodden audience embraced Lunn’s numerous requests to pogo and created a circle pit. A flurry of hits like ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Queen’, ‘Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang’, and ‘Shake, Shake’ were bounced around to in a fashion.

The Subways have a knack of providing energetic live shows despite a limited back catalogue, but there was a feeling that Lunn’s bandmates were going through the motions, maybe yearning for a band with more substance.