The Subways LIVE @ Buffalo Bar, London
Tonight was the Last Hurrah for The Subways at London’s Buffalo Bar – another one of those invaluable ‘toilet venues’ that the capital, and the rest of the country, are slowly losing. The Buffalo Bar gave The Subways their first gig in London, and prompted their manager to approach them to request the job. It’s clear (from the band’s tweets too) that this night will mean a lot to them and will get quite emotional.
With the intimate surroundings that can only be described as candlelit, accompanied by just 150 avid fans of the bar and the venue, it’s a really great touch to find that tonight’s support band is singer Billy Lunn; transplanted from the band to deliver a short but effective acoustic set. It’s interspersed with anecdotal stories of how Billy met Charlotte, decided he wanted to play the guitar, and realised that the band was “all about me”. With the sarcasm of the last line still causing ripples of laughter, we get a set-closer of Oasis’s ‘Supersonic’, and it feels like tonight just might get the better of Billy’s emotions.
A short 20-minute interval later and the full band are back. Never in the history of this venue (I’m assuming) have the words ‘Buffalo’ and ‘Bar’ been yelled so often, so consistently and by so many people. The love that this band hold for this venue and its owners is clear and it’s doubly-clear that tonight will, if it’s never happened before, actually blow the roof off the place. We’re all onside, we all sit when we’re told to sit, mosh when we’re told to mosh, scream when we’re told to scream and, of course, yell “BUFFALO BAR!!!” when we’re told to.
A set interspersed with a few new numbers allows us all to keep our momentum and know, beyond any doubt, that there’s only one way to finish the night and as “It’s a Party!” echoes its last around the walls of this soon to be vacant plot, we reflect on whether one last push might save this place.
There’s still time and if you’ve never seen The Subways play this place before, hurry up and start lobbying for it to happen again. It might be futile, might be in vain, might be pointless, but better to know for sure than let this place go without one last effort.
Words and Photos: Dan Aitch
View the rest of the gallery here.