LIVE REVIEW: Billy Lunn @ Nambucca, London
Maybe I’m just lucky, maybe I was just jet lagged or a bit ’emotional’ after a few pints, but tonight felt like yet another one of those amazing nights when a band you love play an acoustic set that feels like it’s aimed just at you, however many people are in the venue as well.
Tonight, Billy Lunn from The Subways plays Nambucca in North London and, it has to be said, it isn’t exactly rammed to the rooftops (more fool those of you that couldn’t be bothered). That said it’s a good two-thirds full and the support acts put us all into a gentle slumber of sorts, singing about gluten-free food products.
When Billy takes the stage at 10:15pm there’s a friendly, banter-filled, eager excitement tinge to the atmosphere, made stronger by the fact that he’s just been sitting in the bar chatting the whole evening. What makes it even more ‘chummy’ is that he consistently and continually forgets the words to nearly every song, and then listens to all of us singing the right words before picking it up again.
He blames this on not having his two usual band compatriots “making a noise” behind him but, to be honest, I really don’t care. He’s on top form and produces a setlist that would warm the heart of any Subways fan; more so when some of the lyrics to these stadium-filling, rabble-rousing and fist-pumping anthems gain an air of pathos when sung softly and quietly. The spirit of lost youth as “teenage years they won’t last” is made heavier when Billy tells us those words feel strange rolling off his lips as he approaches the age of 31.
Highlight of the evening for me is when a girl who has been singing every word is plucked from the audience to sign Charlotte’s lines in ‘Oh Yeah’. With the spotlight on her and adoring eyes awaiting her first note she informs us that she can’t sing, forgets every single word and succeeds only in making herself and Billy collapse with laughter for just about the entire song. It’s a wonderful moment and one that will stay with me for a long time. Allison Ford I salute you.
The night though is entirely Billy’s. He skips the ‘false’ encore and just plays straight through – ‘With You’, ‘1am’ and ‘Good Times’ making a perfect close to a pretty perfect evening. Next time get yourself there and have the time of your life with a bunch of mates you’ve probably never met before. See you soon.