Herts The Subways rockers “super excited” to perform at iconic Standon Calling festival next summer

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Coming home is always a special occasion, especially when you live across the country – and your possibilities of returning have been severely hampered by a global pandemic.

It’s no wonder, then, that Charlotte Cooper of alternative rockers The Subways is looking forward to being back in Hertfordshire for next summer’s Standon Calling festival.

The popular family-owned boutique festival at the grounds of Standon Lordship, near Ware, recently announced its first acts of 2022.

Read more: Latest from Standon Calling

With an additional day of music for festival goers next year, The Subways will be among the acts to perform on opening night on Thursday, July 21.

Formed in 2000 when Charlotte, her bandmate Billy Lunn and original drummer Josh Morgan were hanging out on a subway under a roundabout in their hometown of Welwyn Garden City, the group have four top 40 hits to their name. and an enviable reputation on the live stage.

Charlotte lives in South Yorkshire these days, but relishes the prospect of a return to Herts.

“Each group is delighted to be returning to the festival stage,” she said. “We haven’t done one this year and it’s a pretty long hiatus for most bands so we can’t wait to get back on the pitch and play some high energy gigs.

“Standon Calling is going to be awesome. We play on Thursdays when everyone is super excited for a party to start their weekend.

“I still come a lot to Essex and Hertfordshire because that’s where I have family and the band is still based there.

“Billy has his studio in Welwyn Garden City and that’s where we rehearse.

“The band is based in Hertfordshire so it’s our home festival I guess.

“It’s always a good thing to go back to where you came from and do a local show.

“I’ve never been there so I can’t wait to check it out. I’m excited for sure.

The prospect of being in the fields is even more appetizing given the brutal effect the pandemic has had on the entertainment industry.

“It all ended so abruptly,” Charlotte said, “not just for us, but for every band and every artist out there.

“Everyone who worked in the music industry had lots of plans and it all suddenly came to a halt.

“Then there was the uncertainty of not knowing when things would return.”

Charlotte, Billy and new drummer Camille Phillips were finally able to get back on stage at the end of the summer – and everywhere they went their shows were imbued with a sense of overwhelming glee.

“We were on tour when it all started to get a little crazy, so we cut it short,” Charlotte explained.

“We finally rescheduled for the third time and we finally played these shows in September, and I know a lot of other artists do, just rescheduling things over and over again.

“It’s still a pretty uncertain time at the moment – in the last few weeks things have definitely changed again. It will be interesting to see what happens.

“The good thing about festivals, of course, is that they’re outdoors and the general consensus is that it’s a safer place right now.

“We have so much love for what we do. We have always loved being on tour. We love being on stage, it’s a big part of being in this band for us so being back and doing what we love was amazing.

“My dominant memory of these shows was that everyone was smiling.

“I think people always smiled before, but it seemed like everyone in the audience just kept smiling. I’ve never seen so many happy faces because everyone was so grateful to be a part of something that they like to do.

“I also really missed being with our whole crew and everything that was going on. I really love what I do and I feel so privileged to have the opportunity to be there.



These dates celebrated – belatedly for obvious reasons – the 15th anniversary of the release of The Subways’ debut album, Young for Eternity, a collection of raw garage punk hymns.

A lot has happened for the band since then, both musically and personally. They were, after all, still teenagers at the time.

As its members grew and matured, so did the group.

“Things have changed a lot for us since the release of that debut album – for everyone between the ages of 18 and 25,” Charlotte explained. “That’s what’s going on, isn’t it?”

“Your outlook on life has changed and so much has happened along the way since then.

“So play these songs [from the band’s early days] will always be special and the great thing for us is that it was nice to play some of the sweetest, I guess, songs that we never really played when they came out because we just wanted to go through a bunch of punk songs and play as loud and fast as you can, so it’s good to review that and give those songs the time of day and play on stage.

“These shows were really special – celebrating this album, which started it all for us, was amazing.”

A new album is in preparation next year. This will be the band’s first new music in over six years and both the end product and the approach to making it reflect how times have changed.

“Things are quite different now,” explained Charlotte, “because when we were writing songs for this first album, a lot of it was three-way in one room, just making a lot of noise, having a good time and all of us together because we all lived close to each other.

“Now we all live in different places so the writing process is quite different, especially with the last album because we were all stuck in our respective homes and cities for a large part due to the lockdown and Covid. , so that made it quite unique because we were working remotely.

“We were working together but separately – sending ideas back and forth and getting everything to Billy at his central location in Welwyn. He’s the producer of the album so he’s going to put it all together and put it all together.

“I set up a mini recording studio – I say that but it’s not that fancy, it’s right in the corner of my room!

“It’s a microphone and a synth and some stuff so that I can send some kinda rough stuff to Billy who can then import it and make a song out of it.

“Having this setup at home is going to be really helpful going forward because I have two kids and I can just go do things when they’re asleep and work around them.

“We might not have done this if we hadn’t been prompted by everything that has happened.”

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Upon release, it will be the first time Subways fans can get their hands on an album since the eponymous 2015 release.

It’s been a long wait, but it always was going to be. Just like they were always going to get back together.

“Billy decided he wanted to go to college,” Charlotte said. “He went to Cambridge to do English, which was an amazing experience for him.

“I took this time to start a family, so I have two children now.

“Even during that time, we were still working on this album, although since he graduated college it was a bit more focused work – in the six months or so before Covid and all the time.

“It was great while there was lockdown stuff because I had something positive to think about and be creative with. It was something in the future that didn’t worry us all about what was going on. So I really enjoyed it.

“Now we’re pretty excited because the fifth album is coming. We’re doing illustrations and everything like that right now we’re shooting videos, so it’s all very exciting after such a long time.

“We’ve been in this group since we were teenagers. We love it, but it doesn’t leave us much time for anything else.

“The synth element is a lot more noticeable on some songs,” says Charlotte, and fans can expect to hear some new material at Standon Calling.

Despite the change of direction, however, the group promises a good rocking set.

“We’re still going to do a high-energy show, but we also want to think a little bit about this new material,” Charlotte said.

“There will be a mixture. The new album should be out by then, so we’ll be playing a few new songs from it – but we’ll be playing Rock and Roll Queen, Oh Yeah, and hopefully the ones people remember.

Standon Calling returned this summer after being canceled last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Madness, Gabrielle and The Skints are among the other acts confirmed for opening night in 2022. For tickets, click here.

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