Char’s on a good run

SHE is best known as a bass player and singer but, when The Subways’ tour reaches Surrey this weekend, you may see Charlotte Cooper around town running, swimming or cycling… “I’m on the treadmill as we speak,” she laughs.

“I started running as a way to keep fit in between tours a couple of years ago. That led on to triathlons and now it’s a full-on obsession of its own and I train every day.”

IN GEAR – Charlotte and the rest of The Subways will hit the Boileroom on Saturday

IN GEAR – Charlotte and the rest of The Subways will hit the Boileroom on Saturday

Charlotte recently finished her big race of the year, the Outlaw in Nottingham – an iron man-distance triathlon of a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile cycle and 26.2-mile run.

“It’s fun to do,” she insists. “This year I did 11 hours and 37 minutes, so it’s a full day out. I was pretty happy with that, although there’s a lot of work to do – I was happy with the run but the bike and swimming could do with some work.”

She’ll be keeping up her training while The Subways are on tour, adding: “It just takes a bit of planning. Running is easy, you can do that anywhere, but I spend a lot of time researching swimming pools and places to go on my bike.

“Billy (Lunn, singer/guitar) still swims for fitness so he often comes with me. It’s actually great for filling in time because on a general tour you have to soundcheck about 4pm and then you haven’t really got anything to do until you play at 9pm or 10pm.

“For me, it’s really good to see the places we go to, it’s good to get out and about.”

The band are about to follow up their latest single, My Heart Is Pumping To A Brand New Beat, with a new – as yet untitled – album and are touring the UK to promote it.

“It still sounds quite as you’d imagine a Subways record to sound – rocky with pop melodies but perhaps a bit edgier,” says Charlotte. “If you’ve heard My Heart Is Pumping To A Brand New Beat, you’ll know what I mean.

“Billy has produced this album, which is new. He’s produced our demos in the past and this time round he decided to have a go at the real thing. He’s done a really, really good job, although it was a whole lot of hard work.

“Being involved with the writing, recording and producing meant he was working all the time. Me and Josh (Morgan, drummer) would go home and leave him with a whole lot of work, but it’s really paid off because the album sounds brilliant.”

It’s now a decade since The Subways burst into the nation’s consciousness with hits like Rock ’n’ Roll Queen and Oh Yeah after being selected from a nationwide competition for unsigned bands to play at Glastonbury.

“We’re completely blown away by the fact that we’re still going,” says Charlotte. “We released the first single, Oh Yeah, in 2004, but we were going for a few years before that as well. That came out when I was 18.

“But we enjoy it more now, it’s just lots of fun. I never understand when bands say they don’t enjoy being on tour.

“We’re already looking at more dates for February or March to promote the album and we’ll go across Europe and hopefully do more festivals next summer.”

That 10 years has seen the band survive through Charlotte’s break-up with Billy, a health scare when Billy was diagnosed with polyps on his vocal cords, and the fact that Billy and Josh are brothers.

“On paper it sounds like a disaster, doesn’t it!” she laughs. “We’ve definitely had our fiery times but we get along better than ever and held it together because we love what we do.

“We’ve come this far and we’ll keep going because we have a lot of fun together and just want to keep playing.”

THE Subways play at the Boileroom in Guildford on Saturday (October 4) with support from Bleech and In Dynamics. Other upcoming Boileroom gigs include Moddi on Tuesday (October 7), Demob Happy on Thursday (October 9), Ezio (Saturday, October 11), Laura Veirs (Wednesday, October 15), and newly-announced Richie Ramone (Friday, December 12).

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