Live @ Shepherds Bush Empire – Review

So the 2010 Slow Attack tour began on a rainy Friday 22nd January at London’s Shepherds Bush Empire, a venue Brett has played numerous times before and one that is a special favourite of mine.

Matinee

I was again lucky enough to attend a small ‘matinee’ performance earlier in the day where the band warmed up for the evening by playing a few songs to around 40 of us. It was clear to see and hear from this that the band had lost nothing over the Winter months since the Tabernacle show and in fact sounded better than that already legendary show.

It was a strange experience being in the venue with no one else around and the band just playing to us but they gave it there all, which we expect no less of really 😉

The main performance

I did attend support act Kid Harpoon but in all honesty did not think much of his act, although I am sure he is good it wasn’t my cup of tea as I felt he was more of a busker with just him and his slightly annoying acoustic guitar.

I managed to worm my way almost down to the barrier but alas there were still a few people in front of me that decided not to move an inch all night, and that includes applauding, which is very annoying and frustrating. I also think if you pay and come to a show then even if you don’t like it either leave or at least make some effort to support the artist!

Anyway, the band entered the stage to a rapturous applause and went straight into Hymn, which is fast becoming a classic Anderson song with many. The set-list was very much the same as the Tabernacle show with Pretty Widows left out of the set once again for some reason, shame as it’s a really nice song. After a few songs I could tell that most of the crowd had not heard or were not that familiar with the new material. This was a shame as it made the atmosphere a little flat for me but the band pulled out all the stops and some of the Slow Attack songs were magnificent. Ashes of Us, The Hunted, Julian’s Eyes & Frozen Roads really stood out for me with Angie’s vocals and piano are really rather good and support the band and Brett superbly. They ended the set with a rasping performance of Swans which seemed to whip the crowd up, helped no doubt by Brett’s energetic dancing and presence on stage.

Despite some calls from the crowd for Suede songs I felt that most people probably realised/knew he wasn’t going to play any today or at all now during his solo shows. It is worth mentioning that Brett did not mention the Suede reunion in March for the Teenage Cancer Trust, which was probably a good thing too.

The second part of the set was made up of songs from his first two solo albums, and the part of the set I admit I like the most, as I normally sing along and get really involved by this point!

It was really nice to hear a great performance of Chinese Whispers, which is my favourite song from Wilderness. During the ‘slower’ Wilderness numbers Didz and Jim also came out and it was nice to hear some guitar on the tracks. They ended the second set with Funeral Mantra, which really does sound excellent live.

Then followed my favourite Brett Anderson song, and one that I have loved live ever since the 2007 SBE gig…To The Winter. I admit that I did totally get in the zone when this came on and pretty sure I didn’t take any notice of what anyone else was doing during this song!

A very dramatic Song for my Father was the other highlight of this part of the set for me, the crescendo at the end is still amazing and always gets the hairs on the neck standing to attention.

There was still time for one more encore…Back To You. This is another of my favourite tracks and one that always sounds phenomenal live, and this was no exception.

For those that could not attend I would urge you to buy the recording from Concert Online as I promise that you will still be listening to it years from now!

I am also seeing Brett and the band in Manchester and Glasgow and this gig just wetted my appetite even more!

Thanks to the band and Vanessa and to the forum peeps that were there for a great night all round.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/simononly/sets/72157623267056444/

Setlist

HYMN
WHEATFIELDS
THE HUNTED
FROZEN ROADS
LEAVE ME SLEEPING
SCARECROWS AND LILACS
SUMMER
ASHES OF US
THE SWANS
JULIANS EYES
——————————
CLOWNS
CHINESE WHISPERS
A DIFFERENT PLACE
FUNERAL MANTRA
——————————-
TO THE WINTER
LOVE IS DEAD
SONG FOR MY FATHER
——————————-
BACK TO YOU (Encore)

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