This post is a small review by myself of the gig and a selection of review quotes from fans and media that I felt summed the gig up in ways I couldn’t…
My mini review
After 7 years something I never thought I would see again happened, Suede played live. Saturday was one of the highlights of the 29 years I have been on this planet and every live memory I have of Suede came flooding back in the most intense 2 hours since December 2003 at the Astoria .
The band were simply electric, it was like the Astoria gig was only yesterday. Richard looked healthy, happy and played like the devil again and Matt and Simon rolled back the years and sang along and did’nt miss a beat. Neil was as cool as ever and even looked younger! He still has that dreaming expression that you can’t stop looking at.
The song choice was spot on with some gems added such as ‘Pantomime Horse’ and ‘Flashboy’. A rabid crowd made for an intense and humid atmosphere with everyone hanging off each lyric and singing and pogoing at full speed.
The song choices were good as there were few slow tempo songs and the crowd favoured this I felt as they like myself needed to blow the cobwebs away as much as the band did.
I admit I did go a bit mental for this gig and spent the entire time singing, and bouncing up and down and just generally experiencing a phenominal comeback.
Thanks to Jose for some of these great pics!
Guest review – caterpillar
“It’s dark and I’m running late — literally. I leave the office and hit the streets near Belgravia. It’s raining. Hard. I plough through the elements as fast as my unfit legs will allow me. I reach the doorway of a tiny club in Victoria and sidle into a tightly packed sweatbox, where I steam gently. Four drainpipe-thin young men take the stage and tear through their set with such ferocity that my rain-soaked hair stands on end.Flailing hands grab at the singer, eventually ripping his top to shreds. History. In the making.
Eighteen years on, and it’s raining again. Not quite so hard, which is just as well, as I’m in no state to run that far these days. Taking the stage is a band not seen on this soil for seven years. Looking surprisingly lean and hungry, they rip into a 90-minute set barely pausing for breath. From the opening strains of She, I’m getting shivers. By the closing blast of Beautiful Ones, I’ve forgotten what year it is. Outstretched hands reach out for a healing touch from the singer — he obliges, leaning deep into the crowd (though this time he keeps his clothes in one piece).
This is no half-arsed reunion, this is a band relishing its legacy. Tearing through songs with a power and emotion wholly absent from the current music scene, every song is played as if their lives depend on it. Like a giddy rush, the songs come thick and fast in set that deviates enough from a greatest hits package to make cheshire cats of everyone in the audience. Brett’s voice is muscular, refined and at times raw with emotion. He doesn’t perform these songs, he inhabits them.
It was a sight I’d thought I’d never see again. But it happened. And it was every bit as forceful and jaw-dropping as it was that rainy night 18 years ago. “It’s been fun,” says Brett. “Let’s do it again in seven years’ time.” It was more than that. And it proved that Suede not only have a place in 2010, they are needed. If I have to wait seven years, I will. But I’d prefer to this again next week. Or the week after… History in the making, again?”
The Independant – Kevin Harley
“Damningly dismissed as “a quick fix… pseudo-bumboy androgyny” in Luke Haines’s Britpop memoir, Bad Vibes, Suede have hardly grown in critical stature since their split in 2003. Abiding love of a hardcore fanbase aside, current pop circles tend not to register the influence of thrill-seeking, Bowie-esque fop-rock. Brett Anderson’s fringe rarely dominates music magazines anymore, either. But a reversal of fortunes does not seem beyond their reach at this warm-up gig for a Teenage Cancer Trust reunion show, where a super-charged Suede stake a sure claim to being both the most exciting live guitar-pop band of their era and a more visceral proposition than their fey-wastrel reputation suggests.
A tiny comeback gig before a hometown crowd might seem to make success a given, not least because Suede’s core constituency were bound to front demand for tickets. Even so, the ferocity with which Suede tear into the set is startling. A panther-sleek “She” and vigorously catchy “Trash” make for a thunderous opening salvo, Anderson working the stage in a blaze of charisma. Leaping down to the stage barrier, flapping his sweaty fringe at the front rows and flicking his microphone lead like a man in a state of agitation over a tangled Hoover cord, he throws himself into the occasion with glorious abandon. Suede’s one-time aura of cool, detached poise is all but left for dust.
Wasting no time on between-song chitchat, Suede work up a brash head of steam, their sense of purpose anchored in the Suede-ian dramas of suburban dreams and squalor. A weapons-grade mix of melody and swagger drives “Killing of a Flashboy” and the rampaging “Can’t Get Enough”, both nailed with typically louche machismo. “Pantomime Horse” and “The Asphalt World” slow the pace down but thicken the air with druggy and sexual insinuation; the latter cuts like a rush of blood into “So Young”, the mismatch of song title to singer’s age (42) obliterated in the rejuvenating force of Anderson’s vocal and Richard Oakes’s savage guitar riffs.
The reunited line-up draws on the period from 1996 to 2000, Suede’s valedictory years, when Oakes replaced the virtuoso Bernard Butler while still a teenager and Neil Codling looked dreamy on keyboards (he still does). Number-one albums seemed only to be Suede’s due back then, given that Coming Up and Head Music packed in more hooks than a fishing-tackle shop. If such peak-era resonances raise the stakes for the fans, the wave of emotion that washes over the crowd for the ineffably romantic echt-Suede ballad “The Wild Ones” comes like a sense of relief. With audiences expectations assuredly hit, “New Generation” and “Beautiful Ones” capitalise on the spirit of celebration, earned in rivers of sweat.
Hair plastered to his forehead and granddad shirt drenched, Anderson leaves us with a teasing, “Let’s do it again in another seven years’ time.” A joke, or is this impassioned re-acquaintance really to be so brief? Tough to say, but it hardly matters when the “quick fix” is this thrilling.”
For more photos check out my Flickr set of the recent Suede warm-up gigs!