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- Suede »
There aren’t many bands that can hold a candle up to Suede when they’re on a good night. And tonight they’re stonking.
In the intimate surroundings of the Camden Electric Ballroom, blooding a new hungry lineup, Suede debut their new album over the course of a 2 hour gig – the longest Suede show in living memory by some margin.
First up, is a 40 minute segment that debuts the entire of their new album in order. It sounds exactly like Suede always did, and yet oddly different. It’s as if in some way, they’ve moved on, but not moved out.
They open with lead single “Positivity“, and the rest of the set bodes well for the new album – next on the agenda is the perfectly-titled “Obsessions“, a song that revolves around an infectious but childlike melody line and lyrics that (probably) are still obsessed with meat/beat/street/concrete/gasoline/diesel, and general urban decay.
Other new songs - "Lonely Girl",and _"Lost In TV", _ are tragic in the modern torch song way that people just don't seem to do anymore. Well, people who aren't Suede anyway.
The much talked about “Beautiful Loser” injects some fast paced, frantic teenage angst into proceedings. It goes like a freight train. It’s what Suede do best.
“Streetlife” is b-side fodder. Every line is prefaced with a chant of “Streetlife!”, before a list of urban situations. And I’m fairly sure it sounds like an old Elastica song until the vocals kick in.
And finally, “When The Rain Falls“, which is the kind of drizzle-battered yet defiant call for those of us who look like everyone else, who wear the same clothes, but just somehow feel different, feel as if we live in the wrong world and there’s nothing we can do about it.
Next up comes the longest ever encore I’ve ever seen – 15 songs and longer than the actual main set.
The encore then is a definitive ‘greatest hits set’ of sorts. By now, Alex Lee, the latest addition to the fold, is playing second guitar on a groovy “Killing Of A Flashboy“, a completely-dogs-bollocks version of “Trash“, and “Metal Mickey“. And the songs sounds like they always should have sounded this good.
They play remarkably little from Head Music – only the punky rant that is “Can’t Get Enough“, and the stellar “Everything Will Flow“. Following this though, its time for the rarely seen Suede “Wheel Of Fortune”. A list of songs on a huge wheel. And fans are picked out of the crowd to spin the wheel and choose the next song.
Thank God Suede aren’t just another Stadium Rock band with a set of preplanned moves, empty hollow gestures, and predictable set lists.
Therefore next we get long-loved debut single “The Drowners“. The wheel spins, and the lucky dip provides last years, low-key single “Simon“.After this, there’s also the not-played in years “The Power“, which again sounds like one of the greatest singles never released –“Just give me the power, I’ll make them believe”. And we’ve all felt like that.
There’s only a handful of songs left “My Dark Star“, jokes about playing the sadly-despised “Stay Together“, and then “The Sound Of The Streets“.
And finally? A two-song punch that shows you that this band have a back catalogue that most bands would kill for. There's a gorgeous, definitive version of “So Young“, and then“Beautiful Ones” seals the evening for a Suede gig reasserts their place - they might have been around for years, but they're just as hungry, just as exciting, as they were when they started. They've still got it.
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