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- Suede »
*I've seen Suede play great gigs. Gigs where people, en masse, quite literally levitate out of humdrum existence and onto a higher plain. Tonight is NOT that night. *
Tonight is about all the things that affect a band and a gig outside of the performance itself. About the venue, about the people, about the time. And the time is not right.
So what do we get? Some of the new album, stacks of the 'greatest hits', the odd neglected classic b-side from the past, and a band that play like demons, even when the circumstances were against them. And new bloke Alex Lee (from the much-missed Strangelove) plays with a conviction as if he was born to be in Suede. But for a more accurate summation of what Suede are like when the circumstances are right look here.
Suede are full of good intentions for tonight. After all, a 600 capacity gig, with tickets a very reasonable £12, in Central London sounds a good deal for all of us. Except, as Jules Winnfield tells us in "Pulp Fiction", "Intentions don't mean a goddamn thing". And then he unleashes the righteous vengance and furious anger of his .44.
Firstly, because Industry showcases suck. With a small amount of dedicated lowly paying punters shoved in, the majority of this crowd are curious industry gawpers. Which means that when Suede finally appear, they play their hearts out to general apathy. One freeloader even heckles the band with a shout of _'turn that shite music off!'.
Secondly, because the bar is singlehandly causing a recession in my wallet. £3.50 for a JD and Coke? £2.00 for gulp of flat, warm Coke? Fuck you. Fuck you very much. Some of us have a budget to stick to. And people wonder why live music venues are closing all across the country.
Thirdly, because Suede don't turn up until gone 10pm. That's after we have to endure the sub-Zeppelinisms of the mediocre The Shining. But not only that, Suede were going to be on from 9.00 til 10.30. That's OK. I can get home on that. Buses, trains, planes - they're still running that late. Then 9.45-11.15. Damn. Going to have to miss a couple of songs there. But by 10pm and they still haven't turned up some people are fed up, fuming... or both.
Some people have to go home - those of us without a central London apartment, those of us who don't drive, some of us who can't just shell out £100 for a taxi home, those who don't like sleeping in the streets of London - and some people are going home BEFORE Suede even come on. I've never seen a room empty so fast as closing time approaches. I wouldn't be surprised if by the time Suede finish they're performing to a room half as full as it was before they came on. We only get half of what we paid for. Another happy punter?
So I have to leave before Suede are even half-way through their set for the high flying jet set industry gawpers. Oh, you beautiful losers. You blew it tonight. And you probably don't even know that out of the 19 Suede gigs I've seen, this was the worst. Not because of Suede or how well they played, but because of everything else around them.
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