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- Suede »
They’re almost a relic. A leftover. The band from Britpop that Would Not Die. Because preconceptions and prejudices are bad enough. Sometimes, a brilliant past can be as damaging as being unknowns.
In other peoples eyes, Suede are yesterdays men. An album in at Number 24 (and out just as fast), singles that stiff in the lower reaches of the top 20, and a media that’s far more bothered about this summer's identikit fresh young pups than the heroes of the past.
For the first time in a decade, Anderson's group are The Outsiders. The marginalised, the dispossessed. Their faces no longer displayed on the newstands, stubborn survivors still making records.
They still have the magic. And that’s what its all about.
Over the three nights at the Shepherd's Bush Empire, Suede play almost every hit of their glorious past, and thrill and excite with a brace of songs new and old that make them both timeless and of-their-time. The three-choruses-fighting-in-a-bag that is _'New Generation' _is the type of song that The Strokes would give their puppy fat for. And that’s not even mentioning the heart-rending broken-relationship laments of “Oceans”, the youthful, irresistable optimism of 'The Wild Ones', and the sultry romance of 'Trash'.
It’s all a bit stadium rock. But when guitarist Richard Oakes gets that Cherry Red Gibson in his hands you know things are going to be rowdy. Because what song he’s going to play is one of their canon of stompers : _'Metal Mickey', 'Electricity', 'Film Star', 'Animal Nitrate', 'So Young', 'The Beautiful Ones',_ or the relentless cocaine psychosis of _'Can’t Get Enough'. _
It’s near the end that the big surprise comes - when they start to play a slow, cocktail-set version of their next single 'Obsessions'. You can almost picture them all, in tuxedos and bowties. Except... they’re going all Frank Sinatra on us NOW. And not in a Rbbi Willi*ms fashion. In an Elvis ‘77 fashion. Cool, darkly comedic, and cutting through the bullshit to the heart of the matter. In whatever form it takes, it music about something. It’s about getting through the bullshit of life and making life beautiful.
If this were a new band, they’d be splashed all over the press as Britain’s Bright Young Hopes. But instead of that, they’ll just have to settle for Britain’s Best Old Band. Better than many of your media-darlings, these underdogs. Suede.
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