‘Here I am’ sings Brett Anderson, the Suede frontman stands on the lip of the stage, almost touching the outstretched hands of the girls in the front row. ‘Here I am, talking to my shadow’.
This very special gig at Rough Trade East begins with ‘As One’ which is also the opening track of Suede’s stunning new album ‘The Blue Hour’. Described as the third and final part of a trio of albums released since 2013, tonight’s hour long set also features cherry-picked songs from their other most recent works ‘Blood Sports’ and ‘Night Thoughts’.
The next song is the glorious ‘Wastelands’, another new but trademark Suede track, with Richard Oakes’ chiming guitar and epic choruses which the sell-out crowd obviously love. It’s amazing to be one of the first people to hear the new material played live, and in such an intimate setting. The sound is immense, and the band perform as if they are playing to a huge arena, not just to the lucky 200 who are crammed in to this East London record store. ‘Thank you, Shoreditch’ says Brett before the band launch into the third new song of the evening ‘Cold Hands’.
Since the 1990’s Suede have always portrayed an image of aristocratic glamour, a unique #stagestyle which is still sharp and stylish today. Brett is wearing a crisp white shirt which becomes increasingly transparent with perspiration under the hot stage lights. Brett Anderson does not sweat, he perspires. Climbing onto the speakers at the side of the stage he leans out over the crowd during ‘For the Strangers’, reaching out to ‘all the strangers out there’. Hands clutching phones and cameras reach out towards him to capture an image of this fabulous performance. More new songs ‘Tides’ and ‘The Invisibles’ follow, before all too soon it’s the last song, the positive and uplifting ‘Life is Golden’.
This last song was the first official single release from The Blue Hour, so the fan-filled crowd already know the lyrics and join in for the chorus,
‘You’re never alone, your life is golden… ‘
Suede may have had a sometimes tempestuous and tarnished history but with a wonderful new album and sold out live shows to follow their lives may just be rather sparkly and golden too.
The Zine UK’s very own Dead End Dolly. Epic Photographer and Manic Street Preaching photo-journalist with a love for cats.