Friday 30 September 2016

Suede, Olympia, Dublin review: 'A text book lesson in doing something daring, but still sending everybody home happy'

Published 11/02/2016 | 10:13

LEEDS, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 26: Brett Anderson of Suede performs on stage at O2 Academy on October 26, 2013 in Leeds, England. (Photo by Gary Wolstenholme/Redferns via Getty Images)
LEEDS, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 26: Brett Anderson of Suede performs on stage at O2 Academy on October 26, 2013 in Leeds, England. (Photo by Gary Wolstenholme/Redferns via Getty Images)

Before they had a record deal or Britpop became any kind of cultural force, Suede were infamously lauded as the best new band in Britain.

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You'd expect them to look at the endless succession of nineties indie bands reforming and wonder if they'd spent longer than seven years on hiatus, they could be headlining festivals and riding a lucrative wave of nostalgia.

But Brett Anderson and company always considered themselves outsiders that never quite fitted in. Rather than perform a string of hits from their heyday, they audaciously perform their latest album Night Thoughts in full and in sequence.

It is accompanied by a specially commissioned film directed by Libertines photographer Roger Sargent. Suede perform from behind a screen, which is a bold move, but works wonders.

Night Thoughts transpires to be an extremely strong album and easily betters their recent output. The lead single Outsiders, which they've described ”a rallying cry for the excluded”, is one of the best things they’ve released in years.

They split the set into two halves. After showcasing their latest album, they unleash a bumper selection of hit singles and old fans favourites after a short interval. Animal Nitrate, Metal Mickey and So Young are a reminder just how strange, different and beautifully dangerous their debut album sounded back in the post-Nirvana mists of 1992. Trash and Beautiful Ones recall radio play heyday later in the nineties.

Anderson looks like he hasn't aged a day and has done some kind of Faustian pact to preserve his cheekbones and skinny frame. He sings a section of Everything Will Flow acapella and it is a spine-tingling moment.

Suede deliver a text book lesson in doing something new and daring, but still sending everybody home happy. We're accustomed to bands playing their classic albums live.

Indeed, Suede themselves ran through their first three records in this very theatre in 2011, but playing a newly released album in its entirety is a hard trick to pull off. Suede make it look easy, which goes to show just how good they are. The outsiders still have all the best tunes.

Suede 'Night Thoughts' album review: 'a good but flawed album best consumed as the deluxe edition with full audiovisual experience'  

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