Saturday 20 January 2018

Review: Suede



The album show is in, it seems. First, we had Roger Waters scaling The Wall in The O2 on Monday and Tuesday. And now, in the very different surrounds of The Olympia, we have Brett Anderson's boys belting out three different albums across three nights.

The series starts with their eponymous debut, recorded long before the band became icons of Britpop and bearing a much more sultry tone than the tunes mainly associated with Suede two decades on.

Opening numbers So Young and Animal Nitrate work as well on the stage as they do on tape, and the band have anticipation converted into energy within minutes.

It's impossible to take your eyes off Anderson, who not only looks particularly well for a 43-year-old rockstar, but moves and behaves in the most unusual manner. He circles the stage bearing the appearance of a man who is unable to contain the words that are coming from his mouth. Also, he doesn't speak to the audience between songs.

An unfortunate lull intrudes when Sleeping Pills and Breakdown are juxtaposed in a way that would never happen on a constructed live set. But it's a small trade-off for seeing a piece of work having new life breathed into it.

After the album has been played through, an encore works in some of the band's later hits -- finishing with Trash and Beautiful Ones -- and Anderson leaves, still without having said a single word.

There's no arrogance in his silence. Instead, a recognition that devotion to the material will linger in the memory longer than a meaningless "hello Dublin".

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