23rd August 2013 Kenwood House
It's been 20 years since Suede burst onto the music scene with their own brand of dandy melancholic, New Romantic Brit pop. After being dubbed the best new band in Britain, they took the music world by storm. They indulged in the excesses of rock and roll before band politics and artistic frustrations prompted them to call it a day. Since reforming in 2010 after nearly a decade away, they finally have their mojo back and they've brought with them Bloodsports their best album since Coming Up.
On a lazy summer night at Kenwood House some 3500, mostly thirty somethings (apart from a couple of oh So Young whippersnappers running around wearing Suede t shirts) take solace in the dreamy, mournful vocals of Brett Anderson and Richard Oakes fuzzy guitar. I heard some whispers that there didn't seem to be much of an atmosphere from the crowd. Personally I felt that audience were appreciative for the most part, but maybe a tad quieter than one would expect. Although after consideration I imagined that in the picturesque surroundings they had been transported back to their teenage years when they first related to Suede's angst filled seedy and forbidden lyrics. A time where screaming at concerts was for Take That fans and huh, come on, Suede are too cool for that (do people still say cool?)!
Whatever the audience were feeling, the band were on form with Anderson working the stage and flaying his microphone around in true theatrical style. The set started with Oakes' out of faze guitar on The Big Time before shifting it up a gear for a song from Bloodsports, the almost commercial Barriers followed by another new song It Starts And Ends With You. Just in case the crowd thought that the band were going soft in their musical style they return to the 90s with a stonking rendition of Trash followed by Animal Nitrate.
There are some real gems in the set tonight including the stunningly movingShe's Not Dead, Electricity and The Killing Of Flashboy andthe fantastic bitter sweet Sabotage.
Support was by British Sea Power – complete with dancing polar bear – and Indie band Telemen who are also supporting Suede on their current UK tour.
Their crazy days of chasing the dragon may be behind them, but Brett Anderson proves that he is still able to write tormented and honest lyrics and give a knock out performance that put Suede back on top.