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Suede - Bush Hall, London, 27/10/2010

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 5 / 11 / 2010

Suede - Bush Hall, London, 27/10/2010


Anthony Strutt enjoys a warm-up show for the reformed Suede at the small-sized venue of the Bush Hall, but questions whether they will be so effective at their next London show at the O2 Arena

Suede were never a band in my universe, but to ignore them would be foolish. While they were influenced by Morrissey and Marr, they were in turn a huge influence on bands after them and especially the Britpop movement and groups like Blur and Pulp. To lose their main guitarist, Bernard Butler, during the recording of their second album, ‘Dog Man Star’, and to replace him with a then seventeen year old fan, Richard Oakes, was odd to say the least, but they remained a popular band until they split after fourteen years together in 2003. The reformed Suede, which still features Oakes rather than Butler in the line-up, will have by the end of the year, played five UK shows. Two of these were for Roger Daltrey's Teenage Cancer Trust, the first an auction only gig at the 100 Club and the second a show at the Royal Albert Hall show. This was followed by a small normal show at the Manchester Ritz. Their fourth show at the Bush Hall gig, like the Manchester gig, is another small show to promote ‘The Best of Suede’, a double CD of remastered tracks. This is the first time the band's material has been remastered. It is a fine double CD, taking in some eighteen tracks on its first disc and another seventeen on its second. Live they were always a big band with a huge sound. Tonight they look older, much more mature. Singer Brett Anderson is now married with a daughter, who holds Daddy's hand back stage while he watches the support slot. Suede come on after the Sex Pistols’‘Bodies’ is played over the PA. They play an emotional set of just under ninety minutes, which shows that they had the songs back then. Brett can still sway his backside and encourages the audience to jump up and down which they do all night. In front of me is Radio 2 DJ Janice Long, who smiles like a Cheshire cat throughout. When we leave, she asks if I enjoyed it, I did, much more than I thought I would. I still think that they were, however, just a rehash of big time 70’s T Rex/Bowie guitar licks fronted by an over the top front man, and it is only that which made them special. Tonight in the Bush Hall it worked, but in the cavernous space of the 02 Arena, where they will be playing their next UK gig in December, it might be a very different matter

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Suede - Bush Hall, London, 27/10/2010

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