SUEDE: Albert Hall, Manchester. 19th & 20th April 2019.

23 04 2019

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Over the weekend, I finally got to see a band who I have adored since I first heard them in 1993. It was Animal Nitrate that got me. I was only 7 years old, but I remember being in absolute awe of Brett Anderson. Everything about him just had me hooked. His voice, the way he moved and the way he looked. A few years later I had the same experience when I heard Garbage for the first time. I wanted to be Shirley Manson.

Suede were my childhood, and their music has been my everything ever since. I never thought they’d be a band that I would see live, let alone two nights in a row. How do you prepare yourself to see a band that you’ve grown up with and have been your world? Quite simply, you don’t. What you do is bawl like a baby as soon as they set foot on to the stage. Which is what my girlfriend and I did. Suede is the band that are ours, and to finally see a band that we love together was just incredible.

There is no denying that Brett is an exceptional frontman. The energy he has and the way he moves puts newer bands to shame. He leaps across the stage like a gazelle, and has the voice of an angel. Known for going into the crowd during some songs, he has his shirt ripped both nights. He sings the songs with such importance, as the torn fabric of his shirt is swaying to the breeze of the on-stage fan behind him. He lassoes his mic around him, and above the crowd like a ringleader. He then wraps it around his body and neck; he does it in a way that has him grinning directly at Simon (the exceptional drummer) and it is just the most beautiful moment between the two.

Why did we go two nights in a row? Well, I convinced myself that the set list would be different. I’m hardly ever right, but thankfully I was this time. Although they could perform the alphabet and I’d still think it was the best thing ever. Let me just explain to you why night one was out of this world:

  • Acoustic version of Mistress
  • Sleeping Pills (I cried a lot during this)
  • The Drowners
  • It Starts And Ends With You.

How is that for back to back Suede gold? Absolutely perfect. It was my version of Christmas. So how was night two going to compete? Acoustic versions of She’s In Fashion and The Wild Ones (I bawled my eyes out to this.) The Wild Ones is one of the most gorgeous songs ever written, and to hear it in this stripped back way was so overwhelming in the most beautiful way possible. Both nights were truly magical, and just reinforced my love for this brilliant band. Nothing and no one compares to them, and two nights of seeing them just wasn’t enough. I need more, I want more.

They played one of, if not the best venue in Manchester- the Albert Hall. An old church with its stained glass windows. There was something about this venue that made the shows out of this world. The band all looked in awe of their surroundings, with Brett occasionally hitting his heart to show his appreciation.

The crowd was wonderful. Every single song was sung back as if you were in a stadium, and songs like Trash and We Are The Pigs were screamed back at the band in a way that just oozes sheer devotion, love and obsession. You can truly see how much the band love each other, their fans and playing live. They are easily one of the best bands I have ever seen live. I had no idea what to expect from the shows, but it’s claimed a large piece of my heart for sure.

The shows end with Beautiful Ones and the gorgeous Life Is Golden (a song which is for Brett’s son.) To see people sing the words back at Brett to Life Is Golden is truly something else. He steps into the crowd, and clings onto the fans as he sings “You’re never alone” is so precious and something that stays with you.

These two shows were some of the greatest ones I’ve ever been to. For sentimental value, it’s easily one of the most important and the songs played were heavenly. It felt like an almost religious experience, and is something I am going to remember and treasure for a hell of a long time.

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“I don’t have the time for a graveyard of the mind that they call shame.”

7 03 2014

 

 

“Sometimes I fantasise
When the streets are cold and lonely
And the cars they burn below me
Don’t these times fill your eyes
When the streets are cold and lonely
And the cars, they burn below me.”

 

People will always want to change you. They can be people who are insignificant to you (in the long run) or they can be people who claim to “know” you. They will want to change the way you cut your hair to the way you are. At what age does this stop? Does it ever stop?

Self-acceptance is hard for most people. We all have things we cannot stand about ourselves, and they are usually the things we cannot change. The things we can change, we put off because we know we can deal with it “later.” It is always later isn’t it. Not today, but tomorrow. I’m not criticising those who do this, I do it myself. I probably do it more times than I should. I should wear more colour, but I won’t. I should probably not just wear band t-shirts and jeans, but I know I always will. I’m comfortable in the clothes I wear. The person I am? That’s not for here. People can make you feel utterly terrible about yourself, and something happened a few weeks ago that, with me being too sensitive for my own good- I took it to heart.

I had a job interview a few weeks ago, it was my second one for the same job. I was good enough for a second interview. That’s a positive right? I take my piercings out (I took my lip piercing out for good a month ago so all I have is a nose piercing) and I cover up my tattoos. I wear smart (and clean) clothes to interviews. We live in a world where we pretend things are accepted, but they rarely are. A lot of people still do think those with tattoos and piercings are bad people. Hitler didn’t have his nose pierced. Myra Hindley didn’t have her lip pierced. They are bad people; without piercings. You see my point right?

So I went for my second interview. I thought it was going well, until  was asked a question that made me feel so uncomfortable and so small, I just wanted to go home. I was asked, “If I gave you the job- could you change how you look and would you?” I know I’m a sensitive person, and I know I’m not attractive at all- but does it need pointing out in a job interview of all places? Job interviews are terrifying enough, but come on now.

I’ve been trying to work out what made them ask such a question, and I really don’t understand. I didn’t think they could. If you must know, I went against everything I stand for and said yes to their question.  I said yes because I really really need a fucking job. I said yes because every day I am sat at home applying for a job is another day of self-loathing. I have friends, if I can call them that, who refer to people as being on Job Seekers as “scum” amongst other things. I’m scum, apparently. To me, scum are those who harm children, those who rape and those who kill. Not people who need help with getting by. I’m aware there are people who play the system, I’m not totally stupid. But everyone has their own struggle- so don’t judge.

I’m sick of being asked “what jobs have you applied for? Maybe you should aim lower.” I’m 27 years old; shouldn’t I have a career by now? I’ll never be paid to write, and I find myself compromising myself when I apply for jobs. I disregard the fact that writing and music make me happy. I lie and lie just to get somewhere. I’m getting nowhere. And I am so tired. I am so fucking tired.

I have no point with this, I really don’t. I don’t want to be a fraud. I can’t keep going back and forth with having a job to being on JSA again. I really can’t.

But then again, maybe I’m just too sensitive.

Have some songs:





SUEDE-Bloodsports.

11 03 2013

 

You have to wait a long time for good things to happen. Thee good things don’t have to be huge. They can be anything; but everything to you. I wait and wait for my favourite bands to release new music, and when they do this strange and euphoric feeling takes over. This is happening right now.

I won’t ever EVER have a bad word said about Suede. I still regard Brett Anderson as one of the best frontmen ever. Do you remember when everyone was a bit silly in the 90s and thought Oasis and/or Blur were the best thing? How foolish. I didn’t like either. I still don’t. My heart and ears belonged to Suede. I remember first seeing Brett Anderson flail around to Metal Mickey on Top Of The Pops and I fell in love. It was a deep obsession that just grew and grew over time. His solo work is just as beautiful. I’m worried about my attraction towards him, but I don’t want any help. My girlfriend has nothing to worry about though.

Bloodsports is Suede’s first release in just over a decade. Some may think that, over such a long space of time that Suede may have given in to how modern music now sounds. Would they go synth crazy? Or even worse, would the band wear ill-fitting chinos and raid the sale section in Topman? Fortunately, they’ve done neither. They’ve remained true to themselves. They have a very distinctive sound. A sound that is found in no other band before or after them. Proving that they will forever be timeless.

The record starts with Barriers. As I listen to Bloodsports, I really cannot fault their decision to open the record with that song. It really does set the tone for Bloodsports. Bloodsports is made up of anthemic songs for you to cry out in your bedroom that posses such pleading and beautiful lyrics. This is why I love Suede. Their songs may sound as if they would sound perfect in a massive arena, but the thing is, as the lyrics are so vulnerable you cannot imagine listening to this record with anyone. That’s just my personal view. I couldn’t imagine listening to Bloodsports with anyone. It feels like such a personal record.

If you’re looking to have your heart broken, then listen to What Are You Not Telling Me or if you fancy something that contains a euphoric build-up then listen to Always but if you are seeking comfort in any form; then please just go out next Monday and buy Bloodsports from your local record shop. Part of me wants to say that this record will only be understood by the proper Suede fans. Not the ones who only know Beautiful Ones and that’s it. But the thing is, it is a perfect record from start to finish; everybody should hear it. Buy it for your lover, relatives and the friends that you can stand. I don’t care. Just have this brilliant record in your collection and give it to others. Every single song on Bloodsports gives you answers to the questions that keep you up at night. But, Suede- what took you so long? It’s not that I mind because Bloodsports is truly worth the wait.

Hit Me is my favourite off Bloodsports. It is an open letter. That’s the only way you can describe it. You simply must play it loud and imagine you are singing it to those who get in your way and put you down. The way Brett sings “I’m not as strong as I pretend to be” is just so captivating. A line so simple, yet painfully easy to connect with.

Bloodsports is 10 songs all crafted so perfectly and beautifully. If we have to have to wait another 11 years for a masterpiece, then so be it. You can easily forgive them for it because they’re just so divine. Bloodsports is made up of delicate bedroom anthems. Sing, scream along. With Suede, you are never alone.





Suede-Barriers.

7 01 2013

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“And their kindness was not a weakness.
And when they were there they were there for you.”

I’ve magically, and much to my horror got some form of flu going on. It’s probably just a cold, but this feels worse. My eyes hurt, glands are swollen and everything tastes of metal. I just wanted to enjoy a cup of tea; but it didn’t down too well. Cough medicine that tastes like sweets doesn’t always help, but it tastes nice. I don’t want that strong stuff that looks like piss from an angry Bull. No thanks. I want something that tastes like Skittles and takes me longer to get better. For I am a wuss, and I do not care.

So, with all this sickness building up inside of me I awoke this morning to discover Suede had a new song out. I was dreading it because I didn’t want it to be shit. Then I thought to myself, “SUEDE HAVE NEVER BEEN NOR WILL THEY EVER BE SHIT.” I couldn’t face another disappointment so early in the year. Don’t fail me, don’t fail me.

I sat and listened. Intensely and lovingly. I listened.

I’m still listening.

The opening chords got me in the heart. The opening chords remind me as to why I love Suede. I will always back new bands, but I’m sorry. When a band I have loved since I heard Animal Nitrate in 1992 come back with a new song; I am going to place them above all. Suede have always had a place in my heart that allowed me to enjoy music in a different way. With a new album set to come out in March, I think it will change again how I listen to music.

For me, I regard Brett Anderson as one of the greatest songwriters ever. Everyone was always “Oasis or Blur.” Neither bands appealed to me. I didn’t want “lad” songs nor did I care for dull anthemic sounds. I wanted poetry. I wanted lust. I wanted something darker but purer. I found everything I wanted in Suede. Flamboyantly dapper with his words, Brett Anderson manages to capture everything in a way no other does. I just love them more than my brain is allowing words to form.

Barriers shows their genius once more, but then again; if you love Suede, you love them for life. Nothing can rip you away from them. They are your safety net. They have the songs that describe your life in all its gory and glory. Perfection in a wonderful form. Barriers is going to be one of the best songs you will hear all year, and the record Bloodsports will be one of the best records we are blessed with too this year.

Don’t give in completely to new band hype, because they may not last as long as some of the greats(such as Suede) have lasted.

You can get the song for free here: http://suedebarriers.viinyl.com/