Suede at the Forum
Lead singer Brett Anderson recently remarked that he always feared falling victim to self parody. In this concert, which contrast their recent cinematic concept album Night Thoughts and their older tracks, Suede have a new vigour and are the furthest extreme from parody.
The creeping notes of When You Are Young begin the show. The band are concealed behind a semi-translucent screen, which plays Roger Sargent’s dark film Night Thoughts, as the play songs from the album of the same name. Occasionally, lights reveal band members: we see Anderson in his prime as he falls to his knees, shirt unbuttoned, microphone in hand, cutting through the crowd’s cheers with the soaring and anguished notes of I Can’t Give Her What She Wants. This piece of art rock gives the performance a uniquely cinematic feel; it touches the audience in a visceral way; people are on the verge of tears, unsure whether to dance or weep, and so they shuffle awkwardly instead.
After a small break, the screen drops and atmosphere changes completely: this is when the rock set starts. We are moved through older tracks, and even if you had never heard the songs before it would be impossible no to dance. The crowd go crazy, headbanging and lifting arms to the air to Filmstar, Animal Nitrate and the final song Beautiful Ones.
Anderson is the perfect rock god. At one point he effortlessly stands on a monitor, swinging his microphone while shouting the lyrics of Trash. The security guards look increasingly uneasy as he jumps into the crowd, launching himself into the center. It is not surprising that his fans adore him. Screams of love fill each silence; whenever Anderson comes to the barrier a sea of hands, which are oddly illuminated by silvery lighting, strain to touch this rock idol as if they are his disciples. Anderson’s frank banter between songs is refreshing, he jokingly chastises members of the crowd for chatting – “talk about fucking EastEnders later” – asking them to sing High Rising with him.
The show is a perfect balance of exhilaration and contemplation, and at times it is mildly outrageous. Suede are firmly in the running for the best mature band of the moment.
Photo: Olivier Bourgi
For further information about Suede and future events visit here.
Watch the video for No Tomorrow here: