Suede at The Olympia Theatre – Review & Photos
Suede played to a packed house at the Olympia last night, October 28th 2013, with excellent support coming from Teleman, a UK act who are similar to ‘Django-Django’, ‘Girls Names’ and ‘Friendly Fires’. Light and clean, nerdy indie-pop, the lead singer Thomas Sander is like a blonde ‘Aidan Gillen’. Some nice eighties touches on synth and keys by his brother Jonny, the drummer has an electric pad within his regular kit, class bass playing with the lead singers vocals similar to Stuart Murdock (Belle and Sebastian). If you like this style of music, they’re worth checking out – listen out for ‘Steam Train Girl’.
Sound staff where dressed up for Halloween receiving an immense cheer. Very tetchy, many of us in the crowd were clinging to our rightful spots with the best views. SUEDE light up the backdrop, lambently changing colour. Excitement building, a packed house and an atmosphere tense with anticipation. Smoke and orchestral music and they arrive within blue lights as lead singer Brett Anderson swaggered out looking very well indeed like a cross between David Bowie and Jarvis Cocker, a masterpiece for a human.
Suede entered slowly with ‘The Big Time’ singing – “I see my star taking off, I watched the skyline” – we could feel the raw energy. It seems very little about the band has changed. Moving on for ‘Barriers’ red lights drop, the band seriously are tight and the closest to where they were this time twenty years ago. “Will they love you, the way, the way I love you? We jumped over the barriers”, the crowd sang along with Anderson. A strong start, and straight on into ‘Snowblind’ which lifted us with its epic lyrics – “This love is lifting, The blood is lifting you, Over snowblind barriers, This love is lifting who, This blood is lifting you, I was snowblind for a moment too”. Pure Suede awesomeness.
Playing a new song, from ‘Bloodsports’ LP (2013), ‘It Starts and Ends With You’, could almost be a song from their early albums, the sound is so fresh. Audience singing along with them, the band feed from their energy. Standing over us now Anderson was like a twenty foot man, towering over us as they performed ‘Trash’ perfectly. “We’re the litter on the breeze, We’re the lovers on the streets,Just trash, me and you, It’s in everything we do, It’s in everything we do.”
‘Animal Nitrate’ sent the crowd into a wild frenzy, previously when they gigged this was a song that Suede did not play. Anderson swung his microphone in perfect timing to ‘Filmstar’, we wondered why they stopped for so long, they performed this song flawlessly. Anderson began to ask people in the balconies their names and lucky ‘Maria’ received her Suede moment in the spotlight, and then they moved on to sit for a slower number. ‘Sometimes I Feel I’ll Float Away’ he breathes“All the colours in the rainbow don’t compare with one look in your impossible eyes” into the microphone, so dramatic and just what we hoped for.
The next few songs the pace slowed giving a rest to the band and Anderson, who by this stage was soaked in sweat. Stepping into the pit to get closer to the crowd, he delighted us. ‘Slow Turn’ he took over, moving along like a cat, prowling and connecting with everyone of us.
‘Killing of a Flash Boy’ was Bowie-esque… ‘It’s the same old show he’s a killer he’s a flash boy, oh” and then they treated older fans to an older material. Continuing with the slower pace now, with ‘Another No One’ – “She packs a bag, calls a cab and the world smiles”, very slow and dramatic. Followed by the nostalgic ‘So Young’ another pitch perfect Suede anthem. How he could swing that microphone in the air, he is a classy performer. The band blasted onward an upward with ‘By the Sea’. ‘For the Strangers’ was such a return to form – suddenly he’s in the crowd, he’s in the pit, he’s on his knees, he’s touching the crowd against a backdrop of the band with a half disco ball and purple lights, very sexually frustrated nineties style setting now.
’Beautiful Ones’ which was perfectly performed, we couldn’t have expected less. Hand on chest Brett Anderson was genuinely grateful, they exited the stage only to return for an encore with song ‘New Generation’, sublime. Ending he throw his bottle into the crowd, which the crowd grappled for fiercely and exited the stage one last time.
What an awesome gig and a major standing ovation for Suede, their latest success is highly deserved and return to form. ‘Bloodsport’ Suede’s new critically acclaimed album is out now, and definitely worth following up on.
Review by Áine Byrne
Photos by Tudor Marian