Thursday, 31 October 2013

live review: Suede @ Barrowlands, 27th October

Between the present tour slot and the Bernard Butler-produced debut album due next year, Teleman have been enjoying Suede-related patronage for a while now. Yet the Reading quartet (formed last year from the breakup of Pete and the Pirates) struggle to engage tonight’s audience, with only debut single Cristina generating much above polite applause. There are subtleties to their sound that beckon further investigation, but their qualities are soft-edged and easily lost to the building background buzz.

Of the many reformations to grace stages over the last few years, Suede are part of a relatively small minority to bolster the quality of their discographies as well as the contents of their coffers. Bloodsports was more than just a perfunctory excuse to take the best of on tour: it was a resurgence that scrubbed the band’s pre-split millennial slump from the record, and it rightly takes a prominent place in tonight’s set. After opening with a slow burn Still Life, they plough through Barriers, Snowblind and It Starts and Ends with You with such crowd-pleasing vigour you half expect them to continue on and complete the album there and then.

Instead, they take the excitement up another notch with songs from the peak of their popularity (Film Star, Trash) and critical acclaim (Animal Nitrate, Heroine – the latter dedicated to Lou Reed for reasons that, for those yet to hear of his passing, don’t become clear till later). With his loose-limbed shimmy and wide-arced mic swinging, Brett Anderson remains a magnetic stage presence, and his fervour is reflected in the rows of fans young and old shaking their bits to the hits throughout. Apparently, work on Bloodsports’ successor is already underway – here’s hoping their postscript purple patch continues.

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