Originally posted on Hooting & Howling


Fresh from the unforeseen success of their 6th studio album, ‘Bloodsports’, and first in 10 years at that, Suede playing Alexandra Palace had a lot to live up to. It was a standalone gig that had been given alongside the announcement of ‘Bloodsports’, so fans descended from far and wide to see the show, and a spectacle it certainly was – well, after we’d been freed from the arctic queuing conditions, that was.

Support came in the form of neo-psych quartet, Temples. They radiate 60s from every inch of their tassel-sleeved shirts and have a sound somewhere between The Beatles and Tame Impala – certainly enough to open the ears of every person in the crowd, and indie giants, Spector, dressed like a 50s boyband armed with some painfully brilliant stage banter: “Y’know the band weren’t too sure about us supporting, but they were easily swayed” or “Happy Easter, enjoy the resurrection of our lord – Brett Anderson.” Their album-heavy set was met with an enthusiastic reception, leaving us all suitably pumped for the main event.

From the second Suede graced the stage, despite kicking off proceedings with a triple whammy of new album tracks – ‘Barriers’ being the first and sounding more stadium-worthy than ever – the crowd transformed into a polite nodding bunch to a deafening, hardcore rabble crushing for their rightful slice of Britpop’s finest dancer and within ten minutes, the mighty tone for the entire evening had been set.

The band effortlessly flowed from classic, and still strikingly brilliant, crowd pleasers such as ‘Animal Nitrate’ and ‘We Are The Pigs’, to sentimental ballad types off the latest LP – ‘Sometimes I Feel I’ll Float Away’ being the modern day answer to ‘Dog Man Star’s’  best.

However, the predictable set-list diversions were soon unleashed in the form of ‘Sleeping Pills’: “It’s been twenty years ago yesterday since our debut album” and the epic ‘Pantomime Horse’, leaving everyone on the barrier beside me in sufficient shock.

I’ve since heard utterings from the Suede “30 gig” veterans claiming it was the best gig they’ve ever witnessed and it definitely felt that way. The band sounded musically faultless and Brett Anderson was successfully flinging himself around the stage – and beyond screaming “SING IT” with the apparent energy of a thousand during ‘The Wild Ones’ – our barrier spot was evidently the best seat in the house, even if you were the lead singer. We were soon submerged under a layer of clamouring hands and the limbs of said 90s icon, an experience to say the least.

It may have taken a long while to get there, but after this show Suede have cemented their way into the story of successful, incredible comebacks and seem to be an unbreakable unit both live and in the studio more than they ever have before. There couldn’t have been a more fitting venue to mark the occasion and the 10,000 odd people pouring out, clutching ribs and drumsticks like their lives depended on it, seemed to agree, but all were stuck on one simple question: When’s the next gig? 

Suede are most definitely back, and this is just the beginning.