By Paul Coates-Black. Suede – Royal Albert Hall 24 March 2010
Triple LP, CD & DVD
Suede first appeared in the early 90’s when the music scene was very different from the harmonious tunes they were producing. The release and success of their self titled debut album (it went on to win the Mercury Music Prize in 1993) helped to pave the way for Britpop and once again see a change in the music scene. They quickly followed their debut album with a very different second album (Dog Man Star) that would distance them from the tag of another Britpop band and help propel them to even bigger things. Over the course of the next eight years three more albums followed, however with the latter two, their success diminished, and once again the music scene was changing as Girl Power kicked in over the late 90’s/early 00’s. This diminishing success eventually saw Suede split up in 2003. This however was not the end as they returned for a one off gig in 2010 for the Teenage Cancer Trust, which was so well received by fans and critics alike that the band continued touring. This was followed up with a new album in 2013, before releasing their sixth album earlier this year, their most commercially successful since 1999.
Back to the one off gig at the Royal Albert Hall in 2010, this album features the entire set from that performance. Over the course of the album it presents the hits from their first four albums, classic album tracks and B sides (Suede are one of the rare breeds of bands who’s B sides could be singles – see their double album Sci-Fi Lullabies). Suede as a band have a charismatic frontman in Brett Anderson who’s strong voice backed by the traditional make up of a band (lead guitar, bass guitar and drums) create songs that range from ballad (Saturday night), acoustic (the living dead), indie pop (trash) alternative (metal mickey). I saw Suede live back in 1994 around the time of their second album, and whilst I am a self confessed fan, this album captures the live experience of Suede perfectly, enabling you the listener to close your eyes and be transferred there to the concert, soaking up the atmosphere and feeling the sweat soaked pleasure and emotion shared by both fans and the band alike.