Genre: Indie rock
Suede, eh? One of the bands that started the whole Britpop phenomenon – the tide of which would eventually prove so strong that they were washed away to nothing by its sheer strength.
In 1992, their self-titled album was the fastest selling debut album in the UK for ten years –mainly on the strength of the Top Ten hit Animal Nitrate. The follow-up, Dog Man Star, including thumping sounds like We Are the Pigs, The Wild Ones and New Generation, is universally considered their finest, yet surprisingly, it was a relative flop compared to their debut, and the also compared to the first album they released after the departure of guitarist Bernard Butler, Coming Up, which spawned no fewer than five Top Ten hits in the UK, and also their biggest international hits, especially Trash and The Beautiful Ones, two of the finest anthems of the Britpop era. But like everything Suede ever did, it was virtually ignored in North America.
As all this was happening, new Britpop bands like Pulp, Blur and Oasis had come along and were stealing Suede’s limelight. Frankly, they took the Britpop sound and did things with it, while Suede had sounded great at first, but now sounded a bit bland. Album four, Head Music, was released in the midst of all kinds of feuds among the members, not helped by lead singer Brett Anderson being addicted to crack and heroin, and by the time their fifth LP came out, A New Morning, most of Britain wasn’t interested in Suede any more. They disappeared with barely a whimper. I guess a lot of people are like me – they remember loving Suede when they first came out, but can’t even remember noticing that they ever split up.
Although they’ve been around on a variety of separate projects ever since, nothing compares to Suede in their heyday. In 2010, they were back together. Just as they had been influential in starting the whole Britpop thing, they would also be one of the first of the major bands of the era to decide it might be an idea to reform instead of trying to flog half-baked solo projects that only seem to really work if you’re lucky enough to be Robbie Williams. Suede’s tour that year brought them to the Razzmatazz in Barcelona, last year they played SOS 4.8 in Murcia, and in 2012 they’re in Benidorm for the little known Low Cost Festival.
And the modern Suede are probably better than ever. While in the 1990s they were a bit too overconfident in their own selves, and almost lethargically went through the motions, now it’s as if they want to enjoy what they never got to enjoy properly before. It’s triggering people’s memories. Suede? Shit, I’d forgotten about them – they were all right, they were.
They were indeed, and they still are.
Did you know: Due to trouble over naming rights belonging to some American singer, in the USA the band was forced to market themselves, with little success, as The London Suede.
Friday July 27 to Sunday July 29, 2012 Benidorm Low Cost Festival