Suede 'young' thing

Suede 'young' thing
Brett Anderson, 45, tirelessly pirouettes and leaps off stage monitors at Suede's concert.


The Coliseum, Hard Rock Hotel

Last Friday

Suede's 1996 concert at London's Hanover Grand is legendary among its fans. Written off by the British music press after losing guitarist Bernard Butler, the Britpop vanguards bounced back by unveiling a new keyboardist, a new musical direction and a raft of new songs which eventually formed their most commercially successful album, Coming Up.

Seventeen years later, a similar sense of purpose pervades Suede's long-awaited sixth album, Bloodsports, and its accompanying tour.

This time around, they are eager to prove that their 2010 reunion was not a quick nostalgia cash-in. Rather, it is an attempt at historical revisionism: exorcising the ghost of 2002's formulaic, lacklustre A New Morning, which precipitated their demise.

For a band so closely associated with the young, hedonistic lifestyle they used to write about, they cannot credibly achieve the same success by writing about the same themes now that they are older.

But they have already won the first half of the battle. Bloodsports scraped into the UK Top 10 upon its release in March and has been hailed as a return to their mid-1990s peak with a mature slant.

It is a sign of the band's confidence in their new material that seven of the album's 10 songs feature in their latest outing in Singapore, displacing many older hits, most notably fan favourites The Wild Ones and New Generation.

In fact, for the first time since the Hanover Grand gig, not one song from 1994's brooding magnum opus Dog Man Star is played, despite frontman and lyricist Brett Anderson now recognising it as among the band's best work.

This is an affirmation of the band's current line-up, which is responsible for all but three of the evening's 20 tunes.

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