The O2 Academy was full to capacity as Suede entered to stage. The band began playing ‘Pantomime Horse’ before Brett Anderson swaggered onto the stage in his relaxed and confident style to be greeted by a huge reception from the crowd.
From the moment he sang those first bars to the end of the set it was clear he hasn’t lost anything from his unique voice over the years. His vocals were impassioned, emotive and forceful throughout. He was constantly vibrant and posturing as he engaged and encouraged the audience. His mannerisms were effeminate yet masculine at the same time and he displayed his credentials as a true showman.
Their set gradually built towards the first roar from the fans, which was induced by ‘Filmstar’ directly followed by ‘Trash’. As Brett swung the microphone over his head the atmosphere bordered on electric, due to the sheer noise created by the band and the high percentage of the audience singing along. The live performance of these two classics highlighted the guitar riffs, which are less noticeable in the recordings, bringing the realization of just how ahead of their time they were and how much they have been emulated since. Just as you were expecting the set to drop, in order to build again, they launched straight into ‘Animal Nitrate’. The atmosphere was elevated further as was Anderson’s performance, his white shirt now becoming see-through.
As the set continued Brett opened his shirt and began to adopt occasional messianic poses as he basked in the warmth and love being shown to him by his doting fans. They proceeded to play some of their more recent material and some tracks from their new album, which were all well received by all in attendance. As they said their final goodbyes he seemed genuinely touched by the reaction of the crowd throughout the entire gig and they rewarded them by finishing on ‘Beautiful Ones’ before a final encore of ‘New Generation’.