Suede @ The Alexandra Palace, London – 11/11/21

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Live music is finally a going concern again. Bring on the crowds, raucous atmosphere, the big singalongs and the overpriced pints! The year delay of the gig and tour had a handy consequence, the gig was in celebration of Coming Up which is now a quarter of a century old. Before the celebrations could begin the support act was Nadine Shah, a singer songwriter from the South Tyneside village of Whitburn. Her sombre brand of alt rock has won many plaudits, and on the night her band was decent but too nondescript and inoffensive.

Suede started things with a bang, playing their big hit third album in full. So a jammed Ally Pally was treated to a heady starting trio of the outsider anthem ‘Trash’, the dirty glam of ‘Filmstar’ and the welcomed earworm ‘Lazy’. Having a concert start with so many well known tracks is an odd but refreshing experience. It was an injection of pure, 90s nostalgia with the crowd lapping up ‘Beautiful Ones’ and swaying their phone lights for the album closer ‘Saturday Night’ – gone are the days of lighters.

The second half of the set was sprinkled with softer moments and crowd pleasing bangers. The best of the former was the beautifully bittersweet ballad ‘The Wild Ones’ – with Nadine Shah helping out on vocals. As for the latter the best was well and truly saved till last, as ‘So Young’, ‘Metal Mickey’ and ‘Animal Nitrate’ from their eponymous debut were gratefully lapped up. The encore was a surprisingly brief, one song affair with the song on question being ‘Life is golden’ – the Bowie-esque anthem from 2018s The Blue Hour.

Suede were on fine form, blasting through a largely 90s based set with aplomb.


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