There is something about the O2 venue in North Greenwich that makes you feel like you are in the middle of some sort of Orwellian experiment. Maybe it’s the bouncers frogmarching fans at every junction they turn, or the never ending shopping mall that leads you inside the venue, either way, it seems a venue more suitable for Take That and not one of Britain’s finest cult bands and the father’s of Britpop. By the time Brett Anderson arrives on stage just after 9 o clock the crowd don’t seem to mind where the gig is being held as long as it’s happening. For those that didn’t catch Suede at the Royal Albert Hall back in March, it’s been a wait of seven years, for other fans, maybe longer. Back in their home town, and their final show of their short reunion tour, it doesn’t look like it will take much to please this crowd tonight.
Suede are the kind of band that don’t attract blow ins, and with every lyric Anderson passionately sings, the fans gleefully indulge him as he prances up and down the stage like a cross between Ziggy Stardust and George Michael. Despite his general pomposity you can’t help but love the sheer energy in Anderson’s performance and the way the rest of the band let him carry the tunes at his own pace.
For Suede, the tunes are all about the fans really. Inside the dark, ambiguous, sexy songs of freaks, ecstasy parties and lonely suburban skies, there’s a strange feeling of community as everyone emphatically sings together, “ee’re trash you and me/ we’re the lovers on the street/ we’re the litter on the breeze.” The set moves from the anthemic, almost terrace chant atmosphere, with songs like ‘Metal Mickey’, ‘Animal Nitrate’, and ‘The Drowners’, to the more subdued and introspective with numbers like ‘Pantomime Horse’ and ‘Asphalt World’.
The final encore is the sentimental ‘Saturday Night’, and if the fans were allowed to take their lighters out of their pockets, they might just get a little bit more emotional. Despite this being the last show of the reunion tour, you can put a safe bet this isn’t the last you’ll see of Anderson and his crew. Rumour even has it that Warner Brothers have negotiated a new record deal. After tonight’s show, anything seems possible.
Picture by roslynandmichael