Venue: The Coliseum, Hard Rock Hotel, Singapore
Date: 27th September 2013
Promoter: Midas Promotions
Review by: Fadhil R.
Special Thanks: Paula and the Midas Promotion team
Photos by Alvin H.
When Suede last came to Singapore in 2011 with the fans flooding into Singapore Indoor Stadium, it appeared that the band was dead honest about making a return to our shores. It was a moment of hugely comfortable difficulty, even after 24 years, I have mad respect for the band who been playing a major key role in the rock industry despite disappointments along the way. The details of and the motivations for, past situations were wrapped in a complex web of intrigue whether or not Suede will reunite and stick to their old roots. Well first off, it is important to note that the band is far from being tangled. They look set to be the heartbeat of UK’s driving force once more and Coliseum is the common venue now for awesome bands to get their groove on with Suede being under that awesome list.
We all adore Brett Anderson when it comes to his tireless showmanship and dramatic leaps, so it’s no surprise when he and his comrades hit the stage running with ‘Faultlines’. There was no quality lost ever since their last appearance here as they actually improved their presence. With each member enjoying themselves and moving all over the place, thankfully there were no robotic antics. Mat Osman the bassist in particular comes deep from behind the speakers, starving himself of some much-needed invention with his basslines. ‘Barriers’ was purposeful as the song boasts similar elements with ‘It Starts and Ends With You’. Both songs being taken from their recent album ‘Bloodsports’ were spot on. Their creativity was never in doubt as it was the same story once more. However, such undeniable experience, Brett stretching out his vocals would suggest that he would unlikely to wander much around the stage. Well, don’t ever kill his vibe. With a deadpan crowd at some point of time, he was finding it uneasy and needed a little room to give notice of his potential ability. Despite that, the band transitioned well with the atmosphere and ‘Trash’ provided that sweet threat to the crowd, making them march slowly towards the barriers of the stage all willingly. Brett was defying all logic to confirm his worth by swinging his mic with no fear as ‘Animal Nitrate’ ensued. It may need a proper incident to ignite the crowd. That could be another uncomfortable moment.
The unpredictability Brett was offering is important facets for the band. It was his flicker of inspiration that makes song after song better and epic; on top of that, he’s a man of little words. ‘Can’t Get Enough’, ‘Sometimes I Feel I’ll Float Away’ and ‘Snowblind’ should not be perceived as panic acts by them. As rushing as it sounds, those songs have become so much more. There are certainly a number of fractious elements serving to deepen the emotion around Coliseum, not to mention over years of history they’ve been on tours. I think there’s always an influence behind every song they’ve put out there, because we want to know the methods and ideas to succeed, and apply them as well to ourselves. Every band requires such a figure to lead them.
At a much quicker pace by then, songs like ‘She’, ‘Filmstar’ and ‘By The Sea’ symbolize a shared sense of unity within the band. It’s probably part of the idea and feeling that the whole entity of the band is together, initiating Brett to move closer and get upclose with the crowd. This would require more patience as the only view the audience at the back get was the rest of band members except for their vocalist, busy lingering around in front of the stage. The fun in Brett doesn’t end there, though. Sometimes the easiest way to attract attention is to give the distinct impression that you don’t want any. As what Brett Anderson did, he stayed intimate with the crowd at the front row refusing to get on stage. It’s not cool come to think of it, but well we stayed for the music as ‘Electricity’ demonstrated the band’s finest moment.
It’s difficult to imagine that ‘Everything Will Flow’ wouldn’t come any sooner. It exploded like a bottle of coke after a good shake. That song crept up on me slowly like a zombie in a party hat. It all sounds so easy as every person in the crowd is probably thinking, “Ah no, are you kidding me?” The progression that drips with spine-tingling choruses was that insane live. As their set grows thinner and comes to an end, ‘So Young’ and ‘Lazy’ defied my depressions and after so many years these two songs still take my breath away. I always believed that if something sounds great, why change it? Looking back over Suede’s long history might also lead us to wonder if any of today’s rock upstarts will last as long. ‘Beautiful Ones’ sounds identifiable obvious and this one song which may hamper a single-minded person with its beautiful melody, epitomized the entire concept of the venue. Bless them all. The band departed from the stage as the crowd awaits their second arrival on stage, in other words, an encore.
Whatever this band does, it’s always going to be alternative rock. If that means people think Suede do the same shit in every album, so be it. At the end of the day, their material has to be good. The band came out for one last act and painted our faces with that familiar rhythm of ‘Saturday Night’. It’s easy for those who like to use entertainment as a means to make them feel more intellectual to sneer at something but without a doubt their performance on that night is worth the loud applause. Even though their set was done in an hour, the warmth and charm of the band made it fascinating. On a good note, the band’s musical seed will keep growing despite what age they’re at.
Some people say perception is everything. If people think you’re a successful band, you’re a successful band. If people think you’re shit, you are shit. This mindset leads many bands to end up getting bored, but not for Suede. They function in a different way. Yes, an on-off relationship with rock for years but the imagery, identity, and ideology of the band has been built way before I came to terms with their music. They’re your friends, you’re their family and Suede is working their asses off for all of it.