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Single Review: Suede – Barriers

 
By on Friday, 18th January 2013 at 12:00 pm
 

In many ways, the very fact of having something new to write about Suede is the most remarkable aspect of this review. Despite being the genesis of Britpop made form, and releasing some of the most notable singles of the 1990s (and one genuinely classic album), Suede have described a classic ‘long tail’ career pathway; the almost unnoticed style of their exit as they fizzled out in the cold light of a new millenium in stark contrast to the fanfare that greeted the famous Melody Maker cover from which they gazed as unsigned ingenues.

There has been light on the horizon for those hoping for new Suede material since their reformation concerts in 2010. And now ‘Barriers’ has arrived: the calling-card for a full album entitled ‘Bloodsports’, out in March. But it would be an ardent fan indeed who claimed that their output was consistent, especially towards the twilight years of what must now be called their first career, which means ‘Barriers’ carries a high level of expectation on its shoulders; there’s little point in releasing new material if it simply treads old water.

There’s little cause for concern: ‘Barriers’ ticks all the boxes any longstanding Suede fan could reasonably hope for. After a thudding drum intro, Brett Anderson’s voice soars with a distinctively familiar mixture of delicacy and haughtiness. References to “aniseed kisses and lipstick” traces instantly recall familiar Suede songs of yore (it’s impossible for Anderson to write a lyric without at least one reference to lipstick, cigarettes, gasoline, or some seedy sexual act). Richard Oakes’ guitar does one of its finest impressions of Bernard Butler’s razor-sharp trademark ES-355 tone, itself now more than two decades old. Longtime producer Ed Buller is in the studio chair; it’s a fair assumption that he, above anyone else, is responsible for the instantly recognisable Suede sound to be found here. There’s a singalong call-and-response to play us out, just dying to reverberate around packed concert halls up and down the country.

And that’s it, 3 and a half minutes that tell the world the Suede are back, and sounding just as relevant as ever. There’s no point in hoping for a new ‘Dog Man Star’ – that high-point of Suede’s career will surely never be surpassed – but there’s a good chance that Suede Mark II can do themselves justice with the new material, and perhaps bring a swathe of new fans into the fold who were unlucky enough to be too young to experience them first time around. For the rest of us, it’s time to dust off the black T-shirt and artfully distressed leather jacket, and party like it’s 1994 again.

8/10

Suede’s new single ‘Barriers’ is available now – for free – via this former MP3 of the Day post.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Hhx0gIHiz8[/youtube]

 

MP3 of the Day #721: Suede

 
By on Tuesday, 8th January 2013 at 10:00 am
 

Suede – having reunited with Brett Anderson (pictured above) – are releasing their first album in 10 years later in 2013, in the form of new album ‘Bloodsports’ to be out in March. The band are also doing a huge, one-off gig on the 30th of March 2013 at London’s Alexandra Palace. To celebrate all of this, they’re offering up new track ‘Barriers’ for free download. Grab it from here.

 

Suede / Brixton Academy Shows / May 2011

 
By on Monday, 31st January 2011 at 9:30 am
 

Suede (with frontman Brett Anderson, pictured above)will be playing three nights straight, the 19th to the 21st of May, at Brixton Academy. These shows will be very special, as the band are scheduled to play their first three albums in full over the three consecutive nights – their self-titled 1993 debut, 1994’s ‘Dog Man Star’ and 1996’s ‘Coming Up’. Tickets are on sale now.

Thursday 19th May 2011 – London Brixton Academy (playing the album ‘Suede’)
Friday 20th May 2011 – London Brixton Academy (playing the album ‘Dog Man Star’)
Saturday 21st May 2011 – London Brixton Academy (playing the album ‘Coming Up’)

 

Preview: Coachella 2011

 
By on Friday, 28th January 2011 at 11:00 am
 

Coachella, America’s second music festival of the year (after Ultra in Miami in March), will be taking place 15-17 April 2011 this year in its usual spot in Indio, California. The line-up was announced last week, with mixed reactions from fans and music reviewers alike. The headliners will be Kings of Leon (Friday the 15th of April), Arcade Fire (Saturday the 16th, pictured above), and Kanye West and the Strokes (Sunday the 17th).

Far more interesting are some of the bands in smaller type. Take for example the reunited Suede (well, the second incarnation of the Britpop group, anyway) and the return of Duran Duran, minus Andy Taylor. Then consider the acts that are well known in the UK but will be debuting (if I’m not mistaken) in the States, at most definitely in front of their largest American audiences to date: Magnetic Man and Beardyman on Friday; Scissor Sisters and the Joy Formidable on Saturday; and Tinie Tempah, Plan B on Sunday.

Tickets for the 3-day event cost $281 (approximately £178 at the time of this writing) before shipping and handling, and includes a $3 charity fee and a $9 facility fee. For more information on tickets, visit the official Coachella Web site. For the complete line-up, you can read the official Coachella line-up poster.

 

This Week’s Gonzo – Alex welcomes Britpop legends Suede to the Gonzo couch

 
By on Friday, 5th November 2010 at 12:00 pm
 

This week’s Gonzo is really quite jam-packed with great stuff. For those of you who lived the ’90s Britpop revolution (or you are a big fan of that era of British music), Gonzo has a great treat for you tonight. Britpop legends Suede are Alexa’s guests tonight. Brett Anderson relates a story about Klaxons to Alexa, but we’re not sure where this is going… “We left Jamie from Klaxons lying down on a curb last night…don’t worry, he had a smile on his face.” Guess you’re going to have to watch this episode of Gonzo to find out!

Practically a resident advisor for Gonzo, Kele stops by for a birthday celebration and chats about the success of his solo album, ‘The Boxer’, released in June. Thanks to the wonders of the internet (and really, the even more wondrous Skype), American indie rockers We Are Scientists reach Alexa over the miles to say hello all the way from Texas. There’s even a chat with Everything Everything about the director’s cut of ‘Photoshop Handsome’, their newest (and most likely creepiest) video.

For the sci-fi fans out there, current Doctor Who heartthrob Matt Smith pops over to recommend a favourite song. There’s also a special performance by Chapel Club of their fab latest single, ‘All the Eastern Girls’.

Watch this week’s MTV Gonzo tonight at 7 pm on MTV Rocks, with a repeat at 9 pm on MTV.

 

This Week’s Gonzo – Klaxons have a visit with Alexa

 
By on Friday, 29th October 2010 at 12:00 pm
 

On tonight’s episode of MTV Gonzo, Klaxons spend some quality time with host Alexa Chung and reveal to us some little-known facts. Take this quote from Jamie Reynolds (who also guested as a panelist for Lammo’s Roundtable yesterday evening): “We asked Charlotte Church if she’d sing with us, she said she didn’t know who we were and she had a boyfriend.” Ooh, snap!

O Children from Liverpool make an appearance, as does Andy Serkis…you know him better as Gollum in the Lord of the Rings films and even more recently as Ian Dury in ‘Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll’. For a bit of a blast from the past, the recently reformed Suede provide you the viewers their ‘Greatest Hits for a Blagger’s Guide’, while London parody band the Midnight Beast boys point their fickle finger at ‘Pop Divas’. There’s even a performance by hotly-tipped Darwin Deez, playing his brilliant single ‘Constellations’. You won’t want to miss this episode of Gonzo.

Watch this week’s MTV Gonzo tonight at 7 pm on MTV Rocks, with a repeat at 9 pm on MTV.

 
 
 

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