WHAT a difference a decade makes. First time round, Suede limped on just long enough to tarnish their audacious record with a couple of below-par albums before splitting to some indifference.
Unsurprisingly, there is no place for such mediocre fare in the re-ignited Suede setlist; instead, there is a spankingly confident new album, Bloodsports, from which to plunder – and a reputation as fierce, flamboyant indie buccaneers to reclaim.
Frontman Brett Anderson was in triumphal mood, just about harnessing his simmering delight at returning to Barrowland long enough to deliver the tender torch song Still Life before unleashing a virile salvo of new tracks – the pugnacious Snowblind and uplifting pop of Barriers and It Starts And Ends With You.
Heroine was dedicated, as it really had to be, to Lou Reed, a musician whose low-slung twisted pop style has been a huge influence on this group. However, beloved glam-influenced favourites Trash, Animal Nitrate, Metal Mickey and The Beautiful Ones are no longer louche, transgressive expressions of otherness but bullish cathartic singalongs with Anderson stirring up the masses by expending almost as much wired demented energy as chief loon Iggy Pop.
Were it not for his sheer commitment to a primo rock’n’roll workout, this might not have been the gig it was. Ironically, it was the exquisite melodrama of The Asphalt World, which almost finished him but the rest of the group stepped up in torrid rock style to complete the emotional highlight of the night.