Gig review: Suede, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

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“WE HAVE a special relationship, you and us,” teased Brett Anderson towards the end of another splendid display from these indie elder statesmen.

Suede | Rating: **** | Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

Hard to argue with the sentiment. Suede fans have kept the faith through the lean years and are now reaping the benefit of a band in their prime.

To keep that relationship nicely spiced, Suede are currently touring their brand new album, Night Thoughts, with an accompanying film – effectively a long form video – by rock photographer Roger Sargent, syncing up audio and visuals exactly, so that a strutting rhythm coincided with a cocky walk.

The band remained obscured behind the massive screen, with individual musicians tantalisingly picked out by spotlight at different points in the narrative. This was a well executed performance, though the film was more distracting than engaging for the most part, a relatively miserable character study in contrast to the powerful, purposeful live incarnation of the melodramatic music.

The second half of “hits and treats” was brief but beautiful, as the band revisited many of their early audacious indie glam numbers with something approaching ferocity.

Anderson, in particular, was a pumped-up force, rightly expecting as much effort from the fans – indeed more on the high notes which he can only intermittently reach now – and making frequent forays into the crowd with only a mic lead to anchor him.

Even the intimate acoustic interludes had puckish character. Anderson struggled to keep a straight face/voice following a lustful heckle from the floor during an otherwise poignant This Time. But that bantering familiarity is all part of a special relationship, right?

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