The opening night of any tour is always a nervy affair, hoping that those early show gremlins will be kept to a minimum and wondering how the new songs will be received by the fans.
What better way to the open proceedings than with a knockout blow of sure-fire classics to get the night up and running. Well, it seems as though nobody told Suede of that plan but then Suede have never followed the rules.
As One, the haunting, dark, atmospheric opener from their latest album, The Blue Hour was followed by Snowblind and Outsiders from their preceding two albums, Night Thought and Blood Sports, bathed in elegant, melancholic melodies with Brett Anderson`s soaring voice and the chiming guitars of Richard Oakes intertwining with a trance-like beauty and with songs so imposing that a band well over two decades into their career shouldn`t by convention sound so fresh and thrilling.
Those waiting for the older songs weren`t disappointed as We Are The Pigs, So Young and Metal Mickey followed in quick succession with Anderson, never still for a second, contorting himself into all sort of shapes as he wielded his microphone like a Rock `n` Roll lasso a la Roger Daltrey.
Ever the renegades, Suede not only dipped into their very earliest records but mined their rich seam of B-Sides and bonus tracks with Killing Of A Flashboy, Dawn Chorus and a stunning The Sound of the Streets, with Anderson alone with acoustic guitar and singing without amplification, showing that even Suede`s cast off`s were worthy of a place on most other`s albums.
Big hitters Trash, Animal Nitrate and the Bowie/T-Rex tinged Filmstar kept the hit seekers more than happy as Flytipping gave Oakes his chance to knock out a stadium-sized solo before Beautiful Ones and Life Is Golden brought the first night curtain down.
Words & Photos: Mick Burgess