Sunday, June 28, 2015

Glastonbury 2015: How did Suede go down?

Suede were astonishing last night - headlining the John Peel Stage. Obviously, having neither Lee Nelson or Kanye West on stage with them gave them something of an advantage, and obviously my waistline and hairline makes me a bit biased. So don't take my word for it. Here's a quick round-up of Suede reviews.

It's fair to say that the Western Gazette's reviewer hasn't exactly kept up with the band over the years:

Starting with two lesser known songs, Brett Anderson, Bernard Butler and co entered the stage as though they owned the place, with a studied nonchalance that they had more than earned as a band that at one point nearly did.
There was a lot of smoke and those flags blocking the camera views on the BBC coverage, but even so, I suspect the return of Bernard Butler would have been a bit more noticeable.

And, not wanting to carp, but... Mercury Prize. Three number one albums. Fastest selling debut album in a decade. That's a bit more than "nearly did", surely?

Anyway, the paper warms up:
And then, as the first few notes of megahit Trash were heard something suddenly snapped.

Lead singer Brett Anderson's standoffish manner was thrown aside and his utter delight to hear thousands of fans still remember the words became plain for all to see.
Comperes say a lot of things: but when the guy closing the tent after Suede exited told the crowds they had just watched the best performance of Glastonbury, I couldn't help but agree.
While the Telegraph's liveblog tried gamely to enjoy Kanye, they were getting reports the highlights were elsewhere:
Hard to believe, but people are watching other bands at Glastonbury now. Rupert is at Suede, maybe with all those people that signed the petition saying Kanye shouldn't play.

Rupert Hawksley: God knows what Kanye West is up to on the Pyramid Stage but it would be a miracle if he gets a response to any tune quite as raucous as the one just experienced at the John Peel stage as Suede rattled through Brit Pop classic, Trash.
The NME news desk tried to keep a sense of journalistic detachment, but couldn't quite:
1996 single 'Trash' was played early on in the set, followed by more Britpop favourites including 'Animal Nitrate' and 'We Are The Pigs'. The former track saw the first big singalong of the night. Anderson kept stage chat to a minimum, but did encourage the crowd to "fucking have it" during 'Trash', while he spent a large portion of 'Killing Of A Flashboy' writhing around the floor. An acoustic 'Living Dead' saw the frontman put his mic down to allow the audience to sing, and early single 'The Drowners' also drew a frenzied crowd response after Anderson performed much of it while hanging onto the safety barrier and greeting fans.
Disappointingly, The Guardian's liveblog was so obsessed with Kanye that it didn't manage to mention Suede at all. They should have listened to the Mid Devon Gazette, which recommended Suede as a fine alternative to a man who needed a helicopter to get on stage:
If however, you are staying in and are determined not to watch Kim Kardashian's other half, the BBC is devoting much of its schedule to all things Glastonbury tonight, so do a spot of channel surfing and you should be able to find some music more to your personal taste.

Cue a video of 90's favourites Suede who are on the John Peel stage at roughly the same time as Kanye.
Panic Manual reviewed the set from Toronto, where - apart from when those sodding flags got in the way - there was a great view:
wasn’t actually at Glastonbury, but rather, I was at home, in Toronto. Now before you question the authenticity of my review, I have assured you I have taken the appropriate measures to simulate Glastonbury as best as I can at home, including:

- Rain, it was pouring rain outside. I opened the windows so the sound of water coming down on the earth would resonate in the background as I watched the show. A sound many Glastonbury fans would be familiar with.

- I watched it on my 40 inch TV in high def, which frankly, makes me feel a lot closer to the stage then 95% of the people at the Peel stage
So, what are the advantages of this superior view?
Having access to cameras on stage, I could tell Bret and co were ecstatic about being at Glastonbury even Richard Oakes tried to muster a smile, maybe he saw a hot dog in the crowd or something.
That's just mean.

But is that really the best way to watch the gig? Is it?
The rest of the set read like a greatest hit’s list, including everyone’s favorite b-side about a heroin addict, The Living Dead. The crowd absolutely lost it when the group ended with Beautiful Ones, which had the crowd LALALALALAing so hard I could hear it through my speakers.

It was at this point I wished I was there and not my living room. Sometimes you just can’t replicate a live experience, no matter how you set it up. An encore set of She’s in Fashion and New Generation sent the crowd back to their mud filled, dirty tents happy. I would have cried if they brought an orchestra or something for Still Life, luckily that was not the case.
But if you're crying, you'd at least be crying in the privacy of your own home. I'm presuming you'd have shut the curtains first, anyway.

Getty let you embed images on blogs now, you know. Here's what people were either seeing on their home screens, or squinting at to spot in the melee of the crowd:



Gaaboard were watching:
Suede aren't great but they're singling without autotune and singing their hits which puts them about 10 places ahead of that twat on the Pyramid stage!!
It wasn't all faint praise, though:
Jaysus I think Suede are hitting the mark. Have seen them at Glasto twice. It just didn't work the year I seen them outdoors but I think they might have been hitting the needle a bit too much back then. Indoors they are immense.
The Singletrackworld board was also experiencing mixed feels:
Northernmat: Suede - meh, never really got them. Lead singer bloke looks old now.
Scamper: Lead singer of suede looking old? I take it you are about 20, Matt?
Let's give the last word to DigitalSpy commenter Barbeler:
Suede have saved Glastonbury as far as I'm concerned. It was a magnificent performance that made every other band I've seen so far look like dreary amateurs.