Suede gig review: Cambridge Corn Exchange audience goes mad for shirt-ripping Brett
When the singer has ripped his shirt to shreds, walked messiah-like through the crowd and then dragged fans on stage to sing along to the final, rasping anthem of the tour, you know you’ve had a good time.
Brett Anderson, frontman of 90's indie darlings Suede, worked the audience at the Cambridge Corn Exchange like a total showman last night (Sunday April 28).
Still skinny as a twenty-something, he strutted and minced through a set that took him from the highlights of their latest album, The Blue Hour - As One, The Invisibles, Flytipping and Don’t be Afraid if Nobody Loves You - to 90s hits like So Young, Metal Mickey and Lazy.
Coming on stage to total darkness and then backlit through dry ice with a single spotlight, it looked as though this was going to be a good, solid performance with Brett’s voice sounding powerful and the band almost orchestral.
But five songs in and it was clear that this was actually going to be epic. Brett was on his back crooning the words ‘Let’s chase the dragon’ and the mosh pit was reaching out to grab him. When he got up his shirt was torn and he launched into an energetic performance - leaping all over the stage, swinging his mic cord like a lasso that almost caught the drummer at one point - and the crowd went with him.
By the time Suede reached The Drowners - a personal favourite - the momentum felt unstoppable. Trash had the whole crowd roaring along and then Animal Nitrate topped it.
Cambridge audiences are often ‘politely appreciative’ rather than wild with their applause, but not tonight.
“That’s what it’s all about”, shouted Brett during a quick breather. “A concert without an audience is just a rehearsal.”
He then declared the atmosphere ‘cosmic’ and said nights like this were why the band would never give up performing live.
An acoustic solo by Brett of new song Blinded was followed straight after by The Wild Ones. The room was absolutely silent. Brett's voice couldn’t quite reach all the high notes - for which he apologised - but then he had poured so much emotion into every song and it was the end of a long tour.
After a lot of stamping and cheering, for the encore they returned with ‘The Beautiful Ones’ and, as Brett said “Sing along. If you don’t know the words, why the **** are you here?”. But everyone did know the words.
The band then invited up on stage anyone who wanted to sing the last song of the encore, Life is Golden. Plenty of fans obliged and it was an inclusive and feelgood ending to a spectacular night.