LIVE REVIEW: Suede premiere Night Thoughts album & film

WORTH A LOOK?: *****

WHERE: Camden Roundhouse

WHEN: 13/11, also playing 14/11

SETLIST: When You Are Young; Outsiders; No Tomorrow; Pale Snow; I Don’t Know How To Reach You; What I’m Trying To Tell You; Tightrope; Learning To Be; Like Kids; I Can’t Give Her What She Wants; When You Were Young; The Fur and the Feathers.

HITS AND TREATS SET: Moving; Killing Of A Flashboy; Trash; Animal Nitrate; We Are The Pigs; Heroine; Pantomime Horse; The Living Dead; Darkest Days; New Generation; So Young; Metal Mickey; Beautiful Ones; The Drowners; My Insatiable One; To The Birds.

We’re imagining the meeting at Suede HQ in response to the unanimously positive reaction to 2013 comeback album Bloodsports, the band’s first long-player for 11 years: ‘What would Kate Bush do next?’

Tonight the band premieres the 12-strong Night Thoughts album (out 22/1/16) behind a screen as the 45-minute film accompanying it is projected onto it. The clever lighting means we can occasionally see the band at work behind the screen.

We’re asked by a fellow fan whether we think it’s pretentious. It’s certainly not the folly of the Pet Shop Boys playing their Battleship Potemkin soundtrack behind a curtain as the silent film was screened in Trafalgar Square in 2004.

To these ears Night Thoughts sounds very much the natural progression to Dog Man Star. It’s almost as if Bernard Butler were back aboard although we didn’t spot any writing credits from him as the film finished. (Although perhaps that’s because we’re hearing it as one whole piece, rather than 12 potential singles.) The next obvious single is Like Kids (with its ‘la, la, la’ refrain recalling Beautiful Ones) while the images from the film evoke drowning, overdosing, abortion and violence.

There’s even a cheeky skit featuring what appeared to be the naked man from the Dog Man Star cover pixellated and becoming increasingly frenetic as the action played out before him.

What Kate Bush wouldn’t have done of course would be to headline the gig with a hits and treats set providing the fans with the material they most wanted to hear. Suede rattle through the best of their back catalogue with little explanation as the Roundhouse goes wild.

Brett does preface the final three songs explaining that the evening began with their newest work and will close with their oldest.

The perfect blend of experimentation, ambition – and giving your audience what it wants.

Picture via Facebook courtesy Suede. Tickets here.

  • Enjoyed this review? Follow its author on Twitter @NeilDurham.

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