By Neil Durham
WORTH A LOOK?: ****
WHEN?: Thursday 19 May 2022, tour runs until 24 May 2022
SETLIST: Trash; Filmstar; Lazy; By The Sea; She; Beautful Ones; Starcrazy; Picnic By The Motorway; The Chemistry Between Us; Saturday Night; It Starts And Ends With You; Killing Of A Flashboy; Can’t Get Enough; The Power; Flytipping; We Are The Pigs; The Wild Ones; So Young; Metal Mickey; Animal Nitrate; New Generation
Most of the gigs we go to these days are in London by Tube and it’s a joy to be able to walk door to door on a balmy evening from Raval to Poble Nou in less than 50 minutes.
- Read on for reasons including everything we know about Suede’s new album
We’ve been regularly visiting Barcelona for over 20 years now and Razzmatazz has always seemed an unattainable goal – a venue in our favourite city where the bands we most love play but we miss visiting either because the dates of our trips don’t quite work or the gigs are sold out.
Arriving here and it becomes immediately obvious why particularly cool British indie bands would find playing here an attractive proposition.
There’s a certain kitsch exterior to the venue which is realised inside and because we arrive shortly before Suede take to the stage we’re up in the venue’s rafters for the gig which means we have a partially obscured view of Brett Anderson and co – but we’re not here for the visuals.
It’s the much-postponed 25th anniversary tour to celebrate the 1996 release of the band’s most successful album Coming Up, a UK number 1, boasting more than a million sales plus 5 top 10 singles.
1 of the Pet Shop Boys’ golden rules of touring is never to open with a big hit and the 1st song tonight is Trash, the opening track on the album we are celebrating and which is played in order until a brief interval.
It’s arguably the band’s biggest hit and is rapturously received by a crowd which is both enthusiastically singing along and bobbing up and down from the off, a fact we can be sure of thanks to our unusual, bird’s eye vantage point.
Lead singer Anderson had an early enthusiasm for twirling his microphone lead above his head and has developed into the most hyperactive of frontmen – he’s standing astride the speakers at the stage’s front from the off, kneeling before the adoring dancing throng and even disappearing into the audience during passages when his safety couldn’t be guaranteed unless his fans were quite this worshipping.
Beautiful Ones receives an extended acapella opening of the ‘la las’ from the chorus which the crowd delight in chanting back to the band which is the perfect illustration of just how beloved they have become.
We’re next to a bar which is politely busy but not the rugby scrum that can often be the experience at London gig venues and we’re able to cool down at the venue’s rooftop terrace as there’s a short interval between Coming Up and a hits and treats set that follows.
We feared the crowd would be predominantly British like us but they seem mostly Spanish which is reassuring that Suede have an audience abroad and tonight they move to Madrid where they play a much later night festival slot.
Anderson doesn’t say a great deal but is very complimentary about Barcelona as he muses on how many times the band has played here and we’ve seen them in this city before, 9 years ago at the Cruilla festival that was more Picnic By the Motorway than By The Sea.
Anderson appeals for audience quiet during a quite brilliant acoustic Wild Ones which shows a different, more sensitive side to the band.
Suede won our Best Gig monsta the last time we saw them play at the Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith in 2018 and we think the 1st time we ever saw them at Portsmouth Pyramids in 1993 is probably our favourite ever gig by any band because we felt we had finally met our tribe of both group and its fans or Insatiable Ones.
We’re reminded of this by the gig highpoint for us, a riotous Metal Mickey more than matched by the song that broke them in the UK, Animal Nitrate.
What’s coming up next? The band have released 3 interesting and experimental albums since their reformation a decade ago and they are signed to BMG for the next 1 which we assume must be released before this year is out.
As this gig finishes we reflect on just how many times we’ve been lucky to see Suede – 1993 Portsmouth Pyramids. 1994 Southampton Guildhall. 1995 Exeter Great Hall. 2010 The 02, London. 2011 02 Brixton Academy. 2013 Alexandra Palace, London. 2013 Cruilla Barcelona. 2015 Camden Roundhouse. 2018 Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith – 2022 Razzmatazz, Barcelona. – and how much they mean to us.