NME.COM sees the band play at their rehearsal studio in front of just 100 fans...
SUEDE unveiled their comeback album ‘A New Morning’ at a one-off secret fan club gig last night (Saturday, May 4) in a London rehearsal studio.
NME.COM was there for the gig at north London rehearsal studio The Depot, which was attended by just 100 fans and the band’s entourage. Earlier in the evening, fans had gathered at the Liquid Rooms in King’s Cross for a tenth anniversary celebration of the release of Suede’s debut single ‘The Drowners’. The club night was expected to feature guest appearances from the band and a playback of new album tracks. Attentive fans recognised a couple of new songs played in the club, including potential new single ‘Obsession’.
At 8.15pm, it was announced to some disappointment that the band could not make it to the club. But then, a member of Suede’s management revealed that the band had invited all the fans along to watch them play what would be one of their most intimate gigs ever. Everyone was then transported to the Depot rehearsal studios in two buses waiting outside.
Suede arrived on stage at about 9pm, with just a few flight cases acting as a front of stage barrier between the audience. By the end of the gig, fans were sitting on the cases just inches away from the band.
Suede played 15 songs in total, including eight new songs set for inclusion on ‘A New Morning’. They opened with ‘Beautiful Loser’, a song debuted at the Iceland Airwaves festival 18 months ago. The next new one was ‘Positivity’, touted as the album’s first single. It is undeniably catchy, with an instantly memorable riff and a light lyrical touch.
The band then played ‘Lost In TV’, familiar to fans at the Iceland show, with new keyboard player and rhythm guitarist Alex Lee – Neil Codling departed Suede last year due to ill health – providing vocal harmonies for the song. Guitarist Richard Oakes also contributed backing vocals throughout the gig.
‘The Drowners’, with Lee playing additional guitars, received an ecstatic reaction and the band then debuted a new, unnamed song. The lyrics constantly refer to a “strange relationship”, and the song itself is a mid-paced number with Anderson’s vocals largely carrying it.
After ‘Everything Will Flow’ from 1999’s ‘Head Music’, Suede unveiled the hotly tipped new song ‘Obsession’. It is an up-tempo song, reminiscent of ‘Trash’, focusing lyrically on a relationship. The lyrics have a repetitive style and include lines like ‘It’s the way you scratch your skin/When you yawn’ and ‘Obsession is like sex/Simple and complex’.
Frontman Brett Anderson said little during the gig, but did ask for requests, resulting in outing for b-side ‘Killing Of A Flash Boy’ and ‘The Wild Ones’. New song ‘Street Life’ was revealed to be a pacier, more rhthmic effort. Suede also played ‘She’ and two other new songs, one of which is possibly titled ‘Where The Rain Falls’. It is similar in feel to ‘Coming Up’ track ‘By The Sea’ and is a piano-driven, up-tempo ballad with a spoken word vocal at the end.
The band played an unexpected encore, performing stunning live versions of hit singles ‘Trash’ and ‘Beautiful Ones’.
One fan told NME.COM: “It was an amazing gig. At least five of the new songs sound like Top Five singles. I think this will be the album Suede fans have been waiting for.” The band play live again at London’s Meltdown festival on June 23.