Suede remember their first gigs: “For the first three years, we just weren’t very good”

"Inevitably these first gigs you're rubbish but I think there's something quite lovely about that, you know?"

Suede have reflected on their first gigs together as a band, recalling how: “For the first three years, we just weren’t very good.”

In the latest instalment of NME’s Firsts video series, frontman Brett Anderson and bassist Mat Osman looked back at the first gigs they ever played.

“When I was first in a band with Mat, we were in a band called Geoff and it was me and Matt and this guy called Gareth Perry. We got a gig at Clair Hall which was in Haywards Heath and you [Mat] couldn’t make it so it was literally me and Gareth and it was just terrible,” recounted Anderson.


He continued: “I had this really really tricky 12-string that the action was really high, I couldn’t really play it. It must have sounded like such shit, but that was the first gig I ever did. It was kind of embarrassing.”

Anderson then shed light on the early days of Suede, looking back at their first show and how bad they were.

“The first Suede gig which was in like 1990 or something in the White Horse, inevitably these first gigs you’re rubbish but I think there’s something quite lovely about that you know?,” shared the band’s frontman.

“There’s something quite lovely about not being able to do it and overcoming that kind of thing and being resilient.”

He continued: “For the first three years, we just weren’t very good and that ended up being quite a strength because I think bands that aren’t very good aren’t able to ape the current trendy genre and if we had been better musicians, we would have sort of ended up sounding like some kind of baggy band or something.”


“We couldn’t do that so we sort of learned to become us didn’t we? And that was a long slow process but it worked and we still can just do us you know and I am quite proud of that in a way,” he added.

The first incarnation of Suede under the banner also featured Justine Frischmann, who soon went on to form and find success with Elastica.

During the band’s In Conversation interview with NME last year, they opened up on what it was like to have comedian Ricky Gervais as a manager during their early years. When asked if they would have considered inviting Gervais back for their gigs when they temporarily formed ‘new band’ Crushed Kid for some intimate gigs, Osman replied: “Poor Ricky! That was just a tiny little slither of time!”

Anderson added that having the comedian as a manager was “one of those things that has been inflated out of proportion.”

“He had a million other things to do badly while he was badly managing Suede. So no, it wouldn’t have taken his particular brand of magic,” shared Osman.

In other Suede news, a special limited edition of their self-titled debut celebrating the album’s 30th anniversary is set for release on Friday, July 7.

‘Suede30’ will showcase their 1993 debut in a newly mixed and mastered format. Containing the fan favourites and era classics ‘Animal Nitrate’, ‘So Young’, ‘The Drowners’ and ‘Metal Mickey’, the LP hit Number One upon first release, selling over 100,000 copies in its first week and becoming the fastest-selling debut album ever in the UK at that time before going on to win the Mercury Music Prize.

“It was a genuinely magical time in my life and one for which I’ll always be grateful,” said Anderson.

Suede have also cancelled their scheduled shows at the O2 Academy Brixton and announced a run of intimate replacement gigs. They will instead play three consecutive gigs at the nearby Electric Brixton.

A pre-sale is set to go live at 9am BST next Thursday (July 13). The general sale will begin at the same time on Friday, July 14. You can see the revised list of dates below and buy tickets here.

9 – Winter Gardens, Eastbourne
10 – Engine Shed, Lincoln
11 – Guildhall, Portsmouth
13 – The Halls, Wolverhampton
15 – Electric Brixton, London
16 – Electric Brixton, London
17 – Electric Brixton, London

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