21st April | O2 Academy
If you were playing a music-related version of Mallett’s Mallet (those over 40, you know you loved it, those younger, YouTube it) and the word Suede came up, the obvious response would be “Britpop!” (or maybe “blue,” or “shoes,” but roll with us here).
In many ways, Suede were trailblazers for the whole scene. Their chart-topping self-titled debut album was released in March 1993, over a year before Parklife or Definitely Maybe came out. Musically, the record displayed many of the hallmarks of what Britpop became. Yet many elements that Britpop became synonymous with never quite fitted with Suede. While much of the scene was obsessed with the Beatles, Suede drew more from Bowie and The Smiths.
The music press lapped up Oasis’ laddishness and Blur’s cockney banter, and didn’t quite know how to shoehorn Suede into the discussion. Not that this harmed the band too much, commercially. Second album, Dog Man Star went to number three in the UK, despite being a considerably more challenging record than its predecessor. The band went on to have two more number one albums before the 1990s was over, before breaking up in 2003.
Reforming in 2010, the band has gone on to release three more albums, the most recent of which, 2018’s The Blue Hour, was the band’s first top-five record since their 90s heyday. Their continuing success is testament to their creative talent, but maybe also speaks for how they were more substantial than the scene that they helped create.
“SUEDE!” “LEGENDS!” “MENSWEAR!” “WRONG!” *BONK*
See the video for ‘Life Is Golden’ here: